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Turning away Business/Texture restore tips

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2002, 09:39 PM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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Turning away Business

How would ,or do you, handle the rather unpleasant task of turning away work? Everyone has their comfort level with what they will or will not do and if it has not already occured in your experience it will...the day a potential customer comes in and wants you to do a job which you feel, for whatever reason, is not something you want to either attempt or feel comfortable in doing. How can you refuse without loosing future work from this client? Tom
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Old 08-27-2002, 09:46 PM
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Honestly I don't know. But I'm interested to read what others would do.
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Old 08-27-2002, 10:16 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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In situations like that I usually wait til occurs and play it by ear. Each situation will be unique so it's hard to say "This is what I would do". Also, people are vastly different and what I might feel comfortable saying to one, I might not say to another. Or at the very least I might have to find a different way of saying it. I need to be in the situation to really know how to react.

Sorry, I know that's not much of an answer.
DJ
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Old 08-27-2002, 10:32 PM
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How about a specific instance? Turning away work is hard..but living with the consequences can be even tougher....For the folks just starting out the temptation to " push the line" can be very real unless they have some guidance in how to skillfully "duck out"...not that you "Duck out"...Oh H*** just shot myself in the foot again....Tom
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Old 08-27-2002, 10:38 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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Well, if it's against the law, you can use that as a valid excuse to turn it down. The fact that it could hurt your business reputation is another good reason to cite. The customer can hardly fault you for looking out for your own morals, business ethics etc.
DJ
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Old 08-27-2002, 11:38 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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I've turned away work. "Sorry, but I don't do that kind of thing" works for me. Of course, I work via email, so that provides me a buffer that working in person can't provide (one reason I still work that way).

I've turned away work because I felt they were up to something illegal. Once I turned down a job because the subject matter turned my stomach. Unrelated to this, I recently turned down a job where a woman wanted me to retouch her "sexy nudes".

On a more techical side of things, I've turned down work where the original was enormous and I'd spend more time stitching than restoring. One I turned down because they said it was "wet", after 100 years.

I'm just too darn picky, which is probably why I'm still poor

Oh, and when I can't think of a reason to turn it down, I simply double my quotation. Works every time
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Old 08-28-2002, 08:52 AM
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Aric Aric is offline
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Just an idea. I don't do many restorations, which is to say I do none. But if I did, and I came across one that I found harder than usual, I would say something like this.

"This job is harder than usual. Why don't you let me go ahead and scan it and retouch it and then I will let you look at the results on my monitors. If you don't like what you see, then just pay me for the scan."

I would then scan the image, post it on Retouch Pro to see if anyone could help me, and pay them half of whatever the retouching charge would be. If no one could help, and I still thought I just didn't want to mess with it then I would call the customer back and tell them that I was not able to make any progress. And I would make sure to give them a referal of another retoucher. That way, if the retoucher you gave the referal to had a job that they could not do some thime in the future, perhapse they would refer the job back to me.
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:19 AM
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I have a very straightforward policy on 'work to be turned away'

I devide it into categories, and deal with it based into which category it falls

1) It is illegal (for whatever reason) I simply say no, and tell them it is illegal (some people really don't know!). Depending on how 'bad' they are they might even get reported to whatever authority is applicable.

2) I don't feel like doing it because it is stupid/boring/uninteresting: I simply charge double the amount I normally would. Then, if they say yes anyway, it is enough motivation to do a good job anyway, and use the 'extra' to treat myself to something nice (Global knives, DVD's, a speeding ticket..., paint, whatever...)

3) I simply can't do it , either because I don't have the technical or artistic ability to do it and still deliver work I could vouch for... I politely decline, explain them why (And don't forget to tell them what you CAN do!)and try to recommend them to a collegue. 2 benefits:
1) The customer appreciates your honesty and will certainly come back to you if he has something which suits you better.
2) Your collegue likes you and may return the favor some day.
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Old 08-30-2002, 04:50 PM
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I've been asked to repair a photo, not duplicate and repair digitally but actually repair a cut in a photo. I've never attempted this and am hesitant to accept the job. I haven't seen the photo and have no idea of it's age or the amout of damage.
I tried telling the potential customer that I don't work on originals and that they would need somebody with a different set of skills to repair the cuts. But she said she would be happy for me to try something. I'm not comfortable with that and tried to find a way out without offending her. But I finally agreed to look at the photo (yet to come).
The problem is that I have to work with her in the Cricket club(I'm the treasurer and she's the club's tax consultant) and need to be on good tearms with her.
Any suggestions?
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Old 08-30-2002, 05:22 PM
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Perhaps she will just forget about it....If you are not that lucky,however, you might just say to her that the photo requires special handling as working on originals more properly falls into the relm of the Conservator...then suggest one ( look in phone book.. on net etc...). If she still insists just say its beyond your skills...Honesty is the best way to go. I have told people the same thing on more than one occasion, and while disappointed, they did appreciate the honesty and went somewhere else...at which I breathed a large sigh of relief.....The same folks have also brought in other work since, so I dont think it hurt my business...Tom
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