How To Best Handle Undercharge Mistake?

My square credit card charge to my customer had an error I didn’t catch of $90 underpayment last week. I have a very nice customer from a company who repeatedly expresses appreciation for my not gouging her for Apostille services as others do.

I’ve never undercharged someone by accident but $90 is a huge cut in my profit margin especially when FED EX is raising their shipping charges I pay for to $65.

Should I let my customer know when I hand deliver her Apostille docs that there was an error in the charge that and that $90 is due? I think it’s a very uncomfortable thing to do. Is it worth it or should I really just let it go? She’s given me a lot of work lately.

@CherylM Hmmm . . .

That scenario is presenting the potential for quite a “dicey” situation.

There are many variables to consider in regard to chalking it up to a calculation error OR broaching the subject with your valuable client:

  • Calculate the percentage of shortage in regard to the overall invoice amount.
  • Calculate the revenue generated by this client on a regular, monthly basis.
  • Review the potential negative impact of possible client loss due to this calculation error.
  • How “solid” is your relationship/communication with your customer?
  • What guidance does your “gut instinct” give you regarding broaching the subject with the client?

Other things to consider in the grand scheme of things:

  • Are there other clients at this particular company?
  • What potential impact would a “negative” comment from her have on their reliance upon your services?
  • How will the potential loss of this client impact your business?

======

In my direct experience, an executive-level client (new to me) from a large corporation requested that I travel an extended distance to his location to work on creation of two Apostilles. All preliminary preparations were scheduled & coordinated through an Administrative Assistant via email & phone.

I calculated the fees and submitted them, & received approval for the fees. Subsequently created & submitted the invoice, which was promptly paid by the Administrative Assistant.

On the date of the scheduled Apostille appointment, there were THREE (3) documents presented to me for Apostille.

I met with the executive-level client & completed all my work, then proceeded with the Apostille processing. Once all work was completed, I returned the 3 Apostilles to the executive-level client.

Like you, I was quite uncomfortable with the decision of how to move forward with requesting the additional funds from the Administrative Assistant as it was more than a nominal amount.

I then drafted an email to the Administrative Assistant identifying that there were a total of 3 Apostilles completed during our scheduled appointment. I asked how he would like to move forward with the discrepancy of being scheduled to complete 2, but was presented with 3.

I waited a day and one-half with no response. Of course, I knew there was a possibility that I’d have to chalk it up to a “learning lesson.” So, I called & asked the Administrative Assistant if he had received my email. He said that he did. I mentioned that I understood he may want to confirm the number of Apostilles with the signer, which he did. Within a few minutes, he sent an email asking me to send over the supplemental invoice for the 3rd Apostille. I did so & it was promptly paid.

NOTE: I’ve since received additional signing orders [SOs] from this company.

===>>> Hope this information proves helpful to your decision process. :palm_tree:

:swan:

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Hi cNsa5: Thanks for sharing this information so professionally! I really appreciate your time. I’ve listened to Margaret bring up costs a few times now that she feels it’s worth it to her. However she’s also said she thought of driving up to Sacramento in the past.

Considering how much work she’s given me lately I think I’ll just let it go as my error. I gave her a free apostille for one document of 3. I don’t want to rock the boat. We get along well and I’m certain her work will be there for me.

Thanks again and I hope you have a nice weekend!

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@CherylM You’re Welcome :tada:

It’s a razor’s edge we walk as Independent Contractors [ICs] these days . . .

Sounds like you’ve just made a sagacious decision❣️ Congratulations!

:swan: