How to Avoid Being Swindled
Have you ever been taken to the cleaners by a crook? If you’ve moved beyond your business training wheels, the answer is most likely “yes.” Shysters, charlatans, or whatever you might call them that I can’t in this blog, they’re flat-out criminals.
Recently, we acquired a new customer. It was a nice big project and the future looked bright. They passed all the proper credit checks with flying colors and they seemed like good people. But when the client addressed a check to us to cover their postage, we faced a dilemma.
We would have (and in retrospect, should have) stuck to our policy that all postage checks be written directly to the USPS, but the check came just one day before the mail date. We didn’t want to delay the mail drop for this new customer, especially since when we already had the money in our hands. So, we made an exception to our rule.
We deposited their check and wrote another, on our own account, to the USPS to cover the postage. We lived to regret that decision a week later when the client’s check bounced.
That’s when the alarm went off—we had been taken! We learned we had no chance at collecting the postage money, or the money for the print job. These scumbags have apparently played this game time and again on many of us. (We found that out later through our friends at the Great Lakes Graphics Association).
The good criminals are good—they spend their lives honing their skills. They know how to falsify references, make you feel good about working hard to win the business, and they know how to disappear the moment you realize their snake oil. They don’t think like you and I, and they don’t play by the same rules. They enjoy their ill-gotten gains on a daily basis. They enjoy today because they’re not in jail—they’ll deal with their problems of tomorrow when tomorrow turns into today.