Discourse and Improvisation ON Entrepreneurship And…

September 28, 2006

“You can’t fire me, I quit!”

Filed under: It's just business — dionea @ 12:18 am

I fired a service provider yesterday.

Or, did they fire me?

It was pretty clear that we weren’t happy with each other. We brought them in to do some specific work on our IT infrastructure. As a software company we pride ourselves on being capable of solving most any computer-related problem, yet recognize that some problems have bigger learning curves than others, and are well worth throwing some paid expertise at.

Our attitude probably invited conflict from the start. When we hire experts, we expect expertise. We also have a pretty good sense for how to troubleshoot a problem. So when the expert is lost in the weeds, it’s pretty obvious, and our annoyance only increases as the hourly meter keeps running longer and longer.

I’m sure we were an atypical customer for them all the way around: in company size, system configuration, and technical background.

I thought I hadn’t completely slammed the door when I said we wouldn’t be returning, so half expected them to try to win me back. Their reply back was a complete termination, so I guess it was mutual.

While it’s sometimes all to easy to fire a vendor (except when switching costs are high!), it’s hard to fire a customer. But I’m generally very appreciative when a vendor tells me up front that although they’d like my business, we’re just not a good fit.


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