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Does anyone record all their phone calls with customers?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by pl1985, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I am trying to find some kind of computer software to record all of my telephone conversations on my computer, ideally into mp3s. I find that the most common form of deadbeat is the customer who claims they said something in the initial conversation that they didn't ('I requested bi-weekly service, I don't know why you've been coming every week for the past two months' or 'I said I couldn't afford to pay more than 150.00' or 'I told you to stop coming October 1st, I don't know why you kept coming into November' or 'I never requested that service, and I know what I said'). Without solid proof of what was said, I find that I just have to take their word for it and credit them whatever they won't pay. I even tell them that I take detailed notes for every call, but they say 'I know what I said' or 'you must have misheard me'. If I say, 'you said it, and I have a recording of it', they are going to pay. In NJ only one party has to give consent to recording a phone conversation, so it is legal to record all your own telephone conversations without informing the other party. Nation-wide companies probably have that this-call-may-be-recorded-for-quality-purposes message before the call starts because they receive calls from people in many states. Some states require both parties to have knowledge and consent of the recording. Here is a list of the laws of each state: http://rcfp.org/taping.
  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,540

    Why dont you just write down your agreements have them read it with you and then you both sign it and give them a copy?
  3. Indy Kyle

    Indy Kyle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    That would be the obvious thing.
  4. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    We don't record the call, but I have a fax machine that keeps a record and prints it out...of all the incoming calls.

    We've had plenty of people tell us they called and called but no one answered. Only for us to show them that they didn't on our log sheets. And for us to ask why they didn't leave a message on the machine. They just didn't want to pay up.
  5. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    Yeah just put the terms you discuss in writing. I can certainly understand why you would want to record your calls though. Some customers have a tendency to add things that were never said. Or they say, "Oh, I thought you said this" or "I thought you were going to include that in your price". :hammerhead:

    Somehow if they misunderstand part of the conversation it is always in their favor.
  6. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I am dealing with a problem like this now. It involves a misunderstanding about doing some extra work (cutting up a huge oak tree limb that fell during a storm) which I didn't write out an estimate for. I didn't think it was necessary because it was for a customer I have had for about 2 1/2 years. She took it upon herself to just deduct the charges from her invoice that she didn't think she owed. I was, and still am, really mad about this. She has ignored my phone message. I just sent out a detailed letter with a copy of the invoice explaining our entire conversation. I probably will never see my money. But I will not back down.
    Anyway, let this situation be a lesson to you. Give a written estimate or agreement for everything. Make them sign it.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    most answering machines will record...

    the use of a computer would be too expensive for ya....HD space...

    voice takes a ton of space....
  8. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    All you have to say is "I am going to record this conversation. Is that okay with you?"
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    that's NOT true in all states.

    in TEXAS as long as one person in the conversation knows it's being recorded
  10. pghlandscape

    pghlandscape LawnSite Member
    from pgh,pa.
    Posts: 61

    they need to know if you are recording them and must give permission for you to do so. the answering machine would be able to be used in court as they know they are being recorded by leaving a message so becareful how you handle this as you could get into trouble

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