We could go on debating the wonders of modern psychiatry for another 150 years.
Meanwhile, I just thought of another crazy story. Not so much a story, as a category of clients we get.
Category: People or companies that hire us. Sign our contract. Actually pay us. We are ready, willing, and able to do their work, and then they disappear without a trace.
We never hear from them again. nothing.
On some level, this is almost crazier.
I am not talking about people that change their minds, or life get's busy, and they like disappear for a while, then get back in touch. That happens all the time.
Talking totally MIA.
The first few times it happened, we spent an enormous amount of time and money trying to track people down to give them their money back. But, I discovered, often at the point when they disappear without a trace, we had not even gotten sufficiently in to knowing them and collecting information, to even have say a phone number, and address, etc. They don't answer their email. Simply no way to reach them. Sometimes, I don't even know what country to start looking for them in.
Now this category breaks down in to two types from there. Those that do ultimately get back in touch with us, often many many years later. The other, is the people we have never had contact again from.
The first time it happened I thought it was fluke. People are strange.
Then it happened again, and again.
It got to the point, I had to put a clear clauses in our service contract, regarding when funds are considered abandoned. One year after we receive them, and there is no contact or reason for us to have them, they are considered abandoned. Cost of maintaining the funds. That simple. Even then, I have soft policy, if they get back to us within two possibly three years, to extend them credit for services, at least to against whatever we are charging for those services years later.
Now, from time to time, we have clients money stuck in our accounts for one reason or another; but, we know why we have the funds and the client knows why we have the funds, and we are talking to them about it. For example, a real estate purchase that get's hung-up for a while in bureaucracy before it closes. That is fine. All very normal.
I often wonder, how many are dead. Like they got hit by a bus, the moment they sent the funds.
Well, I kind of shrugged my shoulders, and figured well someday they will reach out to us.
Then some guy got back in touch with us, 5 years after the fact, and not only wants his money back but interest. We had an easy twice the time in what he paid us, in just trying to track him down. Told him, no way dude; but, even that guy I was like I will give you credit for what you payed, against our current fees, if you want to go forward with the project. I am not going to provide services, at a 5 year old, or 10 year old rate. We would not be in business very long.
We are not a bank. In fact, we can not receive funds from people legally, without a clear reason for having those funds. Otherwise, we just look like money launders to the authorities; but, on the other hand I am not spending more time and resources, taking care of their money, and trying to return it to them, than we were paid for the original work in the first place. Not even banks do that.
Even after I put that big warning in our contract, people keep doing it. Now, it is not every day, but like once a year it happens; but, every year there is at least one of them.
There is one sub-catagory, of that category, that sort of makes sense: big multinational companies. More than once, we have been hired by companies to do something, they paid, and then we never hear back from them. So, we try to contact them. We finally get in touch with someone. They tell us the guy or whomever was fired, quit, moved, something. I am like o.k., "we would like refund your money or at least complete the work we were hired to do, who is in charge of that now"?
Guess what they say?
The people we get in touch with, often want nothing to do with it. They are like, "sorry, that was his or her problem, and I am not taking responsibility for that project or that money".
Really? You don't want to take the money back? They are like, no. They don't want anything to do with it.
It would probably be an even bigger problem, if we dealt with governments (we don't do government work).
People are strange, when your a stranger.
I guess in the grand scheme of business problems, that is not the worse problem to have.
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