How $10 Ruined a Business Relationship

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Seiko Analog/Digital Chronograph

My watch needed a new battery the other day. It’s a Seiko diving chronograph. Steel bracelet, multi-function display, with day/date/time/stopwatch/ alarm and count-down timer. Oh yes, did I mention it tells time both analog and digitally? It’s really cool.

Well, I decided to take it into a little jeweler’s shop on the same street as my office. I dropped the watch off, told them I needed a new battery, and I’d be back in 10 minutes.

In 10 minutes I returned. The owner told me they replaced the battery and that it would cost $20. That was a shock. In fact, it was way overpriced for a battery. I told the owner that to get a battery change cost at most $10.

Then, the owner told me that “By the way, you can’t wear this in water now.”

“What?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes, we don’t have the machine to make your watch waterproof. Therefore, you should not wear it in water,” came the reply.

I responded, “Do you know that this is a diving watch? You can wear this to a depth of 100 meters? I wear this watch when I swim. I bought this watch so I could wear it in the water, and now you’re telling me I can’t wear it in the water because you put in a new battery but don’t have a machine to make it waterproof? How can you replace a battery in a diving watch and then tell the customer they can’t wear the watch in water?”

I said that had I known they didn’t have this equipment, I never would have given my watch to them for a new battery. Besides, the cost to put in a new battery and seal the watch properly costs only $20 in Manhattan in the jewelery district. The owner didn’t believe me that it cost only $20.

“It’s true,” I said. I always bring my watches into the city to get this done. I didn’t this time, since I wasn’t planning to be in the city for another week.

The owner finally said, “We can bring it into the city to seal it, but it will cost us money to do that. We’ll work something out with you when we get it back.”

“Fine,” I replied. I needed the watch properly sealed and wanted to wear it.

A week later the watch was ready and the owner told me  it cost him $20 to get it sealed. “That’s ridiculous,” I said. $20 for the battery and $20 for the sealing? No way.

“Would you agree to split the cost for sealing the watch; only $10,” the owner implored.

I seethingly took out my $10 bill, handed over the currency, took my watch and walked out the door, never to return again.

They didn’t even set the time for me; presumably because they didn’t know how to set both the analog and digital portions of the watch.

So what does this $10 story have to do with your legal practice and creating video? I’m glad you asked.

You charge fees. Either you have a flat fee, hourly fee or contingency fee. Create a video that clearly sets out the basis for your fee and how you calculate it. Doing so will educate a viewer about what you charge so there will never be any misunderstandings about your expectations and your client’s requirement to pay.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

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“Video blogging is something we all should be doing, yours truly included. If I had to name one of the top experts in using video on a blog, Gerry Oginski would be my go-to guy. In fact Gerry is a great example of how a professional service provider can use video to get their message out and how it can be used to provide information to their audience. I just wish I could get Gerry to be a regular contributor to Blog For Profit.”

Grant Griffiths

Founder, BlogForProfit.com and HeadwayThemes.com

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Gerry is a New York medical malpractice and personal injury trial lawyer in practice for over 21 years. He has produced and created over 200 educational and informative videos to help consumers understand how lawsuits work in the State of New York. If you want to see how Gerry has used video to promote his own practice click here.

Gerry created the Lawyers’ Video Studio to help lawyers get onto video. To get started with creating video to market your legal services, Gerry offers a simple and cost-effective turn-key video creation system where he does everything for you except appear on camera, click here to learn more.

You can reach Gerry personally at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at Gerry@lawyersvideostudio.com. He welcomes your call.
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