Please make sure this doesn't happen again

Do you find the sentence “Please make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future” offensive? Would you feel insulted if someone told you that?

Yes, I would, because clearly ‘in the future’ is redundant. :fume:

[quote=“miso”]Do you find the sentence “Please make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future” offensive?[/quote]Not in and of itself, no.

[quote=“miso”]Would you feel insulted if someone told you that?[/quote]Well, it’s pretty strong. It would depend if it were warranted. If someone made a pretty big mistake in their job, their boss could say that and it wouldn’t be out of order.

Yes, that’s exactly what happened: Due to late delivery of a supplier, we got in trouble. So I told the supplier, delivery should be on time (especially since he confirmed deadline previously) and he should make sure that this wouldn’t happen again in the future.
Is this too strong? Out of order? Insulting?

[quote=“miso”]Yes, that’s exactly what happened: Due to late delivery of a supplier, we got in trouble. So I told the supplier, delivery should be on time (especially since he confirmed deadline previously) and he should make sure that this wouldn’t happen again in the future.
Is this too strong? Out of order? Insulting?[/quote]
Depends.
A Taiwanese company? From my experience that’s too strong. Insulting even.

Although I personally don’t think it’s out of order at all. But that’s because you and I both come from a harsher business ethics background. I’ve had to tone down and be more diplomatic. I still don’t like it, but it works better.

[quote=“miso”]Yes, that’s exactly what happened: Due to late delivery of a supplier, we got in trouble. So I told the supplier, delivery should be on time (especially since he confirmed deadline previously) and he should make sure that this wouldn’t happen again in the future.
Is this too strong? Out of order? Insulting?[/quote]

no youre spot on…you have to get in suppliers faces over this sort of thing…tell them you’ll go to a second source next time they fuck up…that always scares them!

(of course if you dont have a second source its a dangerous game to play!)

[quote=“tash”][quote=“miso”]Yes, that’s exactly what happened: Due to late delivery of a supplier, we got in trouble. So I told the supplier, delivery should be on time (especially since he confirmed deadline previously) and he should make sure that this wouldn’t happen again in the future.
Is this too strong? Out of order? Insulting?[/quote]
Depends.
A Taiwanese company? From my experience that’s too strong. Insulting even.

Although I personally don’t think it’s out of order at all. But that’s because you and I both come from a harsher business ethics background. I’ve had to tone down and be more diplomatic. I still don’t like it, but it works better.[/quote]
I agree that it needs to be toned down a little for that context. But I think that even in Britain, the wording would come across a bit harsh. Maybe if it was the second time that delivery had been late, it would be OK. A kind of a final warning.

[quote=“joesax”][quote=“tash”][quote=“miso”]Yes, that’s exactly what happened: Due to late delivery of a supplier, we got in trouble. So I told the supplier, delivery should be on time (especially since he confirmed deadline previously) and he should make sure that this wouldn’t happen again in the future.
Is this too strong? Out of order? Insulting?[/quote]
Depends.
A Taiwanese company? From my experience that’s too strong. Insulting even.

Although I personally don’t think it’s out of order at all. But that’s because you and I both come from a harsher business ethics background. I’ve had to tone down and be more diplomatic. I still don’t like it, but it works better.[/quote]
I agree that it needs to be toned down a little for that context. But I think that even in Britain, the wording would come across a bit harsh. Maybe if it was the second time that delivery had been late, it would be OK. A kind of a final warning.[/quote]
He, he. Britain. No offense, joesax, but there’s a lot of difference between the Dutch and the British business culture (relatively speaking of course, comparing Western cultures).

I spoke too soon regarding miso’s background though. I know where she comes from, but I can’t say that that’s the same or similar as in Holland.

the bear, that approach makes sense, but I’ve learned it can be very contraproductive. It’s not much of a reward to win one little battle when in the end you’ve lost the war.
What type of business do you work in here in Taiwan?

I agree with bear and joesax. It’s firm, but not rude. After all, you said please and you’re only asking them to comply with their legal obligations. And, suppliers need to be told firmly that delivery on time is critical, as late deliveries may cause major problems and additional costs for your company. Therefore, I feel it was perfectly appropriate. Nothing wrong with it at all.

[quote=“tash”]He, he. Britain. No offense, joesax, but there’s a lot of difference between the Dutch and the British business culture (relatively speaking of course, comparing Western cultures).[/quote]No offence taken. In England, I once heard an announcement over the tannoy containing the words “please,” “thank you,” and “sorry,” within a single sentence! I thought the announcer should be given some kind of prize for exceptional Englishness.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]I agree with bear and joesax. It’s firm, but not rude. After all, you said please and you’re only asking them to comply with their legal obligations. And, suppliers need to be told firmly that delivery on time is critical, as late deliveries may cause major problems and additional costs for your company. Therefore, I feel it was perfectly appropriate. Nothing wrong with it at all.[/quote]Well, I changed my mind a bit after miso posted about the context. I think that further softening it, at least for a “first offence,” wouldn’t do any harm.

When miso first posted, I thought she meant that this was said by a boss to an employee who’d made a really major screw-up.

I heard an announcer say “mind the gap” and I wanted to smack the fucker. The nerve. No please at all. Why doesn’t he mind his own damn gap. :fume:

if it’s in the context of a supplier late delivering goods that your company has ordered and paid for, then I would say it’s perfectly acceptable, verging on overly polite… I give our suppliers way worse than that… All over the world, but especially in Taiwan, the buyer is king “買主是老大”… they confirm the delivery date, so they had better deliver on time, simple as that… our policy is three strikes and you’re out, all our suppliers know this very, very well…

I thought that would be appropriate for a first offence.

For a second offence, a threat is in oorder. “Look, if you don’t deliver our shipment on time again, we’ll take our business elsewhere.”

After the third time, find a new supplier and tell them what happened to your last one.

So, no, I don’t think it’s too harsh. This is business. If they lose face it’s their own fault for screwing up.

Ain’t that the truth. What plasmatron says to tardy suppliers is firm but fair, and totally acceptable. Most buyers I’ve met here cop a huge attitude. If anything goes wrong, it’s an immediate license to go apeshit. I know a lot of this is Porter’s Five Forces in action (i.e. power of the supplier vs. power of the buyer), but I haven’t found a way to wrap my brain around it in a way that makes it acceptable to me.

I often respond to rude behavior with something like “We can focus on how unhappy you are, which we’ve already acknowledged, or we can focus on a solution.” That usually works. Still, it is fucking irritating that mature adults need to be reminded not to behave like petulant children. I find myself actually thanking the twenty percent who are cordial and businesslike no matter what happens.

Well, thanks for all your responses. I am learning the following lesson here: I was not overly rude and being customer I was right to complain about late delivery, which did cause some trouble. However I shall tune it down a little in the future to make sure thin skinned people don’t feel insulted.

Thank you all!

Incidentally, I’m handling a case presently where one of our customers claims that late deliveries by our company cost them over US$1M in damages, and our excuse for the late deliveries is our supplier of critical components was late delivering to us. Such cases are typical. Delivery dates can be critical and chabuduo isn’t good enough.

For legal purposes, in the event of potential future problems, it’s also important to make sure you clearly express to suppliers in writing what is the delivery date, why it is critical (to get the stock on the shelves in time for Christmas season, or whatever), and that you will likely suffer large damages if the delivery date is not met. For example, if you’ve clearly warned them of all that you may be able to recover lost profits caused by their delay, but otherwise lost profits may be unrecoverable.

Thanks again, Mother Theresa,

all our suppliers have signed contracts, however this particular one had not yet and maybe I should have known better…

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]Incidentally, I’m handling a case presently where one of our customers claims that late deliveries by our company cost them over US$1M in damages, and our excuse for the late deliveries is our supplier of critical components was late delivering to us. Such cases are typical. Delivery dates can be critical and chabuduo isn’t good enough.

For legal purposes, in the event of potential future problems, it’s also important to make sure you clearly express to suppliers in writing what is the delivery date, why it is critical (to get the stock on the shelves in time for Christmas season, or whatever), and that you will likely suffer large damages if the delivery date is not met. For example, if you’ve clearly warned them of all that you may be able to recover lost profits caused by their delay, but otherwise lost profits may be unrecoverable.[/quote]

I have a weird legal question that has to do with late shipments. Tried googling a little more information about this, but to no luck. It deals with the United States. I’m asking more for curiosity and wondering if anyone really knows.

Back home, I had a knife business. In America, you cannot ship in gravity knives and switchblades. Each state can determine the legality of them (they’re only legal for civilians in most states), but nobody can ship them internationally or between states without certain requirements.

Thanks to the US Switch Blade Knife Act of 1958 (another useless and arbitrary law), a switchblade is defined as “blade which opens automatically - (1) by hand pressure applied by a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both.”

On September 29, 2000, Columbia River Knife and Tool Company (Going to call it CRKT for short) received a shipment of knives. It passed through customs. Then someone decided to reinvestigate it several days later. On October 3rd, custom officials went into the warehouse and chose 7 models and claimed CRKT could not sell those models until they were re-released from customs.

The next day, officials came to inspect the shipment. They tried to open sample knives using
“vigorous, full-arm swinging motions, and were able to achieve 90-degree opening in some cases after four or five tries.” (I seriously doubt that poses any real threat to anyone)

Finally, on October 20, the knives were released under the stipulation that CRKT could not sue for any monetary damages that occured during the investigation and seizure. CRKT, of course, had to agree to this just so they could get the product back out on the market in a timely fashion for the Christmas rush.

  1. I’m going to just assume CRKT would have won the case anyway. If they had, would they have been able to sue for the monetary damages?
  2. If the answer is yes, what would that include (legal fees? Anything else?)
  3. If the answer is no, why not? Is the government immuned from stuff like this?

Luckily, I had no trouble with the supply. I was not a big company anyway - it was just something I did to make a little extra cash. And my main supplier always had a LOT of CRKT knives in stock.

Matt

[quote=“ILoveItHereButIDoMissSnow”]. . . On September 29, 2000, Columbia River Knife and Tool Company (Going to call it CRKT for short) received a shipment of knives. It passed through customs. Then someone decided to reinvestigate it several days later. On October 3rd, custom officials went into the warehouse and chose 7 models and claimed CRKT could not sell those models until they were re-released from customs.

The next day, officials came to inspect the shipment. They tried to open sample knives using
“vigorous, full-arm swinging motions, and were able to achieve 90-degree opening in some cases after four or five tries.” (I seriously doubt that poses any real threat to anyone)

Finally, on October 20, the knives were released under the stipulation that CRKT could not sue for any monetary damages that occured during the investigation and seizure. CRKT, of course, had to agree to this just so they could get the product back out on the market in a timely fashion for the Christmas rush.

  1. I’m going to just assume CRKT would have won the case anyway. If they had, would they have been able to sue for the monetary damages?
  2. If the answer is yes, what would that include (legal fees? Anything else?)
  3. If the answer is no, why not? Is the government immuned from stuff like this?

Luckily, I had no trouble with the supply. I was not a big company anyway - it was just something I did to make a little extra cash. And my main supplier always had a LOT of CRKT knives in stock.

Matt[/quote]

Won the case against whom – against the US govt, for delaying a shipment as a result of Customs inspection? I can’t imagine you could possibly win. The govt surely has very broad rights, pursuant to explicit federal laws and regulations, permitting them to stop any shipments and investigate them for virtually any reasonable suspicion and broad protections against any claims or lawsuits disgruntled people might raise against them. I doubt they needed to enter into any stipulation protecting them from a lawsuit (though that couldn’t hurt) as I suspect they were probably immune already.

Actually, though, you asked if the company “would have been able to sue”, which a phrase people often use, that really doesn’t make much sense. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. I can sue you, you can sue me, we can both sue Maoman, etc. The relevant question is whether they would have a decent chance of prevailing in such a lawsuit and recovering monetary damages. As I said, above, I believe the answer is no, mostly because the defendant is the US govt who was performing legitimate Customs services, so I believe the laws are written to protect them.

As for what damages one could recover in such a suit if successful, one would need to prove the damages were definite, certain and foreseeable, and you’d need to present solid evidence (receipts, contracts, etc) to prove them. Easiest to recover due to delay would be additional costs of storage, shipping, transport, advertising (if one launched an advertising campaign prematurely not anticipating they would be wrongly delayed) clearly resulting from the delay. Lost profits are much more difficult (ie, money you would have earned from selling the goods if they had arrived on time, but the goods couldn’t sell due to the delay). Maybe you can recover lost profits if the other party knew or should’ve known you would suffer those damages and you have clear proof. As for attorney fees, those are always very difficult to recover absent actual fraud by the other party or a contract provision entitling you to them, so I would definitely not count on recovering them.

Of course, if you want real legal advice, you should consult an attorney irl. :wink: