Get your agreement in writing before paying

Network marketers and other entrepreneurs occasionally agree to a deal on a handshake (verbal or literal). I have. A recent incident has reminded me of the importance of getting the details in writing before spending the money.

In short: A newspaper ad rep contacted me about a campaign. I liked what he was offering for the price: 4 monthly ads, an advertorial and inclusion in their weekly email blast for the duration.

Later, I emailed the rep asking for a recap of our conversation. I wanted to make sure I had all the details. He replied two times that he would get to it. No response.

I then contacted the newspaper directly and spoke with a customer service person. He stated that all my file showed was the four display ads. Shoot. That means I have to go back to the ad rep and try to confirm the other components.

I have since connected with the ad rep on the advertorial and am working on the email blast. Moral of the story: Get everything in writing before sending money. An email is fine: That is legally binding. The email also provides an additional written record of the conversation in case someone else needs to step in and assist you.

Have you encountered a similar situation? How did it play out? Feel free to comment below.

For additional customer service advice, see “Don’t let a communications breakdown cost you customers” and “How to improve your listening skills.”

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Tom Fuszard, content writer, blog writing, pr writing, web copy



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