Bad safari customers-- is the customer ever wrong and what would you do??

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by SafariSean, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. SafariSean

    SafariSean AH Member

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    I gave a donation of a Namibian trophy Kudu hunt to Green Bay SCI last winter, the hunt was up north near Otavi where we have taken several 60's and one bull that was almost 72 inches (see pics I am 6'2") The donation was 100% and we know that some buyers will just come to shoot the free animals but that is our risk and we don't begrudge that customer if that is the case after all we are helping SCI. This particular customer went to several SCI benefits and purchased multiple cheap hunts, mine for $600 (we sell for $5495!). Once the other PHs found out he had purchased several hunts they all canceled his hunts and refunded the individual clubs money. HE had already purchased an air ticket and was scheduled to be in Namibia for 13 days so one of the SCI clubs offered me $600 to cover the additional 7 days of hunting to keep him happy unfortunately I agreed. I engaged an additional PH to cover the extra days as we were fully booked when he had to hunt (cheap air) and all was good. SO last week (he hunts in 22 days) he calls and says he is cutting the hunt short so he can go to another ranch that has cheaper trophy fees to finish his hunt. My response was ok after all a donation is a donation so I released the PH I had hired to cover the days at a cost of $750, we had guaranteed him 5 days, thinking that it was all done and I was at least cutting my losses. SOO when I first talked to the customer at the benefit dinner I told him I would let his wife come for free if he bought the hunt but I only did this BECAUSE he professed to want Gemsbok, Eland and a Waterbuck. SOOO he called today and told me he was going to now bring his wife, first I have heard of it since the benefit and would expect me to honor my offer. Sorry fellow hunters but I did not handle this new revelation with much grace. I told him no she would have to pay her way. This may sound bad but I have an available permanent PH with a single cab truck to take care of this guy and now I have to go back to the guy I just fired and beg him to take care of this hunt because he has a 4 door and can do the airport pickup!!! I don't think I have the balls to ask him!! SOOOO I did call and he is engaged, imagine that. So I now I have to pay a transport company to pick them up at about $500 in and out!!! Am I wrong here?? Has this individual taken advantage of us?? What do you think???

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  2. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    short answer -yes, and it's a shame,
  3. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    That is not fair at all. When an agreement is reached between a client and outfitter each has a responsibility to accept what was agreed upon.
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Regardless of any circumstances after the fact, I beleive that whatever he purchased at the auction he should get and no more. I dont care if he paid .50 cents and didnt plan on shooting any additional animals. IMO any outfitter that would cancel a hunt simply because someone bought a bunch of cheap hunts and has no intention of hunting extra animals on any of them is a hack and extremely unprofessional!!!

    If you donate a hunt, you have no right to complain about the selling price. That is the risk YOU take. If this hunter would not have bought this hunt for $600 what would SCI have gotten $550? $500? It sure wouldnt have been as high as $600 because that is how auctions work. If you dont like that then set a reserve or buy the hunt back yourself if it looks like it is going too cheap. You have alot of options and IMO whining and snivelling about someone wanting the full value of what they have bought is ludicrous and petty.

    In the case of you going out of your way to accomodate this guy when the other (whining baby) outfitters cancelled on the poor guy, good on you, I think the hunter should have looked upon that as a favor and treated it as such. However once you offered to let him bring his wife for free, you should have made good on your offer. Unless it is part of a package the hunter has the right to change his mind about any animal, if you had offered to let his wife come as long as he hunted the mentioned species and he chose not to then you would be right to tell him no.

    CYA and be clear about expectations and any riders on deals promised and you will eliminate the misunderstandings of a client changing his mind and somehow becoming the villain. I just seems to me that too much thought is being put into what he paid and how good your Kudu are instead of the real problem of how poor comunication turned a good deed sour for you.
  5. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I also have seen people purchase hunts at SCI banquets and try to put them back to back. That makes a great safari package for the purchaser. And he is the high bidder at auction at the SCI banquet.

    To provide a second safari package at additional expense to you, should have been review to the SCI and you should or could have said you needed additional to cover the additional PH as you were book for that period of time.

    I also have seen some packages go for next to little almost give away. so to say... As the auction go on people leave as the night grows longer, i know i do after the first break...

    now as far as the wife goes, when an offer is extended and the client turn you down. I think you did the right thing by asking for the spouse to pay her own way.

    Communication is a 2 way street and you should have explain to the client that in order to accommodate his wife you would have to hire an additional PH to with a larger vehicle.
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Yes, there are crappy clients.

    Sadly, implied intentions don't go far. As you have now found out.
    If you are making an offer (free observer) contingent on him buying those other animals write it down.
    Perhaps you were led down the garden path....

    Not sure why you saved SCI's a** on the cancelled/withdrawn hunts. ?? $600 for 7 more days.
    I guess you were building relationships at SCI.


    The Outfitters who withdrew their hunts after the auction and then SCI allowing it!!!
    That is the kind of unprofessional junk that leaves me wondering about that organization.
    Perhaps it is in the show agreement. I don't know.
    It is an auction!

    Lived and learned.
    There are always going to be loss leaders in marketing. I guess this hunter is willing to go for one trophy.
    As amazing as that is.

    If it is taken in the long term approach perhaps this guy may talk a lot about the great hunt he had.

    I have supported the outfitters that have donated a hunt here on AH.
    Those that allow everyone to enter. Others, not so much.
    Referrals and business.
    Hint :)
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    This doesnt sit well with me either. IMO any outfitter that fails to fulfil an obligation for a donated hunt should be banned from SCI, Peroid!!! Standard auction rules are "as is, where is" not if you feel like it great but if not no hard feelings.

    I dont know why SCI would allow that. Wayne, your attitude towards this act is exactly the reason SCI needs to adress this type of thing. So people like yourself arent left questioning their integrity but instead are confident in joining and contributing to all the good that they do.
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    SafariSean this is not directed at you as you stated straight off in your post that you were dissapointed but completely accepting of the circumstances surrounding the auctioned hunt. Rather it is directed to any outfitter who would feel cheated in any way by this event.

    Donated hunts have been discussed at length here and all seem to agree that they nearly always cost the outfitter money and as such should not be entered into as a money making venture but simply as either an advertising expense or a donation to the charity, plan on it costing you the maximum money possible and then choose if it is worth it or not.

    It is my hope that this hunter becomes an AH member and posts a hunt report of his safari with you which sounds like he will get a whole lot for very little as well as posting a negative report on each of the outfitters who screwed him over by not fulfilling their obligations in this matter. I for one would not support any outfitter unscrupulous enough to take that kind of action and I dont think there are many here who would. There are far too many good outfitters here who have in the past honored their obligations with similar cheap auction hunts (as well as any other hunt) with dignity and earned the respect to be considered ethical and responsible enough to trust my hunt and my hard earned money to. It would seem this is the category you fit in Sean and I hope you are pleasantly suprised at the outcome of his hunt.
  9. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    All this is really pretty simple and all the unpleasantness can be avoided if a consistent and accurate paper trail is established and maintained.

    E-mail is fine but in the contracting business all too often someone starts this "we'll work with you" .... "we just want to be fair" and this company's response is always exactly the same, "We don't need or want you to work with us and we have no interest in what is fair, all that concerns us is what is in the contract....period"

    If you donate a hunt be as specific as if you were selling it to a client... it includes this and excludes that and that is all.

    Whatever price you paid for the hunt is not a concern. This is what we donated and that is what you bought. Departures or deviations from this offering constitute a new contract not a revision or alternation of what was donated.

    I know it sounds cold and perhaps a little harsh but if you predicate your position accordingly no one has to deal with those "unrealized expectations" which are so troublesome.
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Once you enter down the road of not honoring the original agreement on paper and start verbally saying one thing and doing another, everything becomes a chaotic mess.

    Everything needs to be down on paper. And frankly I wish people would stop using SCI to leverage cheap hunts. It's just bad business. AND IT'S NOT GOOD FOR ANYONE.
  11. SafariSean

    SafariSean AH Member

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    I dont feel I am in any way pushing anything and as I said above we give an outright donation no gimmicks.
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Sean, I agree with you. I worked as a hunt chairman for the NE WI chapter just a couple years back. I have seen enough of SCI fundraisers. I believe in SCI. It's just that a lot of people that attend the local chapters are not following what SCI started to do when it was funded years ago. I always told people if you buy a hunt for a fraction of what the original costs where, upgrade the hunt!!! Write a positive hunting report if you had a good experience. If you can't do either of the above pass on the hunt. And don't play the game of trying to do back to back hunts, outfitters are already cutting you a good deal on these auction hunts already.

    And I have seen some SCI chapters not sell the hunt unless it goes for a set amount or demand the hunt not be sold at a low cost....a lot of times it depends on who's running the show.

    The guy above should only get his wifes expenses picked up, if he agrees to UPGRADE his hunt, to what he proposed.
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I am with you guys 100% on this one. If the Outfitter lets it go for a low price then be honest enough to fulfil your part as the donating the hunt, the outfitter has the option of putting in a higher bid and keeping his hunt rather then letting it go to cheap.
  14. sanderson0203

    sanderson0203 AH Senior Member

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    Let me take a stab at this. I have never purchased a hunt at auction but was looking forward to trying to get one prior to my first safari earlier this year. I have to agree with the majority of the comments above in reference to the "as advertised" deal. It should be pretty clear in the details what is included and what is not. It has no bearing on anything how many hunts a customer purchases as that has zero bearing on any other hunt. I do agree that if you get a sweet deal you should probably upgrade at least something, but that isn't required. It is sort of like tipping...it is nice to get but don't expect it otherwise you will be disappointed on occasion.

    Sean I feel for your situation but this is a learning lesson for you for the future. I am sure you will never make these mistakes again when (and if) you decide to donate a hunt in the future. I agree that the outfitters who backed out of the purchased hunts because they didn't feel they were getting a "good enough deal" should be black-marked and put on notice that any further actions like that could result in being banned from SCI events for a period of time. That way all concerned (buyers/bidders and donaters/outfitters) know just what to expect going into the banquets.

    Just my two cents for they are worth...
  15. weaselthis

    weaselthis New Member

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    Sean:
    A member of Sacramento SCI, I bought a hunt at auction and joined the "first timer" ranks. Just back from RSA in May. I would like to comment on your troubles and offer my opinion as a newbie. Please take my comments as just that, MY opinion.

    First, your donation to SCI is GREATLY appreciated by myself and I would hope ALL SCI members. Thank you, sir!

    Secondly, had the hunt NOT been donated and purchased inexpensively, MY dream of hunting Africa probably would not have happened. Working stiff, hadda sell a Harley to fund the trip. The hunt was for 7 days, 2 hunters, 3 animals each, and the wives come for free. Great deal. SMART PH/Outfitter! Get the seats filled! I'm the guy anyone who donates a hunt is dying to get! We're out there in the audience! 4 people, 29 animals, 10 days. WE UPGRADED! PH let the wives hunt for the observer rate and the girls killed some nice animals...(2 zebra, kudu, Red HB, 2 impalas, 2 blesbuck, 2 gemsbuck, springbuck...he made out here). But, I'm 63, may not make it again and knew this, so no way I'm only gonna go for 3 animals. That's the chance you take as a donation. Others may not. It is what it is.

    Here's your opportunity to make this guy your advocate, stand out among your peers, and sleep well at night. You're probably gonna take a bath on this one, but from what I gather, most of the PH's in Africa are aware that this is a distinct possibility and probably a certainty on any donated hunt.

    RE: Your post: SOO when I first talked to the customer at the benefit dinner I told him I would let his wife come for free if he bought the hunt but I only did this BECAUSE he professed to want Gemsbok, Eland and a Waterbuck. SOOO he called today and told me he was going to now bring his wife, first I have heard of it since the benefit and would expect me to honor my offer. If you communicated that the offer was predicated on the additional animals, then you have every right to ask for her to pay if the client changes the plan, if not, then it might be in your best interest to swallow the bitter pill and hope she wants to shoot something once she arrives. I PROMISE you I did not intend to shoot that many animals and had a list of only 10, but as you are aware, mother Africa has a way about her that causes sane men to go off the deep end.

    I hope this works out for you and all concerned, as I'm sure your heart is in the right place. You, sir, stand out among your peers who failed the "Honor/Integrity" test. Take care. Good luck!
  16. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Pretty well sums it up I think. The outfitters that begged off should not have. Sean says, the hunter, "professed" to want to hunt the other critters, not on paper, so its meaningless. Sean should take the wife as originally offered.
  17. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    I would say this, that YOU have already perceived what "might" happen, (trust me I am not saying you are wrong in any shape or form) but, worse case scenario happens..... What do you do??? Live and learn brother, I remember the days of old when a man's handshake was his word. Then came the "politically correct/lying to your face/ambulance chasing lawyer/something for nothing" phase of society.

    Have to agree with Sest, you stay to your word and let wife come free (I feel this would pay off in the long run), give us an awesome report .
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Hey, how long was it....that handshake was all that was needed...a person kept a verbal promise?

    Yes, those days are over with for the most part. People are asshoels for the most part. Lie, cheat your way for the almighty $$$$.
  19. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    If I am remembering right those days started disappearing in or around 1993'. 1987 though, was different. I remember meeting with an Army recruiter in early May, he had forgotten his paperwork. I told him I would meet him in his office the following day, we shook hands and the following day there was a scared shitless 18 year old kid ready to serve his country in his office.

    Eric is right, (and I think it's global) most folks just don't have the moral compass as, well, the folks on this forum...
  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Come now Eric. The least you could do is spell it right. It is after all my middle name!:rolleyes:

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