POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 6:00am
UPDATED: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 6:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — You often hear "the customer is always right" but if you're a business owner, what do you do if the customer is a chronic complainer, somebody who wants something for free or, even worse, a scammer?
There's a new website that blows the whistle on them.
Father-daughter team Robert and Ashley Bodi hatched their company "Business Beware" a few years ago to give business owners a voice.
Robert, a life long entrepreneur, says every business has bad customers and BusinessBeware.biz is a way to blow the whistle on them.
"Cust-o-monsters, as we affectionately call them, are people that literally go from business, to business, to business and they are never satisfied. They are always wanting something free, which, actually costs the consumer in the long run because the good consumers have to pay for the cust-o-monsters," he says.
Businesses first have to become Business Beware members, then they are allowed to view the a data base which includes a list of cust-o-monsters and customers who don't pay their bills.
That's where the "Beware Letter" comes in.
It's a way for businesses to nudge slow paying customers without having to pay a collection agency 20-50%.
The letter basically explains what they owe and warns if they don't pay they will be listed on the Business Beware website.
"We don't want people to be put on the website, that's not our goal, but it's there if you need it," Robert says.
Web designer Shelley Roberts is a Business Beware member who also now helps with the Business Beware website, and she knows first hand Beware Letter works.
"Two weeks later I got a $400 check in the mail. I was just shocked," she says.
Right now, Business Beware has members all over the U.S. and into Canada.
The Bodis say they're not making big profits, but that's not really the point.
"As small business owners we know each penny counts. So if we can do something that just covers our cost and we can make a little bit off it then we're doing something that's right," Ashley says.