I can echo the nasty tricks others have mentioned on the list when leaving a vendor and add the following:
1) Put light boxes on the bottom of pallets so they tip over in transit;
2) Stopped returning phone calls and emails to prevent and delay departure;
3) Not cashing checks for hostage/close-out fees and not returning documents;
4) Taking their time setting up pallets with claims they didn't have staff available;
5) Hatefully kicking us out of their facility on the last day of departure during the last pickups because we were taking pictures of our boxes and the way they were putting them on pallets.
The last one was ironic because I had to be let in again because the employee handling the pallets wasn't a warehouse person and had let the battery on the electric pallet jack run down during their "extended" lunch hour. He wasn't strong enough to push the manual jack by himself. They had to let me and the new vendor truck driver into the dock to help him.
They couldn't figure out the paperwork and I had to be invited deeper into the "forbidden" facility and figure it out for them. I had to wait outside their facility in my car between pickups by our new vendor since we had all been "banished". The only book I had in the car to read between pickups was Fahrenheit 451. I'll never forget the irony of the whole afternoon. I have kept the book as a career souvenir.
We had to complete all final transactions with their regional management since the local staff was unresponsive and unprofessional. If you can't get something done with your main rep or the facility, go as high as you need to go to get action.
Think of it as a relationship ending or a breakup. Some breakups are cordial, others strained, while others are the stuff of horror movies.
The best advice I can give is to get it over as quickly as possible regardless of the circumstances. Get your paperwork right and handle what you need to get done but avoid dragging it out at all costs. Call anyone and everyone on the vendor side and among your own resources(lawyers, collegues, and so forth) until it's settled. When it was finally over, we had a celebration dinner for our deparment. It was a great event commemorating the end of the whole mess.
In your new agreement with the new vendor you can lay out how termination occurs, time periods for responses and actions by both parties, and so forth. You could go into details about how transfers and pickups will occur in the event of termination of the agreement. I can echo the point about maintaining a good relationship with vendors and problem solving as much as possible. Just remember when the relationship is over you will know it. The longer the situation drags out, the more likely it is to deteriorate.
Rob Seibolt, CRM
Senior Records Analyst | Midwest Research Institute | [log in to unmask] | mriresearch.org
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