September 29, 2016

What it's like to do business with Donald Trump

Daily Kos - J. Michael Diehl is a retired, small business owner. His business for many decades was selling instruments out of his Freehold Music Center in Freehold, New Jersey. His modest clientele included individuals, schools and local organizations. In 1989 Mr. Diehl was overjoyed to get a $100,000 contract from Donald Trump. It was one of the biggest sales Diehl’s business had ever made. The deal was for several grand and upright pianos, delivered in tuned, working order to Trump’s brand new Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. The money owed to Diehl would be paid within 90 days of delivery.
I asked my lawyer if I should ask for payment upfront, and he laughed. “It’s Donald Trump!” he told me. “He’s got lots of money.”
Of course, when Mr. Diehl asked for his money, a story began that we have heard more and more from people who have had business “dealings” with the Donald.
But when I requested payment, the Trump corporation hemmed and hawed. Its executives avoided my calls and crafted excuses. After a couple of months, I got a letter telling me that the casino was short on funds. They would pay 70 percent of what they owed me. There was no negotiating. I didn’t know what to do — I couldn’t afford to sue the Trump corporation, and I needed money to pay my piano suppliers. So I took the $70,000.
Losing $30,000 was a big hit to me and my family. The profit from Trump was meant to be a big part of my salary for the year. So I made much less. There was no money to help grow my business. I had less pianos in the showroom and a smaller advertising budget. Because of Trump, my store stagnated for a couple of years. It made me feel really bad, like I’d been taken advantage of. I was embarrassed.

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