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Bad customer service
How can companies like this stay in business?
philbish




msg:3115015
 3:30 am on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thought you all would like to see just how sad some of our competition is.

One of my customers shared his experience on my forum.

He ordered some small items from another online retailer and after 2 days in "pending" status, he decided to email them about it.

He asks something like: my order from several days ago shows pending status. When can I expect it? If it's backordered, please let me know so I can order elsewhere.

Seems innocent enough, right?

Then he gets a nasty email a few hours later. The gist of which was: Your $7 order is less than 2 days old and you're already complaining. insult, insult. We do not want your business. A full refund has been issued. Take your business elsewhere insult.

Customer emails back hoping there's been a mistake and expressing concern that the site may have been taken over by some kid with an attitude. He tells them if the email is legitimate then he will take his business elsewhere as advised and he'll also post a copy of the very unprofessional email on forums he visits.

Company replies via Hotmail with a nasty follow up that they were right and he's nothing but a PITA. Followed by a few more insults.

So customer calls hoping to warn the site that someone might have hacked into their email to hurt business. He got cursed out and hung up on.

Simply amazing!

[edited by: lorax at 12:00 pm (utc) on Oct. 10, 2006]
[edit reason] no email plz (see TOS [webmasterworld.com]) [/edit]

 

axgrindr




msg:3115035
 3:56 am on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's Awesome!

I'm not sure why but that really made my day.
I can't stop laughing.

Marcia




msg:3115050
 4:06 am on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Love it, love it! :D

ispy




msg:3115811
 6:54 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the Hotmail tip. I never thought of that.

Wlauzon




msg:3115844
 7:16 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

But you are assuming that the customer is telling the WHOLE story.

A while back we had a customer order online friday night an item for next day air.

When it was not there monday morning, he called up and started screaming obsceneties at the person that took the call.

So I told him essentially what your competitor is supposed to have said...

Or it could be that your competition really DOES suck :D

[edited by: Wlauzon at 7:18 pm (utc) on Oct. 10, 2006]

Essex_boy




msg:3115938
 8:12 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

It wasnt me runningteh site, sometime you feel that you would like to tell some one to go away but dont. For obvious reasons, unless they start swearing at me.

However with this kind of service your going to do well in your sector!

oldpro




msg:3116010
 9:25 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

But you are assuming that the customer is telling the WHOLE story.

In this case it does seem the customer in question was polite and reasonable. However, as tempting as it may be to read the riot act to some customers, it is best to treat all with courtesy.

It never ceases to amaze me how intellectually challenged the collective public is. We advertise "same or next day shipping" and we get irate calls from customers complaining they did not receive their orders on the very same or next day of order placement. Believe it or not we had to post a definition of the phrase on our website to eliminate these calls.

It could be your competition is just fed-up with examples such as the above...take advantage of it.

sun818




msg:3116967
 3:54 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

> how intellectually challenged the collective public is.

Its true. I've had walk-in customers who were developmentally challenged buy stuff from me. You never know who you are dealing with via e-mail or phone.

DamonHD




msg:3117020
 4:26 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I'm very bad at holding back when a customer with a very loose hold on reality decides to take out his (never a "her" so far) frustration on me. That's why I hire CSR staff, with a better attitude and more patience than me.

Also, sometimes *I* am that reality-challenged customer who goes off the deep-end for no good reason (or at least not the apparent last incident). I have current outstanding complaints with two UK banks where they may well regard me as being that off-balance weirdo, though I didn't use a single rude word/phrase, except possibly "customer service" and "How dare you?" B^>

Rgds

Damon

tootalldave




msg:3117158
 5:50 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm guilty of exploding on customers 2 or 3 times over the years.

****
It was the same situation where the customer didn't have a clue,
- As Example -
They ordered on Friday night thinking they would receive it by Monday
confused about our ships within 3 days policy.
Claimed we ruined their sons birthday.

When they received the delivery they trashed our product sent it back in pieces, demanding a refund before we even received, we still gave them a full refund the day we received it and sent them a confirmation of the refund and receipt.

Then they did a chargeback, filed a complaint with the BBB and threatened to get the FBI after us.

Oh yes, we had a toll free number which they called and hung up on about 100 times a day costing us 10 cents a call

****

We have a customers like this that will pop up about every 6 months,
I would get to the point where I felt the only way to stop this person was to explode on them to scare them off, only to find that this is what that truly want to get even with you and cause you the emotional pain that they felt when their son didn't have his present in time.

We have been in business so long that we can identify these customers in the early stage and eliminate them as fast as possible.
These are the people that make you raise prices, abuse your phone, destroy your products and cause negative reveiws to be posted.

Well to get to my point, I can almost bet the reason the one gent that provided the terrible customer service was that he was venting on a good customer because of the bad customer that had got to him.

** Eliminate the bad customers as fast as you can and don't take it personal and take it out on others, it's part of the business **

I'm sure most of the guys here know about this, I guess this is mainly for the guys out there that are about to experience this,
when it comes to anger in business be like Mr Spock from Star Trek no emotions and logical.
Don't let the bad customers get to you it will ruin your business, personal life and cause you to treat really good customers (people) very bad.

chodges84




msg:3117336
 8:36 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sometimes I would absolutely love to just scream at a customer, but I am just too nice to do it. Instead I just say 'what a complete numpty', explain the situation to a friend or family member and when we both agree that they are a 'numpty', I call or e-mail the customer safe in the knowledge that someone else also thinks they are mad, so i can speak to them on their level (no long words etc!)

If you let loose at a customer, they could do some serious damage to your reputation. If i make a purchase and its later than the merchant said, or they are out of stock and don't notify me, i'm not pleased, but if they eventually supply the goods, I'll just never use them again. If I rang up or e-mailed and got swore at and shouted at, I would post on every forum I'm registered on, every shopping comparison site I can think of, put it on my blog, tell everyone not to use them, and people can soon do that to you to.

oldpro




msg:3117382
 9:07 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is no joke...after thinking about all the crazy incidents we have had with customers (they come along about one every 2 or 3 months and we have been in business 14 years), I am reminded of the "best" one yet.

A fella ordered from us and complained about everything you could imagine about the merchandise we sent him...in the most insane manner. The guy refuse to return the merchandise and wanted a full refund even with my offer to pay his return shipping costs.

Everyday we got a call from this guy screaming obsenities at the top of his lungs, threatening legal action, etc.

Decided to investigate who this numbskull was...

Turns out the address we sent the order to was a mental institution, then called someone on staff there and explained to them what was going on. He was a patient there. I think after that his telephone priveledges were taken away because we never heard from him again.

LostOne




msg:3117402
 9:28 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

"We have a customers like this that will pop up about every 6 months"

Yup, that about sums it up for us too. Every six months or so a real yahoo makes life difficult for us. The most recent was a woman who demanded an immediate refund on a product she admitted was thrown out in the trash. Apparently it was damaged by shipping and someone didn't think to save it for possible inspection.

Naturally she called the BBB on us calling our response(no refund/credit for items that don't exist) completely unsatisfactory and how we are the most unethical company out there. She indicated this will never be over no matter what level she has to take it to.

Sometimes I really hate this busineses:(

sun818




msg:3117417
 9:38 pm on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

> I would post on every forum I'm registered on

Unless you are an SEO master, it will not have much impact on the business you are speaking ill of. I think its wasted effort. No one reads past the first or second page of threads on a forum. And would you really spend the effort for better placement for a business you don't like when you have your own work and income that you need to generate?

luckychucky




msg:3121945
 3:45 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Fwiw, we place this text next to our shipping interface, and also include it in all order-confirmation/processing eMails we send out. Works like a charm and keeps our side of the street clean. An ounce of prevention...

"Most domestic United States orders are filled and shipped within 2 business days, Monday-Friday. UPS does not ship on weekends. This means that an order placed Friday could possibly ship on Tuesday of the following week. The shipping rate you choose determines shipping time from the date the order is filled and shipped, not from the date of initial order placement."

DamonHD




msg:3122050
 5:50 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good text. Nice and clear and the specific example of Friday ordering is excellent!

Rgds

Damon

pbradish




msg:3122270
 10:01 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Unless you are an SEO master, it will not have much impact on the business you are speaking ill of. I think its wasted effort. No one reads past the first or second page of threads on a forum. And would you really spend the effort for better placement for a business you don't like when you have your own work and income that you need to generate?

You serious? I receive a HUGE amount of business posting and answering questions on my sport's niche forums. I would say I receive nearly 1/2 my business thus far through forums whether they come across my posts (sig) or are recommended by other forum members to drop by. Likewise, plenty of forum users including myself have avoided particular merchants due to their bad reviews on forums, especially if there is a pattern of such reviews.

sun818




msg:3122305
 10:42 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Likewise, plenty of forum users including myself have
> avoided particular merchants due to their bad reviews on forums

This is probably true for industries where a high level of service is expected or required. I think for commodity items it has little effect since buyers are primarily purchasing based on price. For every person that avoids a commodity site because of a bad review, I can find you another 99 people that do not care enough to avoid the site.

For a $7 order total, you really shouldn't be bothering the merchant about the order status. Wait at least four days for a shipment notification, especially if your order falls within a weekend. Now, if I paid $20 order total on the same product, then it would be reasonable to inquire within two days since you're paying more for better service you can demand.

ispy




msg:3122499
 4:11 am on Oct 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

"I would get to the point where I felt the only way to stop this person was to explode on them to scare them off, only to find that this is what that truly want to get even with you and cause you the emotional pain that they felt when their son didn't have his present in time."

There son was probably listening as they yelled on the phone about the gift, thus ruining the whole party. When he did get his gift the emotional turmoil connected with it probably gave him nightmares for weeks on end. When he grows up he will yell when he does not get his item, BUT.. he will wait only a couple hours then, not a couple days.

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