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The know-it-all customers

 7:33 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is going to sound like a Seinfeld bit... But what the heck is up with people that just refuse to listen to you? I have this happen all the time... I've been designing and building my products for over 10 years, and been doing it off and on as a hobby since I was a kid. I often get people that ask me the most crazy questions or have the most crazy ideas... I try to politely dissuade them from following through with their idea, explaining why it won't work... and it's like... in one ear and out the other. It's almost like they purposely distrust me... It's like, they want to do it their way MORE, because I say it won't work. I guess I could understand if I was trying to steer them towards something more expensive. But it's usually the OPPOSITE. They have some nutty idea that will cost a fortune, and I know it's not going to work, so I try to talk them into the right thing, which actually makes me LESS money... and they just won't listen. Then if you just give up and let them buy all the stuff, they get mad when it doesn't work and act like you never told them it wouldn't work.

Then I get the people who don't even want to buy anything, but just randomly email me to tell me why a product can't possibly work... The old armchair expert retired guys, that apparently have nothing better to do. The fact that hundreds of people have bought a product and have no problem with it, doesn't seem to change their opinion that it can't possibly work.

Crazy people out there.



 8:01 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just had a crazy customer the other day. He bought then quickly demanded a refund with the attitude that I had just violated his daughter. He filled a complaint with PP and told them I am selling "nothing" and he shouldn't have to pay for "nothing" (Huh?) which is completely untrue. He is now threatening to file his false complaint to the BBB (I am a member). As much as you'd want to issue a refund, this guy presents a challenge to turn him around. We'll see...


 8:14 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lol! The know-it-all customers even have a certain tone of voice you can identify immediately. Mine always start out with, "I just LOVE your site, it is SO impressive, you know SO much, I KNEW I wanted to talk to you..." and then they say all kinds of stupid stuff that shows they have no idea what they are talking about but they are so certain that they do. I will try a little to talk them out of something stupid and expensive, but if they show the slightest resistance, then I just say, "Okay" and feel like those guys in those old movies yes-dearing their wife while they read the paper. :)

There are lonely folks with enormous gobs of time on their hands who are determined to make even the most trivial phone call worth their while. Sometimes I get very interested in someone's life story. In my line of work, you get to hear some real doozies, I can tell you. But mostly people just want to gab about trivialities or worse, politics, which makes me want to puke. I just say, "I'd love to talk, but I have all this work I have to do..." It works.


 9:40 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Motto: Never talk to the wife about something her husband purchased. Insist on talking to the individual who placed the order.


 10:10 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just had a crazy customer the other day. He bought then quickly demanded a refund with the attitude that I had just violated his daughter. He filled a complaint with PP and told them I am selling "nothing" and he shouldn't have to pay for "nothing"

Maybe his other personality ordered it. :-)

I had one a while back... This guy would periodically email me with odd comments. He would just say something like... "You know, this would be better if you sealed it... It stops working every time it rains". I would be like... Uh, OK. Then say... Well, actually it IS sealed. No response. Then a few months later he would come up with some other crazy thing. Eventually he got the idea to take two of my products, combine them together, and get twice the performance. This would kind of be like thinking having a gas tank twice as big, would make your car go twice as fast. I dissuaded him from doing it, as I explained that it wouldn't really give the results he expected. A year later he put up a youtube video, claiming that he had built something himself that worked great, and that my product didn't do anything at all in comparison. The same exact product he wanted to buy a second one of just the year before that. I don't know why you would want to buy an item a second time if it didn't do anything.

I'm sure we all have a million stories like this.


 11:09 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think we've all had the know-it-all customers. I love the know-nothing customer. He calls every day with a another question about a particular item. At some point he should know more than enough to make the purchase, but he never does. Sometimes I think those guys are just lonely.


 11:45 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I get those kind of folks I send them to my competitors... "You may be right. XZY makes a similar product. Might do what you want."

Life is too short to deal extensively with buffoons.


 5:56 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Around here, we all but swear that it HAS to do with the lunar cycle. Along with the know-it-alls, there are of course the "I've got more experience than you do" and the "Here's how your company should be doing it". My mental response to them is "well, when you start your company, you can do it your way. Until then, we know more about our company and market than you do, so we're doing it our way." Had we tanked and been unsuccessful in the market, I might be more open to input, but that's not the case. Oh, and toss in the non-readers.

Customer: I love this product, but don't see that it's available in blue. Is it available in blue?

US: No, it's not available in blue.

Customer: Thank you for your reply. Can I get it in blue?

Sometimes I just don't know what to think.


 6:10 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I know all about this kind of customer.

Our core business is a product this company has been manufacturing for 90 odd years. So you would think we know a thing or two. But many times a customer just refuses to take our advice or think they can do it better or cheaper than we can.

We call them "MacGyvers". As in "MacGyver on line 6".


 11:58 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Around here, we all but swear that it HAS to do with the lunar cycle

You might be onto something there... I have noticed they do seem to come in waves. I've been going back and forth with another one the last few days. I feel like asking him if he's retarded, because I can't explain how a person can think the things this guy thinks without being. Plus, I've told him three times we don't offer something he wants, and he just asked me to give him a quote for that very thing again.


 6:47 pm on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yep funniest thing that happens to me is... I work in a specialised area - the law relating this to subject is often medieval in origin and you have to have a detailed knowledge.

I frequently get defence (!) lawyers ring me, the prosecution, and ask questions relating to the case, points that are so basic and simple I wonder how they ever qualified.... then they say you cant do that.

I did have an ecom customer track me to my home and ring m on my home phone number with a complaint.


 5:53 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

he just asked me to give him a quote for that very thing again.

Perhaps he is located in Africa and its really just a spam/scam emailer.


 6:49 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

No, he's just stupid. After going back and forth a dozen times and finally giving him a quote... He of course disappeared. Zero sold.


 7:18 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I went a few more rounds with a wacky customer in a PP dispute, then finally just refunded his money. Sometimes it's not even worth the time, effort and aggravation.


 12:35 am on Nov 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

We have a lot of stupid people stories for reservations.

Customer makes a reservation request for 3 nights for a double room.
Us: We're sorry, but the hotel is fully booked the first night. Would you still like to make a reservations for the 2nd and 3rd nights? Or make a reservation at a different hotel?
Customer: OK. Can I have a twin room for the first night, then switch to a double for the other nights?
Us: No, the hotel is fully booked the first night. They only have rooms available for the 2nd and 3rd nights.
Customer: OK. Then I will take a deluxe double room for the first night and a standard double for the rest of the stay.
Us: The hotel has *NO* rooms available the first night. They are fully booked that night. The hotel has so many people on the waiting list that they refuse to add anyone new to it. Do you still want a room for the last 2 nights?

No response.

A few days later, we get a request for the same hotel, same nights, same name, same e-mail address.

I swear something like this happens probably once a month! (And no, it's not the same mentally challenged person.)


 9:33 pm on Nov 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

But we love them all !


 10:28 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually while reading this post I got a crazy customer on the phone. Sometimes I wonder how these people are able to even get out of bed without some calamity. You just got to laugh at them.


 10:54 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oh.... might as well throw in a "stupid customer service" or "know it all staff" story....

Call the local hotel number to make a reservation, need handicap accessable room.

Staff: you have to call the 800 number to do that.

Me: The staff at the eight hundred number say they can't make that arrangement and that I have to call the hotel directly.

Staff: We don't take reservations here at the hotel, you have to call the 800 number.



 10:59 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually, we work with a few hotels like that- the reservations office is completely separate from the hotel (different city). At one, the reservations office is closed on weekends/holidays. So if someone tries to make a reservation over the weekend for a same-day check-in, there's nothing we can do (the hotel won't honor the rate we negotiated with the reservations office).

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