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This 62 message thread spans 3 pages: 62 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Customer entered obscene email addy
How to react

 1:22 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

A would-be customer entered an obscene and insulting email address in the form when ordering. Sometimes customers enter funny non-working email addys, but never one so insulting and nasty. I got so mad that I called him up and told him I would not fill his order and that I felt exactly the same way about him, only I used the words he used, and hung up on him. I have never sworn at a customer before. I voided the transaction and banned his ip address with Authorize.net. Yep, I was real mad.

He called and left a message claiming his "friend" had come up with this email addy and that he wanted to place the order. He called back again later, and then called the next day wanting to get a catalog (must have been prevented from ordering by the ip address ban). I always recognized his caller id so didn't talk to him. Don't want his business.

I am just wondering if others have had customers do things like this and if so how did you react? Just cancel the order? Ignore it? I know I over-reacted, but what should I have done?



 1:41 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Using bad language to any customer is never right, getting upset is also not worth the effort.

Just say his inputs have breached your offensive use policy, delete the order if you dont want it and move on.

Never get personal - it is just business.


 6:21 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Be a capitalist.... take his order.


 7:01 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

No dont take his order. He's used rude and abusive language without cause, this customer will be a nightmare to deal with, nothing will be right.


 7:23 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Considering that he's still willing to order after your kerfuffle with him I reckon that he really must need your product. Send him a civil email saying that you'll sell it to him for whatever it costs plus 20%. Don't say that in the email though, just put down the dollar amount. He'll probably go for it.

Think of the 20% as aggravation costs.


 7:37 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering how bad this email address could have been that you became so engraged. Did he curse out your mama?


 7:45 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

If he wants your product so bad, then he should have his "friend" order it. After all, this friend caused the whole problem in the first place.


 8:03 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you the only one in the world that sells this product?

After you swore at him, I would be hesitant about filling the order. Why would he want to buy from you now unless he was going to try and jerk you around after the sale.

That being said, I would have sold him the product initially and not worried about the email address. I certainly wouldn't have called him. Like someone else said. Its just business, not personal.


 8:22 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

The only thing that matters, is if the credit card is good.

Some people have different morals than you do.

Some people are so sick of email spam, they rather give a fake email address, and be very creative about it.

We always make the email optional. We figure the customer is smart enough to print off a copy of their order receipt page, rather than have it emailed to them.

You are in business to make money, not to judge other people.

Just take the money.


 8:47 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>The only thing that matters, is if the credit card is good.

Damn straight. Is the goal of your website to teach manners or make money?


 9:44 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I want to make money but I want to enjoy doing it and am willing to make less if I get more enjoyment and more of a connection with people. And most of the time, I do enjoy connecting with my customers, teaching and learning from them. That's partly the nature of my business, but it's also my nature, which shows on my site and in most of my products. And I get a lot of customers who compliment exactly that aspect of my biz, so I know it's also a good business strategy. I'll never be a millionaire, but I'm not working for the man, either, so that's okay. If that makes me a loser, well, I have never been a "normal" person, and I ain't gonna start being one now, lol!

I realize now I got so mad at this guy because of the skeev factor he represents. Years ago I did have a significant minority of skeevy customers on account of some of the stuff I sold, which seemed to attract them. I subsequently discontinued almost all of those items. This one just slipped under the radar. It is something that not many people sell, especially not at the price I have it for, and that's why this guy was so persistent. E-boy is right about this type of customer being the worst PIA.

Thanks everyone for your advice. I decided the real issue was the item, not the email addy, and so I discontinued the item as of today.


 12:51 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

We will not accept any CC orders without a valid email address, if they send cash we don't care what they write.

But there are a couple of places that we refuse to sell to, like PETA.


 4:10 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I encounter a rude person, I dont care if I loose their order and dont make the money. And I dont care if they go someplace else and buy at the competition. I will even tell them this occasionally, and I think this is a good business decision when it happens. I guess I am just stubborn as a goat.


 10:34 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

We always recommend one of our competitors for those people.


 5:42 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

You know, I just read in a book about business plans this morning that steering what it described as bad customers to your competitors is a good idea. Sounds good to me.


 6:03 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Id be mad if i had an order refused simply because you didnt like my choice of email address, thats my choise and as long as its valid it should be no concern of yours.


 7:16 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Refused business because of an offensive email address?

Wow, that's a first for me!

Was the address something like: b.gates@microsoft.com?

If so, you're totally justified. ;)


 8:07 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you really think you should be allowed to enter a bogus email address that is furthermore composed of obscenties? Well, that's fine if you want customers who feel that way about you, who start off first thing by telling you to go f yourself. If you like that sort of treatment, hey, more power to you. I don't. I choose not to serve a customer who has that attitude towards me. They can go shop somewhere else.


 8:51 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I choose not to serve a customer who has that attitude towards me. They can go shop somewhere else.

They'll probably end up going to a competitor who offers PayPal as a payment option. ;)


 8:57 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

So what? Morals differ. Some people would be outraged by "IEatBeef@example.com" (I don't, by the way). Who are you to judge?


 9:24 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>So you really think you should be allowed to enter a bogus email address

Maybe they are sick of spam, and they refuse to offer up a proper address. Plus they do not realize that your order process is not completely automated and you are going to read it.

I think you have to have thick skin in any kind of commerce these days. All I care about is getting paid.

Do you take it personally if somebody gives you the finger while driving? I dont, I could care less and usually laugh at them. I only have one life to live and I refuse to spend it worrying about the manners of other peoples children.

It could be because I drove a taxi on the nightshift for nearly 5 years and now very little upsets me.


 12:04 am on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

>We always recommend one of our competitors for those people.


I was trying to order some electronics components once and the form lost my info about half a dozen times. I lost my temper with it and put in B*****ation (has two 'g's in it) for my name.

Would you believe as soon as I did that it put the order through?

I never got any confirmation so I rang them up and they said they "didn't want to process the order because you put something rude on it". Well yes. Guilty.

I blamed my 'apprentice' and said he got upset because it kept losing his data. They put the order through OK after that.

I reckon though, its your business. I've always run my own business precisely so I can decide who to deal with and who is someone else's problem. Money alone is not a good enough reason for doing stuff you don't want to do. Unless its a lot of money.

Is there a price at which you will deal with this person? If there is, then thats what you charge him and he can take it or leave it.


 12:44 am on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

This was maybe 3-4 years ago, but we had one VERY annoying customer that just took up far too much of our time with constant (always unfounded) complaints.

We finally started billing him for "consulting fees".

He actually paid the first bill - and of course called up to complain, so we informed him that we were billing the time for his complaint at $75 an hour. Never heard from him again :)


 1:44 am on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

But there are a couple of places that we refuse to sell to, like PETA

PETA, is that a place or an acroymn for "People Eating Tasty Animals" :)


 2:49 am on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

HRoth- Do whatever allows YOU to sleep well at night. If that means telling the guy off and not filling his order, then so be it. Just because you sell products on the internet doesn't mean you have to sell your soul to do it. Life is too short to let people like this steal your peace of mind.


 4:58 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

We had someone do something similar a while back. It was a pretty bad "anti-christian" sort of thing. We refunded the payment through Paypal and included a note saying that we are a Christian, family owned business, we were offended and here's your refund. Never heard back.



 5:17 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Who are you to judge?"

I'm the person to judge because I'm the one he emailed. If he didn't want me to judge his email, he should not have sent it.

This jerk reminded me of a guy who used to haunt Usenet (remember that? oh the fun we had!) and do things like cancel people's posts while whining about how his freedom of speech was being denied. One time he emailed me to curry favor in some argument he was having, although I did nothing whatsoever to make him think I would welcome contact with him (nor did I attack him, though). The email return address he used was "noreplywanted@nowaynohow.com." This is how the guy acted when he wanted a favor. Can you imagine how he acted when he was annoyed? Idiot. Some people need a court-appointed guardian just to protect them from their own stupidity.

Same with this would-be customer. It says right on the form that they need to enter a valid email address in order to get a receipt. If he had a problem with spam, there is hotmail, yahoo, etc., etc., etc. He could have made up an email address that was not obscene. If he didn't want to use an email address at all, he could have called and placed his order that way. There's even a toll-free number for orders. But he didn't. Instead, he put in an obscene email addy so he could be nasty to someone he didn't even know. So fine. He got back what he sent out.

I'm glad I canceled his order. The only thing I regret is that I lost my temper.


 9:06 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

<This jerk reminded me of a guy who used to haunt Usenet (remember that? oh the fun we had!) and do things like cancel people's posts while whining about how his freedom of speech was being denied>

I remember that. Good old Hipcrime...what a pain!


 9:37 am on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Who are you to judge?"- you have every right to judge them by your own standards, if you dont youll see society slipping through the moral gaps this lack of judgement brings.

People will know how to get a way with things you dont like.

make a stand.


 9:59 am on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is up to you (at least in the UK) who you do business with. You were quite right to refuse to deal with someone who has been offensive without reason.

On a related subject - if you are able to process orders withuot an email address - perhaps you should mark it as optional and show an on-screen confirmation which they can print for those who ommit the address?

This 62 message thread spans 3 pages: 62 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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