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Is it just me with the stupid customers?

Complain, they get what they want and don't take it!

     
9:17 pm on Apr 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The biggest complaint I receive from my customers is my shipping costs. I've even had a lady do an order recently and enter in her "Special instructions" box:
Shipping should be free. I Will be checking my Visa statement for the balance.

(at this time I was not offering free shipping!)

Recently I shut my shopping cart down while I moved my VPS account to a dedicated (I know the DBs can be resynced, but this is just the way I like to do things)

On the cart page that was turned off, I posted a notice that if you are from the USA you can get free shipping; only pay the subtotal of your order, and that this offer was only valid during our transition.
The only catch being they had to send a manual payment through PayPal. (ATM PayPal is all I accept for credit cards)

Only one person took advantage of this.
The second I put the cart back online I began receiving my normal amount of orders. What gives?

9:30 am on Apr 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like some interesting data.
So what I have learrned from your experience is,
although people prefer free shipping,
the importance of an easy checkout with a credit card,
far out weighs free shipping.

I have seen the same reaction when we have used shopping carts with to many checkout pages.

9:36 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Apparently one should never ask customers to do something manually.

We've had more than one customer who did not answer a question we asked by email because we did not provide a clear-cut link to a structured website form. One actually complained that we failed to give instructions on how to "reply" as per our request that they please reply with the information.

1:08 am on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Did you know that there is a whle subset of the population out there which views PayPal with extreme suspicion and paranoia?

Some even go out of their way to bash the service for one reason or another.

3:01 am on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Last week we had another one. They ordered Express Shipping which is ridiculously expensive. We shipped it on a "day off," when the business is normally closed (publicly posted.) On receipt of the package she said that the post office told her we would have saved a whole three dollars if we used an Express envelope instead of our branded box. The product would have been damaged in an envelope.

We charged $21.50, the actual shipping cost to us was $19.90, overall it breaks about even (if you figure 50 cents an hour for our time prepping the package. :-) ). She wanted a "voucher."

I guess the bottom line is they can't see what we're seeing, just roll with it, say thank you, and not worry about it.

8:41 am on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We had a customer order after 12 on a Sunday evening (monday morning) with next day delivery. He then went off on one when it wasn't at his place by 8am monday a mere 7 1/2 hours later.
11:40 am on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've posted this before, but it remains my favourite:

Two email one after the other in the inbox.

First one complaining bitterly that the courier had left a parcel with their neighbour when they were out.

Second one equally incensed that the courier hadn't left a package with a neighbour when they were out..

I just remind myself there are lots of nice customers as well, but it's the nutters you remember years later...

3:26 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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And it seems like the customers that make the smallest purchases are the ones most prone to complain.

We sell items that can range up to $5000++ in price, yet 3/4 of the complaints we get are from those buying $5-$20.

3:41 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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First one complaining bitterly that the courier had left a parcel with their neighbour when they were out.

Second one equally incensed that the courier hadn't left a package with a neighbour when they were out..


At least you didn't get a 3rd message from someone even more incensed that you were having his neighbor's packages left at his (complainer's) house! :)

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 3:42 pm (utc) on May 2, 2008]

6:47 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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E-com is certainly an interesting people-watching experience. most customers are great, but sometimes you'll see them at their worst. I suppose money will do that to *some* people.

Also, since you are a business, I think that *some* customers will think that you OWE them and that you NEED their business to survive, so they'll push as far as they can. Then again, *some* people are just pricks.

7:26 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"And it seems like the customers that make the smallest purchases are the ones most prone to complain."

Definitely!

9:03 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Very often an arrogant customer can be won over with a fast email that addresses his/her gripe.

Common reply from them: "Wow, a real person that actually listened to my complaint!"

3:00 am on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There are really some really rude people out there.
That's just the way the world is.
The ones I watch out for are the pushy or rude ones trying to get something for free.
I just laugh with them, sorry no freebies here..
Just make sure you have your terms and conditions of business posted and that you follow them like the law..
6:03 pm on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There are really some really rude people out there. - Yep and Ive been in trouble with employers because ive told people not to speak in a manner that 'demeans and belittles me'. The world is full of weirdos.
12:14 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Did you know that there is a whle subset of the population out there which views PayPal with extreme suspicion and paranoia?

Some even go out of their way to bash the service for one reason or another.


Yes! That is why I mentioned once my site went back online, the regular amount of purchases received continued.. dead silent throughout the switch when the free shipping was being offered.

Very often an arrogant customer can be won over with a fast email that addresses his/her gripe.

You either win them over or it gives them more ammunition to flame. I've encountered types that get more rude with the faster replies. (Guess they think they're my only customer?) If I end up with one of these I give them a day to cool off before replying.
12:30 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You either win them over or it gives them more ammunition to flame. I've encountered types that get more rude with the faster replies.

More often happens is that they make threats or threaten PR and end up speaking to a manager who has the power to give in to some of their demands in order to make them go away. So its more like buying them back, rather then winning them back.

This is why many complain in the first place.

3:33 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Some you can never please. I used to get quite a few emails from people trying to get information for free that I normally sell for $11.95. I got real tired of the nasty emails I got back when I would respond to their requests that we were a "fee for service" business.

I thought I'd get around it by putting a links page together of sites that would provide the same service for free and charged $1.39 to access it. Now I get emails from people complaining the sites listed are slow to respond to their requests ;~)

3:47 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I thought I'd get around it by putting a links page together of sites that would provide the same service for free and charged $1.39 to access it. Now I get emails from people complaining the sites listed are slow to respond to their requests ;~)

From time to time we will get an email or call that goes something like

"we can buy it cheaper at example.com"
- Then why don't you buy it there?

After that there seems to be a stock set of replies:

"they don't have any more for sale"
"they charge twice as much for shipping"
"they don't answer their phone (or email)"
"the last time we bought from them they sold us the wrong product"

7:38 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Usually if they contact us about a problem we can be the solution and they are probably not used to that happening.
If there has been a misunderstanding we try to help out even if it is to our detriment.
Some of these difficult customers are now our best customers and they're as good as gold.
9:59 am on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Another annoying habit, and this mainly comes from Swamp donkey type females with thuggish looking boyfriends standing teh back ground, is to ask shed loads of questions very quickly.

Then refer back to the first answer and slightly change what you said to give your answer another meaning.