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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?
Think of the 20% as aggravation costs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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 "firstname.lastname@example.org." 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.
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?