Not to rant. Ok, yes, it's to rant. But seriously, these PEOPLE.
I'm not even going to go into details, but just let's say, in general, that rude customers deserve their own, right back. I've said it before, but they just won't give up.
I just had the rudest email from an ex-customer. I won't go into the back story, because it's longer even than is ok here.
Suffice it to say, I don't want their business, and I *may* or *may not* have implied this to someone who knows them, because they had him call me (poor guy) to ask me why they couldn't get through to me to place an order. (what is this, junior high?) I didn't name names, and neither did he. He simply said he had 'friends' who couldn't get through on my phone, and I simply said that yes, that could be true, and that sometimes there are people who we decide not to do business with, for various reasons; hence, I don't answer the phone for them. So, if they aren't getting through...there's probably a reason.
Ok, so I am totally going into the back story a bit, but you GUYS, this is SO annoying!!
I should also point out clearly here that...no names were mentioned. He didn't say who he was calling about (or for), and I didn't say who I was referring to, just "some people". So technically we weren't even discussing this actual person, except that he must have told them what I said, and they immediately jumped right to the conclusion that I was talking about them. Hmm. Now, why would she so quickly assume that I meant her and her husband, unless she already had it in her head that, yes, there had been a problem there. Why would you call a business back, when you already don't like them? So many things to wonder...
So this woman, who I'll call Barbara, which *may* or *may not* be her name, writes me a long email about how they weren't happy with our service or our product last year, (even though we took her 25% more for free, of what they had ordered, in an effort to bend over backwards and give them what they wanted, even though they GOT what they ordered, but I digress.) She said that she can't believe we would just 'decide we don't like her and that we won't do business with her' (I'm sorry...you lost me...what don't you understand about that?). Then she went on to say that she knows a lot of people, and you know the saying, a happy customer tells 10 people and an unhappy one tells 100 people.
It got me thinking (ranting, whatever) about some possible responses:
1. Dear Barbara--Well, if I count as #1, and your neighbor who called me counts as #2, you have 98 to go, so I'd get busy. It's exhausting, I know, because I just told 5 people what a hag you are, and let me tell you, I'm already tired of telling the story, and I'll probably have that martini earlier tonight. So, thanks for that.
2. Dear Barbara--Thanks for your promise to tell everyone about me. I promise to do the same, and I will tell all my vendor friends your name, address, and phone number and what a bitchy customer you are, so they'll be sure and watch out for you, too. Game on, sweetie.
3. Dear Barbara--Maybe it's just me, but if *I* told 100 people the same "horror story" about a vendor who 'told me they won't do business with me', I'm thinking that most of them would think a) you're obsessing a bit, or b) you must be a REALLY bad customer, if a vendor had to TELL you they won't work with you. Your mileage may vary, and of course, if the 100 people are your friends, they might just roll their eyes and go, oh, you know, that's Barbara for you. Always going off about yet another business who doesn't meet her standards.
4. Dear Barbara--Since you were too obtuse to get the message, when I didn't return your multiple voicemails, and I repeatedly finally actually had to answer and then hang up my phone on you, so you couldn't get through, and you STILL didn't get it. Yes, Barbara, I feel that sometimes people have to use words to convey a message. So read closely, and I'll keep the words small for you: I. won't. do. business. with. you. You know...free country and all...
6. Dear Barbara--Please do tell all your friends. If they're like you, we don't want their money either.
7. Dear Barbara--Seeing as how your friend who called only said he had "friends" who couldn't get through, and I simply said that yes, we do sometimes decide not to do business with certain people...I find it sort of...revealing...that you so immediately assumed I meant YOU. (The self-centeredness of some people-- really). I can only guess that this means you already felt that there was a problem here, so again, why would you so persistently try to order from us? Either way, the game is up. An email that rude can only do one thing: clearly reinforce the fact that I was right not to take your call.
8. Dear Barbara--Thank you for your expert analysis of my customer service, and for confirming that my gut instinct that you are a nasty, rude person to deal with was highly accurate--it's good to know I'm so insightful. I have blocked your email address, and I look forward to never hearing from you again ever.
9. Dear Barbara---I have signed you up for 10 times more of what you didn't like last year, for this year. We can deliver that tomorrow at 4 a.m. Your total is $3709.98. We accept cash and coin only, so if you could please be sure to go to the bank today and withdraw the exact change in bills, in denominations no larger than a $20, we'd appreciate that. Also the 0.98 needs to have no quarters in it. We will call you an hour and a half before delivery, several times, to make sure you're really awake when the dump truck arrives. You might also want to let your neighbors know, because a loud dump truck unloading at 4 a.m. is usually not what most people want outside their bedroom window, but we could call and let them know that you don't care what they think. That's just a service we offer, and they'll appreciate that you thought of them.
10. Dear Barbara--While the general intent of your message came through, albeit possibly without having the desired effect you were hoping for (laughing and blocking your email were probably not what you intended), I found the composition and punctation to be so lacking that it really made the whole email seem less...I don't know...cohesive. In the future, if you're trying to sound ominous and rude instead of immature and bitchy, please try and use periods and capitalization a little more often. Like, at all, really.
Thanks, dear reader, for listening.
I love that I can get all this off my chest somewhere besides just ranting to Shane about it, because it's his birthday today and Lord knows I don't want to be all, can you believe what this woman just said?!? right now while he's trying to enjoy his Day.
Seriously, though, I really, really, really DO think that, since customers get to go out there and use our (businesses) names, phone numbers, addresses, etc., to have their say, right or wrong, about what they think of our service, whether it's deserved or not, then we as businesses should have a platform where we can do the same. Post their name, address, phone number, maybe a picture, and let other vendors know...hey, this lady is a freak. Nothing you do will please her, so don't bother. She will only cost you aggravation, time, and money, and will then still write you a bad review. We could call it Velp.
And just for reference, dear vendors and customer service professionals--if you're getting these kind of customers in your face, and it's actually, truly just them (if it's you, then yeah, you need to work on that, but sometimes, they're just nasty because it's how they ARE), then here's a thought: You don't have to put UP with that crap.
People need to be made aware that if they scream and threaten and stomp their feet and act like a spoiled brat, then we can simply refuse to deal with them. There are people out there who actually pride themselves on being rude to wait staff, cashiers, clerks, etc., and this needs to stop. There are also people who plan to complain, so they will get free stuff while vendors bend over backwards to "make them happy" so they won't (God forbid) complain. Well, surprise--it's my phone, and if you yell at me and curse and condescend, I will absolutely hang up on you. Take that nonsense somewhere else.
I know, groundbreaking. Velp. Who's with me?