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How To Lose a Customer Forever

How To Lose a Customer Forever

I bought something this month from an Ebay style of website called Mercari. I expected to get what I saw in the photos of the listing – pretty reasonable expectation, right?

It was supposed to be 3 identical items, which was exactly what I wanted and needed. Yet when I received them, there was one of the items I ordered and two that were similar but different. I was not pleased.

I left a review gently pointing out this discrepancy and stating that maybe the seller simply made a mistake. Certainly, it wasn’t intentional, right? I errored on the side of being nice and understanding.

That was a mistake.

The seller promptly sent me a scathing message letting me know that it was MY FAULT that I did not ASK them ahead of time if they were going to do something devious like switch out 2 of the 3 products.

Yup. You read that right. According to them it was my job to interrogate them on their intentions prior to buying, rather than assume they were upstanding business people who would do the right thing.

I found a couple of lessons here that I can use, and maybe you’ll find them helpful, too.

First, is there something I should be telling my prospects before they buy? Since I never want my customers to have a bad experience, what else do I need to tell them so that they’re not blindsided?

Second, how I respond to a customer’s complaint is everything. Had this person simply acknowledged they screwed up and apologized, I would still have felt fine about it. Stuff happens.

But to turn around and say it’s the customer’s fault for not catching them in a lie prior to the transaction, well…

Needless to say I have blacklisted them forever.


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