How Not to Give Good Customer Service

I buy online all the time. Most of my supplies I buy on etsy/ebay/websites – even ravelry on occasion. I occasionally buy locally in real shops but not often.

I rarely get bad customer service. I order, I get whatever-it-is a few days later and it’s what I expected to get. If there’s a query about something, I get an answer. If I feel I need to give some kind of feedback, I give it and have a conversation with the seller.

But sometimes, sellers think they know better than a buyer (and sometimes they do) but even if as a seller, you think your buyer is wrong, stay polite, communicate and acknowledge that someone has a differing opinion to you.

So here’s my to do list to NOT give good customer service:

1: Make sure to go on and on in your listings or on your website that you are just starting out and that you aim to give perfect customer service – make sure that this part of the listing for the product is longer than the description of the product.

2: Surprise your customers – don’t let them know when orders have been sent – after all, they already know what’s inside, so they need something to get excited about.

3: When your buyer emails to ask if the order has been sent, tell them they should have told you it was needed before you went on holiday for 3 weeks. Even if they order before your published cut-off date. (And see #4)

4: Make sure not to reply to your buyer’s email until after you figure they have gone out and bought a replacement.

5: If they ask about combined postage, give them a 1500 word essay about Royal Mail. After all, buyers think the postman is the everyday version of Father Christmas and don’t realise you have to pay for the service. Or how to check prices for themselves.

6: Use enough tape on your parcels to wrap around the equator twice – after all that plastic mailing sack that usually takes scissors to open might dissolve on the way to your buyer, who cares if your customers need dynamite to open it? Make sure to not leave a mm uncovered.

7: Refuse to admit there might be a problem with your product and blame the customer. Tell them that you’ve had ‘lots’ of happy customers – and don’t forget the smiley…. (see #1 again)

8: Don’t reply to feedback from your customers, after all, they are always wrong.

9: Make sure to assume your buyers aren’t also sellers so then know nothing about anything to do with selling or shipping.

10: What’s your favourite ‘How not to give good customer service’ story? Comment below and I’ll pick the best one to win one of my ruffle scarves in your choice of colour!

I suppose I should be grateful I didn’t get a busted sofa delivered at 4AM like the woman in the Daily Mail…..


4 thoughts on “How Not to Give Good Customer Service

  1. Oh dear, I could go on and on here…… Currently not impressed with my hosting people (Mr Site) who have decided apparently to change all the log in details for their customers. They swear they’ve sent me an e-mail but it’s obviously gone via Timbucktoo…… And, at work, having dreadful problems with the car hire company we have to use – they really don’t seem to understand that we are the customer…..! And (see what I mean, you’ve started me off now…..!) our local Greggs bakers give dreadful service – the only reason people go there is because their sandwiches are lovely – just not their staff!

    1. I know exactly what you mean! Once you start, you can’t stop remembering bad customer service. I remember being told once that when someone has a good experience, they tell 3 people; when they have a bad experience, they tell 43. I can believe it!

  2. I’ve had a bad time of it recently. When I received a couple of pendants that were not like the photographs (different pattern on one, deeply pitted metal on the other) I emailed and said they were not like the photos and could I swap for ones that were like the items pictured? I received a reply saying that I should be receiving the items soon as they posted them 10 days ago. I replied that I had indeed received it which is how I knew the items were not suitable. The reply was “send it back for a refund and I’ll send you new ones – but I’m going on holiday now for a month so you’ll have to wait until I get back”. I said OK, but you don’t have an address listed for me to send it back to, can you tell me the return address?”. The reply was “OK” and that was the last I heard from 2 months ago!

    1. If you paid through paypal, you should have put a claim in as ‘item not as described’ and gotten your money back. Always make aure you do your best to get a resolution you are happy with. I’ve called people out on not following the DSR’s, on sending shoddy goods, and you can always call Trading Standards, or whatever they are calling themselves these days for advice and help.

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