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The Five Types of Customers I Hate Most

May 10th, 2007 by shawn · 17 Comments


Today I’m kinda fed up. Not with you, dear reader. Not with anyone except for the five people who came my way today (obviously sent by satan or one of his minions).


These five people are all customers or potential customers at the e-commerce company I have a part in. We sell stuff on a website and it’s supposed to be pretty much straightforward: customer sees what they want to buy, adds to basket, pays with their credit card, and we send it to them.

Is it simple? Apparently not – to these people…

1. The luddite who calls me with their order. I’ll accept any order that comes my way, but I can not comprehend why someone would go to a website, pick out what they want and when it comes time to make the purchase, they hunt down the website customer service number and call in the order. It takes twice as long to call in an order. It’s not even a toll-free number. Why, I wonder, do they have a computer if they insist on speaking with a human (me)? It’s not any more “secure”. I have to input the order, so I end up placing the order just like they would: on the website.

2. The stone-ager who needs assistance in basic computer functions. My patience runs thin when someone calls us only to ask questions that actually pertain to how to use a computer. This shouldn’t be happening: it’s 2007. When they call me saying “Your web site isn’t working” and I ask “Which browser are you using?”, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to give me an intelligent answer. Instead I hear, “Umm…what do you mean ‘browser’?”.

3. The whiner who thinks return policies shouldn’t apply to them. You didn’t like the product? Fair enough. You want us to pay return shipping as well? And you don’t want to have to pay a restocking fee after you handled the product? Sorry, but we have a return policy for people like you. Receiving returned products that smell like your smoke-filled house and/or are coated with your cat’s hair just isn’t cool… We sent you a new product – you trashed it and want us to take it back, pay return shipping, and give you a full refund?? Are you smokin’ crack?

4. The old lady who asks me a specific question but won’t let me answer. Gosh, I really think you sound like a sweet old lady and you’re probably a swell grandma…but shut up for a second!!! You just asked me what size and color item number XZ102 is, and now you’re moving on to whether 6R-409 is weatherproof or not??

Me: “Um, yes ma’am that item will withstand tornadoes and mild hail –”

Old Lady: “What about this KC99 you carry? Do you have it in stock right now?

Me: “Yes, we do…now to answer your other question about the -”

Old Lady: “- because I was looking at one at a shop here in town – - are you located in Toledo?? Because I found your site by searching for -”

Me: “LADY!! Why are you DOING this to me???”

5. The procrastinating buyer who needs it NOW. Oh, you need this for a play that will be happening Wednesday evening? Two days from now? And you’re angry because you ordered the item last week and it won’t ship until tomorrow morning? Sorry man, but you ordered on a Friday afternoon – I know that was technically last week, but we don’t work all weekend. You’re gonna have to wait for your order to ship just like everyone else.

Okay, so maybe I sound like a whiney baby right now. I’ll get over it. But sometimes we deal with difficult people in business and it feels good to vent. Now, my comments on these people are a bit sarcastic, and I’m making a bit of a joke out of what I occasionally deal with.

But here’s the thing: as difficult as some people can be, when they become customers you just have to put up with them. Whether you work for someone else or you run your own business, your customers are the ones who ultimately give you a paycheck and you have to help them out.

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    Tags: Ecommerce · Running a Business




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    17 Comments

    Comment by ralph cippherattto
    2007-05-10 15:29:27

    Hey jackass you do realize your paycheck comes from these customers. You might want to check yourself.

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    Comment by mark
    2007-09-30 16:45:24

    hell yeah i work at a hotel and damn i hate stupid customers your right we get are pay checks dealing with them but is it just me or what but people seem to have no common since these days

     
    Comment by mark
    2007-09-30 17:10:46

    who ever wrote this comment is a jackass customer probably.

     
    Comment by Sheeraz Awan
    2007-10-03 16:32:26

    First of all I think you should be mindful of your language. Second, I agree paycheck comes from them but that does not give them the right to treat u like garbage. I have been in customer service myself, at two places actually, I am totally fedup. I am working day and night to get the hell out. People have no intelligence, common sense yet they want to be treated like a royalty.
    BS.

     
     
    Comment by Word of Mouth
    2007-05-10 15:35:18

    With an attitude like that, you’re business is sure to fail.

    The customer is always right even if they are jerks.

    Venting about stupid customers publically will only result in you losing future customers. WHo would want to do business with you after reading your comments about past customers?

    NO ONE.

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    Comment by Mozi Codo
    2007-05-10 15:39:05

    You have no sense of what customer service is. Please let us know which e-commerce site this is so we can avoid it.

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    Comment by Violent Acres
    2007-05-10 15:47:04

    Bravo! Good for you. Customers need to learn that they are *not* entitled to be assholes just because they want to buy something. Having money, and wanting to spend it, is *not* a blank check to be a fucktard. If you, as a customer, don’t like it, then FUCKING LEAVE. TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ELSEWHERE.

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    Comment by Ben There
    2007-05-10 15:47:38

    I got yer back on this. I talk to people on the phone a lot and it is easy to hate on them, even while repecting that the customer is king. I think this venting is good and healthy.

    My favorite is #4. I get that a lot. I get a lot of people trying to tell a life story while ordering, gets old. That and the people that think describing what they ordered is easier than telling me the invoice number.

    We all need to vent and customers are stupid.

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    Comment by zenfnord
    2007-05-10 15:47:46

    There’s no link to anywhere on this site about what businesses these people actually run, despite them giving out their useless info.

    My guess is that the grammar on their about page is correct, and self-employement is in the past tense for (this|these) tool(s).

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    Comment by Anonymous
    2007-05-10 15:48:05

    The customer is not always right. Fuck you for even thinking that you’re somehow better than them. They’re working for YOU, not BECAUSE of you. Get off your high fucking horse. If a customer is being a jerk, you tell them to get the fuck out.

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    Comment by Ronald Bond
    2007-05-10 15:51:25

    You are so right! The customer is NOT always right
    and sometimes they aren’t worth it.

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    Comment by beansworth
    2007-05-10 16:11:33

    In the information economy, the customer is always wrong.

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    Comment by shawn
    2007-05-10 17:51:46

    @ralph cippherattto, Word of Mouth, Mozi Codo, etc.

    This was more of a rant than anything: I DO realize that the customer is the one who pays my salary, but unless you have infinite patience it can be hard to deal with some of the more difficult people.

    @Ronald Bond
    You have a POINT – some customers are NOT worth it. 10% of the customers cause 90% of the problems, believe me…and the ones who complain the most spend the least $$. That’s probably a fact of most businesses.

    @Ben There
    YOU get it, Sir!! I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from.

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    Comment by inkyfingers
    2007-05-10 22:07:16

    Funny! I work in Sales and the tech sector, so I see shades of these folks all the time.

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    Comment by anan
    2007-07-03 19:02:58

    It is actualy smart to get rid of those 10 % of customers. If the get you problems send them to a competitor….

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    Comment by mark
    2007-09-30 17:06:02

    to back you up on these people hating on your comments think about this people most people working in customer service dont get paid that well either and have to deal with difficult people all day long so who cares if we want to vent its either that or going postal. #4 for real people call all the time wanting to change something on there reservation and tell me there life story…look just tell me what u want not everything leading up to why u need to change it. #5 this year the hotel has been busy and people call last minute wanting a room and i say sorry were sold out and guess what they get mad “ive been staying here for years and never had a problem getting a room” well sir there is nothing i can do im sold out try booking next year a little earlier.

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    Comment by shawn
    2007-09-30 18:07:06

    Applause to you sir for being able to put up with it, do your job, retain your sanity without going postal, and seeing the situation for what it is.

    I don’t get the people who moan and complain and things that don’t matter either by the way. Geez if you can’t get a room because the place is BOOKED then find another hotel! No one’s gonna die over it!!

    Hahaha thanks for the comments…

     
     

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