A Short Note on Difficult Customers

Sometimes on eBay you run up against an immovable object. With over a thousand items listed for sale at any time we are obviously going to make mistakes. In nine months we’ve sent the wrong item twice and had one complaint about quality. That’s less than quarter of a per cent.

We now have another complaint. With hindsight we should have expected it as the buyer asked for a discount before buying. We politely declined but he ordered anyway. We then had a letter of complaint telling us this was the worst lot he’d ever bought and various other things.

We offered him his money back.

He’s just replied that we’ve missed the point. He doesn’t want to send them back for a refund, he wants to struggle selling them and moan that the charity he sells for will lose money. He’s very keen to tell you he sells for charity.

There’s not much you can do to help some people.

Cynicism prompts me to suggest that his next note will contain a threat about negative feedback and another suggestion about discount. After all, he does sell for charity you know…

22 thoughts on “A Short Note on Difficult Customers

  1. Jodie Richeal

    As a freelancer since 1996 – I have learned to sniff out the problem potential clients right away. “It’s not much, it won’t take you any time.” ” I’d like a discount because . . .” “I need it right away.” All of these comments tell me to not even bid the job because it will be more hassle than it’s worth. Reasonable people know that things take time and things cost money. Unreasonable people are a pain in the arse (arse – Liam Neeson word – love him).

    1. quercuscommunity

      When I started up as a gardener I learned to recognise the same signs. My sister also lectured me on the fact that people who are a pain before the job is done tend to quibble about the bill afterwards too. šŸ™‚

    1. quercuscommunity

      This is my tactful reply –

      Dear Sir, Thank you for your letter. I’m sorry that you feel you have been shortchanged by the lack of a photograph. I would send you a snapshot to redress the balance but the owner of the shop won’t let me send them unless they feature at least three fingers, which my reply does not.

      Yours faithfully,



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