A Shield of Bombast on A Field of Pomposity

I was in a meeting with some of my top clients in Miami and received an email from someone who had put through an order for a $50 book, hadn’t received a download in 24 hours, and wanted to know where it was. I responded during a break that it would be sent within the day.

Then I noticed I also had a voice mail from the same person with the same request. I returned that call and explained the situation in the same way. This $50 book had now cost abut $1,000 of my time, but that’s okay, I’m not in the book business.

I did this for him without charging him, which isn’t a good practice, but he was in a hurry. Today, his credit card number turns out to be invalid! I thought that was pretty hysterical, and sent him an email to that effect. He wrote pack paragraphs, lecturing me on my poor service, pontificating on how I should improve, and suggesting that his card number was right but I had entered it wrong! On top of that, he told me I shouldn’t have a manual system, should use PayPal, yada yada yada. I’m sure he wouldn’t approve of my toothpaste, either.

I told him to keep the book on me, I wasn’t charging him, and his self-absorption was taking all the oxygen out of the air. How pompous do you have to be—are there grad courses in bombast—that create this attitude of outrage over minor matters, insistence that others do things that suit you alone, and create the permission to lecture people as if they’re your inferiors, even though you’re buying their products?!

Richard, try reading my books before you complain about them.

PS: The only really annoying complaining customers I’ve ever had are those who make very small purchases. I’ve never had poor experiences with people paying $10,000 to $100,000 with me, or with firms paying $100,000 to $250,000 with me. Go figure.

© Alan Weiss 2015

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