How To Deal With Customers Who Are (Unhappy) Jerks

How To Deal With Customers Who Are (Unhappy) Jerks

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Ouch. What a title. But it’s fitting.

I want to share this particular (real-life-this-week) email exchange with you between myself and a customer of mine.

I find it easier now, after three years in business, to have this type of exchange roll of my back, but it;’s still not easy. Especially when they don’t know you as a real person or perhaps even consider you as a real person. Being a part of an exchange like this can feel like a needle in your heart.


You ready?

Customer email

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at
customer wrote:
 “I still havent recieved Kombucha. It will be rancid by now….”

Our response:

 Subject: Re: Your The Whole Daily order from December 28, 2015 is complete – download your files
 Received: Saturday, 9 January, 2016, 2:06 PM

[customer name], Thanks so much for your email. We appreciate your concern and want to get you brewing as quickly as
 possible. All of our Xmas orders (from Dec 23-3 Jan) were to be posted on the 4th as we had the office closed, there was a note on the product description for you so that our customers were aware of this.  It was posted and is on the way, and should be in your gut-loving hands on Monday I imagine. It will not go rancid in the post. 
We appreciate your email. Alice. 🙂


Customer response

On 10 Jan 2016, at 4:34 PM
customer wrote:
 “thats fine, but monday is the 11th. Imagining it wont be rancid is
 not the same as knowing….”


Our response

Subject: Re: Your The Whole Daily order from December 28, 2015 is complete – download your files
Received: Sunday, 10 January, 2016, 8:27 PM

 Hi [customer name],
Thanks for your email. I appreciate your concern.

Your SCOBY is safe to travel and use for up to (and even over) three weeks. We ship overseas and have no issues with this. We have sent over 2,500 SCOBY’s globally!
I’m not sure if you have brewed kombucha before however the SCOBY doesn’t go ‘off’ or ‘rancid’ the way that, say, a vegetable or piece of fruit would if you posted it.
The SCOBY you receive is going to be in the right condition to brew your kombucha.

Customer response



Next customer email

“I finally got Kombucha. I have been attempting to download instructions. If the process IS realy simple why dont you include instructions in package for old no nerds like me.

I am losing patience with your method of selling. No phone contact is availabel.

If i dont get quick response I will send it back and DEMAND full refund……….”


Our response

Hi [customer name], 

I appreciate your email, thank you for you question. 
You would have received links to download your two eBooks (One with all your instructions) in the receipt of your purchase at the time of purchase.
I have attached them again for you here. Simply click on the name of the book and they will download for you to your computer. 
Kombucha Culture (instructions and information within) (note to reader)*product**
Love Your Guts (functional healing information and additional probiotic recipes)
I hope you have a wonderful day. 
Yours in health, 

I am well aware that when someone is unhappy or angry or treats another person with disrespect or lack of kindness for no apparent reason, that there is something going on within them that causes the behaviour.

Meaning, it’s not about me, it’s more about the person themselves.

In business, I sell physical and digital products and the way we send, pack and share the information that comes with them has changed slightly over time as we find a way to share our products in a way that the vast majority of our customers are comfortable and happy with!

At The Whole Daily – in either of my businesses – I’m happy to make exceptions and go outside the typical process to help a customer out. Every now and again we have a customer who doesn’t have an email account or even a computer, so I have been known to print 30 page eBooks for them so they can receive instructions. (aaah the ink cartridges alone! 😉 )

If they don’t have a Paypal account, I’m happy to share a direct deposit account number.

I do what I can as a single-person business to accommodate my customers as best as I can. 

I’ve had instances in the past where I felt attacked or affronted by an unhappy customer. It happens. It happens to companies with the best customer service in the world. It’s just a part of being in business. I’ve received threats of bad Facebook reviews for a product not arriving that was not even ordered through us, but through a competitor… the customer thought it was through us at The Whole Daily (true!).

I have missed posting an order here and there (out of over 2,600 physical orders), or Aus. post has lost some orders which did not have tracking and so in these instances we have either resent, refunded, or both! I am more than happy to wear a $7.50 postage fee if a customer has not received the service that they deserved. I LOVE my customers.

Then, every now and again, you get a customer who is actually a real jerk to you. And this week I had one.

I used to want to retort, retaliate and defend myself and my business. I recall way, way back, I probably did.

Now though the ONLY way I approach these ‘jerky’ customers is with kindness. It’s the only way I can leave the situation and feel like I’ve done the right thing. Regardless of the outcome, it’s my own integrity and actions that matter. And it’s the professional thing to do. 

I’m sharing an email thread with you that is 100% real and has occurred over the last week. You’ll note that all responses from me were well within 24 hours, at times on the weekend, and most of the time I responded within an hour.

Also note the actual product that was ordered arrived in 5 business days. (This seems to be Aus. Posts average for our orders currently).

If you’re in business, regardless if you sell a physical or digital product, you are going to experience customers like this. Don’t bite. Don’t join in. Don’t get low to their level.

While this is an exchange about a physical product, for digital products you will at times have to have a different course of action. You may need to respectfully let a customer know you do not want them as a customer, you may refund, delete, remove them from groups, or courses etc.

In this instance, do everything you can to be neutral, helpful and kind. You’ll be building your personal strength just as much as showing your professionalism in business.

Question: Have you ever had an experience like this? What did you do? 

comment below.


How To Deal With Customers Who Are (Unhappy) Jerks was last modified: January 12th, 2016 by Alice Nicholls



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