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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Small Businesses Are People Too...

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A friend of ours who runs a small drapery wrote us an email to vent about a particularly nasty client of his. The woman was referred to him by a friend.  She insisted on meeting early in the morning, so to get to her house at 10am in LA traffic, my friend has to leave his office at 8am.  He spent a couple of hours the night before picking out fabrics for her.  Once he got there, she proceeded to tell him that she only wants to have someone measure the windows for her so that she can buy the window treatment over the Internet.  Mind you, she wants to have the measurement done for free! 

Another friend of ours owns a restaurant in San Francisco.  We don't know if you know, but this is a particularly trying time for the restaurant business.  Our friend is struggling to survive.  At any rate, there was this group of four young guys.  They ordered a noodle dish and the dish had a tiny thread (that was used to tie the dry noodle together).  My friend apologized and made a new one.  When the check came, they demanded that the whole meal, including 2-3 bottles of wine, be comped!  My friend explained that that is not possible, but she would comp them for the appetizers.  They proceeded to stomp off and left the waitress no tip.  Then wrote a Yelp review about it.

One recent customer of ours ordered $4000 worth of merchandise, then proceeded to cancel/return/refuse 80% of them, leaving us with restocking fee, shipping fee and opened merchandise that we now have to salvage. 

Which leads us to the question, is common decency dead?  Do people feel that merchants exists to be abused and used?  Is common courtesy only goes one way-from the merchant to customers but not the other way around?

If a customer experiences bad service, and we have many times ourselves, there are many outlets they can vent to.

Yet if a merchant gets used/abused like this, all we can do is vent privately.    Yet the same customers will go elsewhere and repeat this deplorable attitute to other businesses.  Most small businesses that we know, especially retail/restaurants are working fingers to the bone to survive day to day.  Having this type of customers just kill us.

We wish sometime that people understand that businesses are people too.

PS We do have a lot of many good and amazing customers that we just love.   To them, we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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