Please Don't Buy Anything From Me
by Tim Knox
Copyright © 2005
This has been an interesting week. My company has thousands of customers around the world, so my team and I are used to dealing with customer support issues and do everything possible to make sure every customer gets exactly what they paid for.
And 99.999% of the time our customers are extremely happy.
Then there is that other .001%...
This week I had one customer threaten to
Another said that if she
And still another sincerely hoped that I "burn in Hell for all
What did I do to deserve these threats?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Why then are these people who I assume are otherwise nice, normal human beings wishing me such ill will?
Here's the full story...
It's because they ordered something from one of my websites and
That's it. An email didn't reach their inbox.
And being human, which is the most suspicious and non-trusting
All because they didn't receive an email.
And was it my fault that they didn't receive the email?
Nope, not at all. My entire system is automated and works like a charm.
Did they take the time to logically think about the possible
Did it ever occur to them that the blame might lie in their own email filters or their ISP's filters?
Did it ever cross their mind that the email might just be sitting in their spam folder (as was the case in each of these examples)?
Nope, instead they decided - within MINUTES of clicking the buy
And do you think it ever occurred to these good, decent folks to
Nope and nope again. That would have made too much sense.
Do you think they took the time to read the long explanation on
Nope,nope, and nope.
Instead, they somehow found my personal email address and started
Let me tell you, nothing warms the cockles of your heart (did you know your heart had cockles?) like
So this leads me back to the beginning of my story.
Please Don't Buy Anything From Me...
At least until you read the rest of the story...
First, let me explain the mechanics of online ordering.
When you come to one of my websites and click a button to
The entire process is instantaneous and automated.
And it works
It is when my system attempts to deliver the email to the
It's estimated that only about 25% of emails get past ISP spam
Especially if the recipient uses a free email system like Hotmail,
And many ISPs, namely AOL, Comcast, Cox, Earthlink, and Juno,
Of the 25% that the ISP actually lets through, the user's email program filters out another 3/4 of those.
So every now and then an email sent by my system does not end up
And when that happens most customers are sane and polite and simply
Then again, some customers immediately think that they have been
People. Gotta love 'em...
So the next time you buy something from me or any other reputable online vendor and the email doesn't
If it is, problem solved. Put your pitchfork away.
If it isn't, don't blow your top and start sending death threats.
Just politely ask that it be sent again.
Email is an imperfect medium.
Remember that the next time you threaten to shoot, strangle, or
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