I ordered a $15 Firewire cable for a new video recorder. I ordered the wrong cable as it turns out. Interestingly this order was placed by an affiliate of Amazon and when I tried to ask if I could exchange it a few e-mails went unanswered.
A few weeks later Amazon sent me a survey asking me if I was satisfied with my order. My response was that the vendor didn’t respond to my two e-mails. I didn’t realize my response was now posted online, permanently.
Guess who called me a few days later. The vendor. They credited my card for the cable purchase and told me not so ship it back (for some reason they couldn’t exchange it) and asked nicely if I would have any issues removing my post now.
I tried to remove the post but couldn’t figure out how to do it. The vendor scrambled and it seemed like the whole company was researching how to do this. After a while they sent me detailed instructions on how to remove feedback (at my request).
This is amazing to me as I saw in action that a company not providing customer service to a $15 customer (granted I spent a thousand plus dollars on the video camera the same day I ordered the cable – just not from them) can break a company if you don’t provide good service.
I feel terrible that I cost this company business but at the same I marvel at how powerful the Internet can be. I wonder if there is a “pen is mightier than the sword” analogy for the Internet. Is it “The Internet is more powerful than the lawsuit?”
The whole incident amazes me and should teach us all that selling products in a world where there is an Internet – whether you sell online or not is very dangerous. You can’t take even your smallest customer for granted as sometimes these are the customers who can break your reputation.