Sunday, July 3, 2011

Why do people think they can be rude and nasty and that's okay?

I run an online business.  Pretty much by myself...I run a "brick-and-mortar" retail establishment, and associated online e-commerce sites.  I have two employees at my store, that help with the shipping, but otherwise, I do everything myself for the online businesses, and it takes up 10-12 hours every single day, no days off, including holidays or vacations.  I am answering emails and taking care of issues on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and like this weekend, July 4th.  I have a yearly vacation to Disney World every December, but spend 2-3 hours every day working while on vacation.
So why is it that people who make purchases online think that they can be rude and bullying, claim they receive a damaged item and threaten me, yet refuse to even send a simple picture of the damage for my records.  I'm not even asking that they send back the original item, and yes I realize the post office is fabulous at destroying items and not so great at actually delivering them...I understand that items arrive damaged.  Am I so unreasonable for asking for a picture of the damage before I take money out of my pocket and my family's mouth to send a refund or a replacement?  Lately the people claiming damaged items refuse to send pictures or return the item...and my gut reaction is, well then you must be trying to scam me.

I am all about karma - what goes around, comes around - and "do unto others".  Lately it just seems that everyone wants something for nothing...and last month, those people cost me so much money that I couldn't pay my bills.  The post office "lost" two boxes containing over $2800 in product, but multiple calls to Consumer Affairs, the Postal Inspection Agency (for which I was "scolded" for even daring to call their number), three US Congresspersons, three postal station masters, all yielded NOTHING except the reply "we show they were delivered"...and that's the problem, they WEREN'T delivered, yet even filing a police report did nothing.  Last time I checked, taking mail not addressed to you is a federal offense, and theft of more than $500 is a felony...yet no one did anything, and the replacement came out of my pocket.

I know that the internet gives some level of anonymity, which tends to make people braver (or ruder) than they would be in person.  Every single day this last week I've had at least one buyer chew me out because they had the wrong shipping address in their information, the item got shipped to that address, and after shipment I read an email asking me to change the address...reading emails and doing shipments are two separate events.  I don't necessarily read emails until late at night, but shipping is done as soon as possible, because God help us if we don't ship someone's order within minutes of receiving their payment!  So apparently it's my fault that they failed to fix their address before finishing their purchase - are people in this country that illiterate or just plain stupid?  Or do they just think that by yelling loud enough that I'm going to cave in to their demands?  There is zero personal responsibility for anyone anymore - they always blame it on someone else.

I'm always polite and factual in my replies, never stooping to their methods of name-calling and threats.  I will remain so, but I'm sick of giving into their demands in fear of receiving a bad review when I don't believe there was anything wrong with the product or my service to begin with.

For those of you out there who think you can get a free handout, and you know who you are, by yelling and complaining loudly, and making false accusations, just know that there are those of us in this country who are sick of the whole's become an epidemic in this country, and we aren't going to be bullied any longer.  Yell and scream and bitch all you want, my answer is no more...I am very clear in my online policies, and if you don't think I won't stick to them just because you want to try to bully me, think again.

For the bigger picture, our country is tired of the bullies on the east coast, west coast and in DC - we "slope-headed middle Americans in the fly-over states" outnumber you greatly, and we aren't going to take your bullying any more....oops, went slightly political on that one...but it's all the same no matter what level.  A bully is a bully...and we're not gonna take it anymore!  (Gotta love Twisted Sister!)

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