Keep in mind that any one that deals with the public will probably sooner or later have a few problem customers and will have had a few people trying to create problems for them. Some times it is just an honest differing of opinions. This is common and really not unusually a problem.
What can be a problem especially for some one that speaks their mind and gives honest opinions is, there are bound to be some disagreements, which in most cases does not amount to much, but every once and awhile some one has hard feelings.
On the other side of the coin there are some people that for one reason or another have hidden agendas and probably inferiority complexes and God knows what other life issues and some of these people purposely try to cause problems. Trust me it happens.
Note: For every jerk, there are usually hundreds of fair honest people, many of them may be friends. But there are always a few jerks around. Any one that deals with the public knows exactly what I am talking about.
Here is a story. I sell a lot of rough and equipment and occasionally there are some very dishonest people as well as some people with well… just personal issues. Some times competitors, some times just jerks with nothing better to do, some times dishonest people trying to pull some thing for their own gain.
Here is an example. Say that a customer bought some rough that was correctly advertised and priced. I might add as “Bargain” rough VVS to VS grade (included). This person liked a few of the pieces and sends the other couple back and asks for an exchange on some other “Bargain” rough pieces. This person even says they were happy with some of the rough and sends a link to cuts stones showing what they cut out of the original “Bargain” rough they were happy with and kept. The exchange is made with no problems and no cost to the customer except for a minor postage fee that was incurred when mailing the rough back to be exchanged. Also with the exchanged rough the customer asks for and is shipped some extra supplies, books, which there is postage on… The supplies are heavy and extras after all, they were not a part of the original purchase. Frankly the rough weighted almost noting and the majority of the postage was the new order of the books the customer requested with the return. Many months later this person with out ever having tried to return the second (exchanged pieces) of rough and never making any contact what so ever with the rough dealer is publicly saying he was cheated on the deal. In my opinion. This is nothing but lying slander.
Now this dishonest person knows that there is a fair exchange policy. This person after all has used the policy once with no issues. This person could easily have done so again and gotten a refund or exchange on anything they were not happy with. Instead this person chose to not do anything and make false accusations later. A lot later, over 6 months later. This person never contacted the rough dealer. Never tried to return the rough he did not like. Never did a thing to try and work with the seller. Now months later this dishonest person is saying publicly that he was cheated. Sounds like an agenda to me. How about to you?
There is a return policy, no questions, no problems. Any major rough dealer has one that is publicly posted and fair. Any normal intelligent person that is honest would gladly use the system and guarantee. This dishonest person did not even have the manners and honesty to contact the rough dealer for a return and refund which would have been granted. For that matter most major rough dealers (especially me) will try to work with any customer that comes to me with a problem.
So my question is. Who is getting lied too and lied about? Who is the cheater in this situation? It is pretty obvious the dealer is getting lied about and slandered. It is also pretty obvious that the dishonest customer has some kind of agenda.
Note: Even after 6 months when the dishonest person started making trouble, an offer of a refund was publicly extended. Which was rudely refused.
The customer in this case is being dishonest and frankly lying. This person knows perfectly well that they did nothing to inform the seller of a problem and made no effort to even apply for service and turned down a generous refund offer well after the fact. Why would some one do this? The only reason a person would NOT contact any vender and ask for an exchange or refund which is clearly guaranteed and been done by this customer with no problems before is because the buyer/customer has some kind of reason to want to use the issue as an excuse to slander and blame the seller for something.
What is my point? Well I have several. The first point I have here is that anyone that deals retail with the public will sooner or later have to deal with some jerk like this. Trust me they are out there. So if you are trying to be in business expect this kind of thing once and a while.
The second point is that some people have agendas for what ever reasons. So keep in mind that when you hear some one bad mouthing some one else… They may really have had a bad experience, or they maybe a jerk like I describe in this article. So take any thing like this with a grain of salt, do not believe every thing you hear. There are two sides to every story. You should hear both sides before making any conclusions.
The third point I want to make is. Every one can have a bad day. So until you learn otherwise it is usually a good idea to reserve judgment until you actually have had experience and personal proof of problems with some one.
The fourth point I want to make is that if I see a person/customer is going to be a problem, there are usually warning signs and as you get experience the signs get easier to spot (voice of experience). I generally tell them I do not want the business and that they should buy some where else.
I have had several people that I have told I do not want their business over the years and some of these people have become abusive (pretty much every one of them) and just nasty to me privately and publicly. When they do this… their behavior just confirms to me that I made the correct decision in the first place to tell them to go some where else. I have even had some of these people that I pointed to the nearest door (politely) go online and try to damage my business. So like I have said, there are some nasty people out there in the retail world, not a lot thankfully but there are some. There are a few people that I do not want to do business, neither does anybody else if they know how bad these people are, neither do you. So if I think some one is going to be a problem like I have described, I tell them I do not want to do business with them.
The point I am making here is that some times you have to just say NO. “Sorry I do not want to do business with you…” and realize that no matter what you do these types are going to be nasty, say bad things about you, and just be jerks. But look at the bright side, you can always show them the door… and say “sorry I cannot help you…” and be done with them at least from a business stand point. The best thing to do is be polite, show them the door and then ignore them if you can. If you have to say any thing publicly. Keep it short and polite. I usually say some thing like, “I simply choose not to do business with Mr. so and so, and that I have valid reasons for the decision and there are two sides to every story.” Then move on to some thing else that is more constructive to use your time on.
The last point here is that if you think you have a problem customer/person like this. My advice and opinion is. Do not hesitate to say “Sorry, I cannot help you…” Believe me, point them to the door as early as possible when you find out that for what ever reason you do not want to do business with them. It has been my experience that the sooner you get rid of them the better. Once things start to get bad they will only get worse. Save yourself the problems. So keep in mind that there are some people out there that are not honest and certainly not being truthful about their behavior or dealings with other people in business. As I have said most people are honest and fair in their dealings. But there are a few bad apples, so be aware they are around.