While business can be fun it’s best to know that you will face some challenges. All of the points in this section are claimed to have happened for real, so thank you to all of the online merchants who contributed these tales of woe. The section is meant to provide some light relief, but also prepare you, so when you face this sort of situation you can continue to behave totally professionally.
You get an email that asks: "Where is my order?" You check and check, and then learn that the customer actually bought from another site. Then there’s the person who sends an email with a request, then follows up with an increasingly threatening tone because you haven’t responded in minutes. Finally there’s the lady who sends an email with no subject line or message other than "Has my order been dispatched?" And of course, her email address doesn't match anything that you have.
An order is placed using a stolen credit card. The actual credit card holder calls up, explains that the charge was fraudulent, and you apologize and give them a full refund. A few weeks later you receive a chargeback for the same transaction even though it was refunded. Another person orders the same product twice, with the orders placed three days apart. However, the customer maintains that it is the merchant’s fault.
Look out for the customer who asks "Send me your catalog" even though you have stated you don’t have one. Then there’s the American customer who orders off a UK site, priced in pounds, then complains and issues a charge back because they weren’t charged in dollars. Then there are people who agitate because you didn’t deliver earlier than the time you have clearly stated on your web site. Again, you will find customers who live in a block of flats but don’t bother mentioning the flat number. Finally there’s the person who threatens you with legal action for non-delivery, only to find out that their secretary had taken the parcel and stored it away some two weeks earlier.
Remember, while some disgruntled customers are totally unreasonable, probably 98% of them they have good reasons for their behavior. Smart business people learn from customers. This short section is designed to help you raise your tolerance levels – before you are called on to use them.