I really don’t like to do any sort of “non-positive” post, but sometimes it is just to much. I would love to have someone chime in below and hear their opinion after you read my rant, BUT, if you do not want to read a critical article on our faith, just skip this one and check out Blogger Small Group, James 2, for a less irritating post. My wife and I have been earning a living on the Internet for the last 15 years (current Amazon, see our Amazon store here, and our Amazon feedback here), so I can say with some confidence that we have had many thousands and thousands of customers over the years, and one group always seems to stand out to me. The Complaining Christian.
The Lost are Easier to Deal With, Really
I am not talking about some garage sale, few customers a week thing. We had over 10,000 individual feedbacks on eBay (meaning we shipped over 100,000 orders), and we currently work with about 100-200 new customers a week on Amazon. With this said, the most difficult customers, most complaining, disgruntled, and overall unhappy people turn out in the end to be Christians. WHY? I don’t get it, but I can tell you, I don’t want your business.
Inevitably after dealing with an unhappy customer I find out they are fellow Brothers or Sisters, and it is always over something really petty. And I am sorry to say, you homeschool moms buying A Beka books on Amazon, you top the list. (I have my own theory on the homeschool book issue but can’t get into that now.)
One Recent Classic eBay Example
The most recent was an eBay customer that was not happy with the selection of VHS tapes we shipped to her. I am not going to try the case here, but we always try to list as accurate a description as possible, and she received exactly what we said, then filed a credit card claim against us for shipping something “materially different”.
Usually this happens when someone doesn’t take the time to actually READ what they are bidding on, but the bidder will never admit to this no matter what, and then the ensuing emails begin.
After emails back and forth, with her accusing us of running an eBay fraud scam, purposely misleading bidders, and misrepresentation of everything, this was her final email to me, and the one that finally told me what I expected all along, she was a Christian (the CAPS are hers, not mine).
I HAVEN’T FILE A CLAIM AGAINST YOU I JUST TYPE WHAT I HAD TO SAY TO U AND I’M NOT A THIEF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M NOT GOING TO FUSS WITH YOU I’M GOING TO LET GOD DEAL WITH YOU AND LIKE YOU SAY OVER SOME LOUSY TAPES I JUST SAID I WOULD NEVER BUY ANYTHING ELSE FROM YOU U HAVE A GREAT LIFE ROBBING PEOPLE BUT REMEBER GOD IS WATCHING YOU
Nice. I hope God is watching me actually, thanks. Did I mention this was over a final bid of $10.51. This is a typical response I get from a fellow Believer when they don’t like the outcome. Yet, some of the nicest and easiest people to deal with are the lost. When this conversation first started, from the very first email, I told my wife, yep, here is a fellow Believer, guarantee it, you watch.
We are NOT in Business to Rip You Off
If you think I am ranting about some isolated incident, think again. Overall, our customers are happy. We kept a 100% positive feedback rating on eBay, and Amazon goes around 99%-97% (different system), so overall, our customers are generally pleased with the transactions.
But, there are always unhappy customers in business, no matter what you do. I have many that stand out in my mind over the last 15 years, and for one reason or another, what was most irritating about it is they were Christians. Over the years (keep in mind our products are generally under about $10/order), the complaining Christian has threaten to sue me, file fraud charges, contact the police, and overall rant about how we are just in business to “rip people off”.
I am going to write a piece in my business blog about the “rip people off” syndrome, but I had to personally address the Christian aspect of the topic, simply because it shouldn’t be this way.
We Should Not Be So Quick To Judge or Condemn
I say this for myself, not just the Complaining Christian. Should we not try to follow the example given out in Mathew 7:1-3. In business, I try to deal with people exactly how I expect to be dealt with, in a fair manner, with some expectation of intelligence on the part of the buyer (it’s assumed on the sellers part, to me).
I same “some”, meaning a basic level of understand of what you are doing at its most basic level when buying something on the Internet, like how to read and how the post office ships (i.e., we are not the post office).
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
We have not operated a business for more than 15 years just so we can steal from people. What this lady from today doesn’t realize is that most of what we sell on eBay right now goes to benefit a local missions store in town. But I shouldn’t have to explain this to her either, it shouldn’t matter, she should have the same response either way.
You Don’t Represent Me or My Faith
What I hate about the Complaining Christian is that they are examples of my faith as a whole body of Believers. We should be the happy-go-lucky people. We have the knowledge of the Truth. We should remember we are representing our faith to all those who see, and we don’t always know who those people will be. For the last 15 years this is something I have not figured out in business on the Internet. Why the Complaining Christian exists in the first place. Please, lets not be the Complaining Christian (TCC, I am going to deam it as). There are better ways to spend our days, our time, our money, our mental capacity.
There are certainly better ways for us as Believers to be effective witnesses?
PLEASE, chime in below and let me hear your comments on the subject.