Friday, January 11, 2013

the one percent

In November I had my very first bad customer experience. It shook me to my core, made me want to give up what I do, made me feel so terrible, and gave me anxiety at night.

I've been torn about writing about it on the internet.

But she plagued not only me, but my husband, my other customers and a fellow etsy seller. So I'm telling my story.

On a Saturday afternoon, as my husband and I were out enjoying the day, I got an etsy message from a buyer that was interested in a "Little Red" doll. I messaged her back saying I didn't have one made up, she would have to order a custom doll, and could I please get back to her on Monday- I don't work on the weekends.


I got back to her on Monday and we started to plan. She was very picky, very demanding, and kind of rude. It was the week before Thanksgiving, I had other orders to get finished before we flew home. I wanted to get her order sent out before we left because it was shipping to France and it was a Christmas gift for her mother.

On Wednesday she messaged me asking if I would ship using registered mail instead of Priority, it was cheaper. And please refund her the difference asap. I said no, I only ship Priority, we agreed on the shipping method and price before you agreed to pay for the listing.


She demanded that I fully refund her money since I never explained that to her. I said no way, it's a custom order that I've been working my ass off to get finished to send it out in time. She said that I was not like "normal" etsy sellers that offer registered mail (not true) and that I shouldn't of charged her in full anyway, all the "professionals" only charge a deposit.

(Have you ever, in your life, only paid a deposit on an etsy order? Especially for a custom one?)

Then 5 minutes later- "If you don't refund my money now, I will open up a case against you on etsy and paypal."

At this point, I was elbow deep in stuffing, and in tears. I was frantically reading all of the etsy policies seeing if I was in the wrong, if she could legitimately open up a case against me, etc. I called my husband in a panic.


He said "Just refund her money."

Are you kidding me??? After all this?? No, she was going to get her doll whether she liked it or not.

He said "Do you want to be done with this right now, or never? It's not worth it."

He was right.

I wrote her back, told her that I would no longer do business with her and I refunded her money. In full.


As we were sitting around the table with Danny's family after Thanksgiving dinner, I got a message from her asking if I "had calmed down and that she would like a photo of the finished doll because now that she understood my policies she was fine with them and she would like to buy the doll and please message her back asap because she is in front of her computer right now."

I was livid.

I listened to my husbands wise words of "Do not contact her back. Put your phone down."

The next day, I got another message.

"I am going to have to tell (the other seller) why you won't do business with me. You are but a simple seamstress that makes patterns from Artists. I am an artist but have no time to make dolls. I only buy dolls from artists, never from seamstresess, only original work."

I ignored her again.

I contacted etsy to let them know that she was harassing me.

She wrote a terrible review on etsy, for all to see.

Etsy won't remove it, because the content of the feedback does not break any rules. Since there wasn't an actual sale, she shouldn't have been able to leave any sort of review in the first place. The only way to get it removed is if SHE asks them to remove it.


The other seller is now having a tough time dealing with her.

I won't disclose her situation, it's not mine to share.

Customers of mine, please note:

(all of you apologize for being "annoying" or emailing me too much. YOU are not annoying, or demanding. YOU do not email me too much. In a typical "picky" customer situation, around 15 emails are exchanged.)

Just to clarify about the nature of her pickiness and demanding:

In the 6 days that I was in contact with her, we exchanged 59 messages. That's almost 10 messages a day. That's excessive.

Even though it went on and on, it's over. She can't hurt me anymore. And in the end- the doll went home with somebody that will cherish her, study the details, and love her forever. She was sold with Gramma Wolfie- I'm so glad I sold them as a set! They belong together.

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