The Feedback Hall of Shame…

By Sharon Fussell, April 4, 2013

(It’s not you… it really is them!)

Feedback is always a contentious issue when it comes to selling online. As a Seller your business can easily be adversely affected by one or two neutral/negative ratings, which tends to be unfair and unreflective of the good service you usually provide.

If an individual customer has a ‘bad’ transaction with you, they will, more often than not, leave feedback that reflects how they feel abut it… this can be frustrating if you perceive it to be unjust, but, short of getting buyers to remove comments, there is not much you can do but live and learn.

Amazon does acknowledge that around 1% of customers have unrealistic expectations when purchasing used books, but unwarranted feedback can be hard to accept all the same.

So, this week, I decided to research some comments left by customers on Amazon to give you an idea what you’re up against. Most of these comments are patently unwarranted but, as you know, ‘there’s none so queer as folk!’

Condition appears to be one of the main disappointments for customers. The problem being that ‘condition’ is quite subjective. Thus, from a Seller’s perspective it is definitely better to err on the side of caution!

  • 1/5: “The item is not as good as I expected”

Another disappointment is the length of time the product takes to arrive. It’s always best to post ASAP and, if possible, via 1st class, in good packaging:

  • 1/5: “Said item ships from UK but have not yet received book, it does not take this long to ship 1 book within the UK. Do not believe what you read from this seller.”

Another annoying adverse comment is when you are held responsible for matters which are totally beyond your control:

  • 3/5: “I can’t rate this seller because Royal Mail are unable to cope with a snow fall after three days!!!”
  • 2/5: “No conversion for cooking temperatures, no exact measurement so pretty much guess work.”

Sometimes customers do not read the product descriptions and thus you bear the brunt of their misunderstanding. Of course it could well be the sellers mistake – in which case you would hope a customer might contact you to explain your error before leaving feedback, that way at least you could try and rectify the situation:

  • 1/5: “They sent me a photocopied book. Do not order from them, they will do the same to you.”
  • 1/5: “item sent was book of mushrooms from europe,very poor service.”
  • 3/5: “I did not realise this was a CD I thought it was a book!”

Although, sometimes it seems that even if you do try and put things right, customers can still leave adverse feedback!:

  • 1/5: “Book never arrived was kindly offered a refund and I really feel sorry for the seller as he was very helpful. Shame because I really wanted the book. Better luck next time.”

Perhaps most annoying is receiving adverse comments for GOOD service:

  • 1/5: “just as described. condition excellent. arrived well packaged and in good time”
  • 2/5: “All expectations met. Many thanks.”
  • 2/5: “Great service, did exactly what I wanted it to do. Book very good condition.”

The best I have saved for last (in truth, it is eBay feedback but it certainly amused me and I hope it does you too)…

‘Can’t really comment, never got to use it, dog ate it!’


What do you think?

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