Sometimes when you receive negative buyer feedback the irritation can become all-consuming and it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of buyers are very happy (or at least do not give you any bother if they are not).
It just is a fact that no matter how good your service is there is always one buyer who will give you grief.
The problem is that many buyers do not read descriptions. I always try to be upfront and honest when describing books so I’m never amused when buyers complain about books with defects, which I have already taken great pains to describe in the comments section.
Another gripe is postage. It is a fact that sometimes – for whatever reason – orders will go AWOL or be delayed. This inevitably leads to buyer complaints of tardiness and unreliability and (naturally) it does no good to explain that delivery is completely out of your control.
This gets particularly annoying when books are returned by Royal Mail because the buyers have not bothered collecting them from the sorting office. Buyers then contact you demanding to know where their book is and give no thanks when you resend – at your own cost!
Or when buyers make veiled threats ‘to leave bad feedback’ or to make a charge back to their credit card, assuming that you are shysters out to cheat them when their book does not arrive as quickly as they think it should. I’ve had buyers leave it 4/5 weeks or more before informing me that their book has not arrived – it obviously does not occur to these people that if they do not inform you a book has not arrived, you have no way of knowing as you are not telepathic.
Personally, I think that, on the whole, eBay buyers are more demanding than Amazon customers. It is as though they expect to get ‘ripped off’ and so if something happens (e.g. an item gets damaged or does not meet their expectations) then they react as though you are out to con them, when usually the whole situation comes down to either a misunderstanding or human error.
It is, of course, all part of the ‘game’ though and it is always best to be polite when replying to customers. If it issuing a full refund (despite the fault being theirs) means keeping the peace, it’s best just to get on with it.
That said the vast majority of customers are lovely and that’s what counts!