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The Danger of a Disgruntled Customer

I just read a post on a social media platform, in a pretty large “community,” where a disgruntled customer has posted several very angry comments about a recent purchase (or lack thereof) of a ukulele.

The person bought a ukulele during Amazon Prime Day, apparently within a half hour of the end of the timed deal, and found out today that the order has been cancelled.

In one post, they complained how Amazon and the ukulele company stole their money (ultimately, the order was cancelled, so nothing was charged). And in another, they conceded that they were taken care of in a number of ways (including credit card protection), but they were livid that the ukulele company and Amazon would not honor the order.

To make matters worse, BOTH posts are filling with comments, with plenty of additional complaints about the company (unsubstantiated), or with others promising to never buy a ukulele from that company again.

And it is a company that I like very much, as well as a company that makes ukuleles under its own brand, as well as FOR other companies. They have a great reputation, and have taken care of their customers well.

I know for a fact that the company RAN OUT of available stock for their Prime Day deals…and much like Black Friday, when stock is gone, it is gone.

Ultimately, Amazon could care less. I know of many ukulele players who try to avoid Amazon like the plague. We find Amazon (and Walmart) to be very useful options for many things; I wouldn’t buy a ukulele over $100 from Amazon…but I would certainly use Amazon if I were a parent looking for a first ukulele for my child. And there are A LOT of good options to be found on Amazon.

If I’m buying an expensive ukulele, it is coming from one of the established ukulele specialty shops, or I am ordering used from a seller on one of the established ukulele sites.

But back to topic–Amazon could care less about you. If you don’t buy from them, all of your neighbors will.

The ukulele company, on the other hand, has to be concerned. If that person continues to rant–perhaps on several media platforms, it won’t be long until prospective buyers search for the company, and all that comes up in the search engines is the negative rant.

I’ve watched Andrew Kitakis from the Ukulele Site deal with various angry customers over the years. He is so “chill” and kind, but even gets to the point that he accepts a used instrument from a buyer and refunds their money, and encourages them to try another store. You cannot make everyone happy. And some people are just happy to be miserable.

I don’t know what the solution is. Send the angry person a ukulele for free? Offer them an alternative at a similar discount? And how do you keep the reputation of your company without “rewarding” horrific behavior?

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