A few weeks ago (OK, 6) I raved about the calibre of 99.9% of our customers, gushing about how kind, understanding, polite, reasonable and generally upstanding you all are. While this continues to be the case, I did promise to let you in on the remaining .1%. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT I AM WRITING THIS IN FUN and the real percentage is .004%, but I will never forget the person who continues to occupy the top spot on our Customer Hall of Fame plaque, and I will try to aquaint you with that person without divulging a name or address.
You might think that our Customer Hall of Fame bears names of our favorite customers. You would be very wrong. The Customer Hall of Fame contains names of customers from Hell. In twenty years, only eight names have been voted in because it is not easy to be elected into the Customer Hall of Fame. The vote must be unanimous among the office staff and the electee must have made each staff member furious on multiple occasions (though the staff member could never show it).
The Customer Hall of Fame election procedure is a very sacred ceremony- even more so than the Tribal Council on Survivor.
The Customer Hall of Fame plaque used to hang in the hallway just outside the office among the many photos sent in by you, the good customers. It was moved several years ago when someone who was visiting our factory asked why their name was posted on the wall.
But I digress.
It all begins when this particular customer phones our 800 number (at our expense) and reguests a FREE catalog (which we paid to have printed) and we mail it to him first class (another $1.00) and he receives it and apparently reads it and then sits down to a very old Underwood and writes us a letter. This is an actual scan of the first few paragraphs. The black slash mark in the 2nd paragraph was probably the result of some involuntary muscle spasm I experienced while reading.
Not so bad you say? There’s more.
I’m really steamed now because the Aleut is my favorite boat to paddle, but it gets better…
I have a game I play when confronted by angry customers and the object of the game is to win the customers over and make them our friends. The challenge is quite rewarding in the end. But usually when a customer is angry with us, we have done something a bit more egregious than mail out a requested free catalog.
I gave up on this individual at the outset and my reply was not pretty. But I did want you to see why we love the remaining 99.996% of you so much!