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Rich Tehrani writes about Amazon feedback.

I recently ordered a $15 Firewire cable for a new video recorder. As it turns out, I ordered the wrong cable. Interestingly, this order was placed by an affiliate of Amazon, and when I tried to ask if I could exchange the cable, my e-mails went unanswered.

A few weeks later, Amazon sent me a survey asking me if I was satisfied with my order. I responded and told them about the cable mix-up and that the vendor had not responded to my two e-mails. I didn't realize that my response to Amazon would now be permanently posted online.

Guess who called me a few days later ... the vendor. They credited my card for the cable purchase and told me that failing to provide customer service to a $15 customer (granted, I spent a thousand plus dollars on the video camera the same day I ordered the cable--just not from them) can break a company. A single impression that a company has poor customer service is more damaging than I imagined.

I feel terrible that I cost this company business, but at the same time, I marvel at how powerful the Internet can be. I wonder if there is a "pen is mightier than the sword" analogy for the Internet. Is it "The Internet is more powerful than the lawsuit?"

The whole incident has been an education, and it should teach us all that selling products in a world where there is an Internet--whether you sell online or not--is very dangerous. You cannot take for granted even your smallest customer, as sometimes these are the customers who can break your reputation.
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Publication:Customer Interaction Solutions
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
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