Two years ago, an independent artist that I will call GM started following me on Twitter and Facebook. He was looking for exposure, so I told him to contact me through my website.
He used my answer as an excuse to add me to his list of subscribers — but without telling me.
His first self-promotional blasts did not really phase me. I just advised him to hide the email addresses of his recipients. He complied. And then, all hell broke loose!
Every time he sent an e-blast, I received the message three times. It was not a mistake. He had just included a couple more of my email addresses to his list! So, I contacted him to let him know that I did not want to read him anymore.
A week or so later, after four copies of his new blast had landed in my Inbox, I hit him up on Twitter and Facebook. “He must care about his reputation,” I thought. Our long and heated discussion left me confident that he had learnt his lesson.
My hopes were shattered a few weeks later, when GM sent me another spam message. It was the last straw. This time, I would play the role of an angry customer and give him a taste of his own medicine. You will find our Facebook conversation below.
(Click to see a larger version of the screenshot)
The last comment in the screenshot comes from a friend. Two or three people actually added their two cents to the conversation:
“AND OMG why do you have to manually have to look someone up. You should use a professional email system that has an UNSUBSCRIBE link and it automatically does it for you. Jesus!”
“So unprofessional on so many levels!”
It took GM an hour to apologize to me on Twitter. Unfortunately, the apology feels fake for two reasons:
The Tweet prompted the following reaction from a friend:
“It’s not a question of what you are sending to people, if you are sharing your faith or about some kind of outreach project or whether you are, in fact, a creepy marketing guy … at the end of the day all that matters is whether people wanted your emails and whether you spammed them by continually sending unsolicited messages.”
The conversation continued for a little while on my Facebook profile, which apparently amused GM: “Lolol wow you are still talking and facebooking my page”. It is clear that he learnt nothing from our interactions. And that is why I decided to turn the whole thing into a case study.
Poor manners go hand in hand with customer complaints. If you do not know what these are, people will have no qualm about exposing you and reminding you of why you do not deserve to be in business.
Have you ever had to deal with an obnoxious company or small business? Share your story in the comment section below.
UPDATE (November 12, 2013): GM is at it again! He sent me another spam email, to which I respond in less than a courteous manner. His answer?
“oops your email address must be on this email blast as well I will remove it from here as well Please forgive and trust It was a honest mistake. I really dont want to send you any information on GM. Dont desire to offend you or deal with making you uncomfortable. Please disregard and I will look to delete you over here on this email.”