Monday, March 29, 2010

Neutral Feedback...Negative Comment !

I encourage my customers to send me their inquiries regarding an item and I try diligently to answer them.
Also, if a customer receives an item that doesn't measure up to their expectations I'd like to know. It is so frustrating to have someone leave less than positive feedback when all they had to do was send an email letting me know that they were not happy with the size, shape, color, etc. of an item and I'd try to make restitution to make them happy.
I work hard at my shop trying to give my customers top notch service, I package carefully and ship expediently; many times I run to the post office the same day for only one order. It would be far more productive if I just waited for several orders to come in and then do them all at once but I strive to be as thoughtful and as considerate as possible to each customer, so it is painful for me when a customer doesn't approach me first but instead goes ahead and leaves a less than glowing feedback.

As of date I must admit I've not had any negative feedback and only one neutral feedback, however the neutral could easily have been averted had the customer contacted me first. The item purchased wasn't as she thought it would be. They were stud pearls and I had failed to put into the description that they were Button Pearls, she thought they were full round pearls.

So, instead of emailing me to explain this, I found myself with a neutral feedback and a comment that read; "Had I known these were Button I would not have purchased them..."

Photo above...pair of 1/2 drilled freshwater peacock BUTTON pearls. Button pearls tend to be slightly flat at the bottom, this makes them ideal to epoxy onto flat pad stud earring findings. I love these little pearls and thought everyone would adore them also. I was soooo mistaken.

Photo below...Peacock pearls are known for their iridescence, these are the same pearls as above but at a different angle, bringing out the purplish tones. Top quality A to A+ grade pearls such as these normally would cost a good $3.00 a pair, I had the price and shipping low hoping to encourage multiple purchases. Well that blew up in my face!

Never mind that I was more than courteous in all my emails, I had packaged her order carefully, had included a small thank you gift and had notified her that her order had been shipped. In that notification I stated; "Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your order, please do not hesitate to contact me." I also have a full paragraph in my shop policies about refunds etc., it states that if the customer finds their item unacceptable I was happy to offer them an exchange or a refund. Why then was I not contacted first ? I would have been happy to offer an exchange or even send her a full refund but I was never given that opportunity.

I have since issued her a full refund, telling her to please keep the pearls and even sent her a "Kiss and Make Up" but so far I've heard nothing back. Perhaps she has no idea how to reciprocate, or maybe she doesn't wish to. Whatever, right now I have this one sour feedback that spoils the whole barrel as it sits where everyone can see it and I can't do much about it...well other than cry; which I have done a bit of and believe me it hasn't helped.

So what about you...have any thoughts on the subject ? Have you had any experiences like this that left a bad taste in your mouth ? How do you or would you handle a situation like this ? And why are some people so thoughtless and never think about how the other person might feel ? Or is it that they just don't care?


  1. I am sorry you had to experience this! I agree just email me and I will bend over backwards to do what I can - but to not broadside me with a negative comment! Hang in there and hopefully you will not get anymore negativity!!!

  2. Try not to feel bad - sometimes they just don't understand about feedback or don't want to email for whatever reason. I think some think that feedback is simply a comment, good or bad, on the item or their experience, and doesn't matter one way or the other. At least on Etsy, the neutral remark doesn't affect your feedback rating (and it'll get pushed down the page soon). I used to sell books on Amazon and I never got a neutral, but did receive a hurtful negative which could have easily been resolved with an email. But I got no response from the buyer and she obviously did not read the description! Ah well. Such is life...

  3. Beautiful earrings and a full description. It's going to happen to all of us etsy sellers sooner or later. There's just no way around it. I guess it's part of selling online. Hugs, I know it's upsetting.

  4. WOW Anna, I am so sorry to hear this. I think the feedback is a double edged sword, it helps buyers see the rep. of a seller but one disgruntled buyer can spoil that good sellers rep. forever. Not a perfect system by any means. I truly believe that a lot of people do not know how to use the system or are not even aware that it exists. I agree with Sarah, the neutral comment will work its way down the page soon enough. I guess we just have to accept that there are some grumpy people on the planet and we have to continue to be joyful to compensate for them.

    Hope you are having a better day (no tears)
    :) T.

  5. It's frustrating to receive neutral or neg feedback when as a vendor, you obviously strive to go the extra mile for your customers. There are a lot of opinions that float around the Etsy forums about how to handle the situation and what type of feedback to leave the customer in return. I agree with'll get pushed down the page soon and just keep trucking along, it's nearly impossible to have a perfect rating.

  6. I fully understand you! Hope this was the first and the last time you got neutral/negative feedback without contacting.

  7. jacque4u2c - Thanks, it is good to hear that others feel a personal email from the buyer before hand should be standard procedure before giving a poor rating. We can not be mind readers.

    Sarah~Magnolia Surprise - I am sort-of in the same boat that you were in...for some unknown reason my buyer does not wish to convo me...participate in the "Kiss and Make Up" or even acknowledge that she has been given 100% refund through Paypal. Nothing, not a word from her. Maybe she's a robot and doesn't have any feelings ?

    MAB Jewelry - Thanks for the Hug. I know you're very right and after awhile of selling online there has to be a bad apple or two. And usually the first one is the hardest one to accept.

    T - Thank you for your support and compassion. I think sometimes crying is a good catharsis, it helps relieve the stress and the tensions and once the tears are drained nothing has changed but somehow it tends to make one feel a tad better.

    Jenni - I have my fingers crossed that the feedback will be quickly buried, but right now things are pretty slow on etsy so it may well be on the first page of my feedback for some time. I truly appreciate your support. :)

    Rosemary - Thank you for your comment. I think all any of us ask is an email letting us know that something was wrong, that the buyer was unhappy because_ _ _ _ _. If we never get any correspondence how are we suppose to rectify the problem?

    I Thank each and everyone of you, from the bottom of my heart, your support and understanding makes me feel so much better. Bless you all. :)

  8. Ugh. Its so sucky to have to think about 'you can't please all the people...' but so many times its true. I can't imagine you being able to do anything else at this point. If she never adjusts from the "K&MU" then My only suggestion is to maybe change all your notices to include your verbage -- for example in your announcement ..."upon receipt of purch., if for any reason..." You run a good, solid business Anna and shouldn't be disuaded by one faulty review. Mistakes happen and life goes on, your shop won't suffer for one neutral because you are awesome & that comes through!


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