Sunday, October 23, 2011

Calm, Cool, & Collected

This weekend I was thrown into a conflict that I wasn't expecting, and it took all of my strength to stay level-headed and not scream.

You may know that I create one of a kind rosaries and religious jewelry.  You may also know I sell these items at local craft shows and on Etsy.

Well, I had my first customer complaint this week on Etsy.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  I'm not afraid of negative feedback...things happen.  The situation was a bit weird to begin with, so it shouldn't have surprised me that it quickly escalated.   

First, my storefront clearly states my business hours are Saturday only.  Yes, inconvenient for some, but I have to limit it for my own sanity due to other responsibilities.  It is my business, after all.  So, after a conversation last Saturday via messaging with my customer, I was shocked to find she had sent me about 20 messages during the week, virtually screaming at me about not responding to her emails.  She often sent me hourly messages.  Not normal.

Then, the package I sent was returned to me saying the address was undeliverable.  Okay, weird, but maybe I wrote the address incorrectly.  Nope, it was correct.

At this point, I feel like something fishy is going on.  The customer is basically harassing me via Etsy messaging, actually it was more like cyber bullying, and accusing me of lying - saying I never mailed the package.  Okay.........

I get all these messages yesterday (Saturday, during business hours) and try to respond to her requests.  I had the merchandise returned, so I said I would gladly refund her money.  I did that within an hour of receiving her emails.  Problem solved, right?  Nope.

Up to this point, I've been annoyed and felt a little harassed, but I kept it professional, just stating the facts and being polite...with a lot of prayer.

THEN, the customer continues to send me emails (in all caps, which is one of my pet peeves!!!) stating she is going to report me to the better business bureau and attorney general's office in EVERY state in the country and report me for internet fraud.  What?

Her emails on Saturday were coming every 10 minutes or so with repetitive, threatening language.  She noticed that I left her negative feedback on the etsy site (duh), and threatened me again.  I stated the truth, that is all I could do.

I remained professional and stated the facts, even though there were definite times that I wanted to type "psycho" in the subject line of my next message to her.  I have stopped correspondence, as there is nothing else I can do for this person.  There is just something "not right" with this situation.

This situation really upset me.  No one likes being called a liar, but threatening me over the internet is not something I've really dealt with before, thank goodness!  So, how did I get through this?  First, I used my perceptive therapy super powers to recognize this was not a normal response to online business correspondence.  I couldn't even imagine myself acting the way this customer was acting.  Next, I knew that if I added anything snarky or negative to my conversations with her, it would just be fuel for her fire.  I told myself to suck it up and lift it up.  I took a deep breath, said many small prayers, and just ate it.  Sometimes, you have to just let things go to keep yourself safe and sane.  Also, I don't know what this person is capable of!  I would prefer it if unstable people were not upset with me.

I suppose I could use the chaplet she attempted to purchase to pray for her.  Sigh.  St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!

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