It wouldn’t be exactly correct to say that “Jeopardy!” legend Ken Jennings didn’t like the customer service he got from BackToBasicsToys, since his complaint is that he didn’t actually receive any. I’ll leave the details for him to spell out, but I had to take note of the spectacularly bitter smackdown he deals the company:
As a consumer, I don’t have very many options. In a perfectly elastic market, people would immediately figure out that Back to Basics Toys sucks and they would either have to fix the problems or go under. But capitalism isn’t nearly that efficient, sadly.
I do have one thing Back to Basics Toys doesn’t: a blog that gets read by tens of thousands of people and Googles up fairly prominently. So the least I can do for you this holiday season, Back to Basics Toys, is try to make sure everyone knows how incompetent you are. Hey, this wasn’t my choice. We asked what it was worth to you to keep us as a customer and the answer was “Almost nothing.”
So I’ll mention their name a lot here and maybe this will be a prominent result in future when someone searches on-line for “Back to Basics Toys” or wants to buy a plush spring horse. And they’ll know to stay far, far away.
I’ve seen how these things sometimes play out online, and Ken is laying some attractive lawsuit bait there. I admire him for not caring what the company thinks, since they clearly didn’t care about his opinion when he was just a lowly customer. And his post comes up first when I search Google Blogs for the company’s name.
What I don’t know is whether there’s any real reason for the company to care. If you’re ripping off people online, or even if you’re just screwing with them, for every customer you alienate there are ten more suckers waiting. Maybe a hundred, or a thousand. I’m always extra careful when I’m dealing with a store that has no reason to worry about repeat customers, and that probably goes for everybody in the business of selling stuff online.