At difficult customers and idiots in general, but that would be a too long and silly title so this is the best i could come up with..
By Abs Delfuego
We're back! All the customer destruction and more is back in the blog section.
Feel free to click the "FAQ and rant" button for the back story. Or skip the foreplay and go straight to the action in Blog.
Or Just watch the damn video below, I'll be reading out my reddit posts, providing context, follow ups, commentary and answering your freaking questions in a very endearing and charming manor.
Every damn week.
A Little Background (not the sheep one)
We're mostly all sheep falling for the "customer is always right" trope. No, they're not always right. Not even mostly right. Sometimes at most, but mostly, they want free stuff at your expense (and mine).
I run a successful business which I'm sick of. I custom build stuff. Anything out of metal or wood, with or without cool electronics inside.
People come to me with ideas that either no one wants to build, or they can, but its 400% more because my competition can only do 1 aspect and need to outsource the rest.
I can do it all in house so I'm cheaper and more efficient. It started with custom arcade machines for the disabled, then customising existing stuff for disabled people and charities, then just outright designing and building whatever people wanted. It was fun until it wasn't anymore.
Being the only guy means I get most if not all the work. Great! You say. That means I'm overly busy, so I'm overly stressed, depressed and have no time for family or winding down.
So expand! I don't want to. That means more responsibility, more work, then stress etc. rinse and repeat.
Then there's the reason you came here....
People who have an idea but don't want to pay. They think I should build it free, they sell it and we both make money from my hard work.
Or guys that think they have the most innovative idea ever and they must be placed at the front of the queue.
People who can't understand that I'm booked solid for 3 months and can't squeeze their job in.
Then the lowballers. I fucking love the lowballers. $1000? Parts are only $150! why are you charging so much?
Because lady, it takes 2 days to build and i don't work free.
BENDING OVER BACKWARDS
Like most people, I tried everything not to upset a customer. Even when they were being douchebags. Keep it professional Abs.
Then I got my first 1 star review from a guy I almost literally bent over backwards for.
That got me thinking....
Did I even want this guys business? If I was rude back to him he still would've left 1 star. I wouldn't want a dick like him as a client anyway. Even if he was a big contract (which he wasn't) I'd be his bitch if I let him get away with his shit.
So i wrote a witty retort to his review on Google. People loved it and it got me more work. He deleted his review. Score!
ENTER REDDIT and r/choosingbeggars
I've been a redditor for 8 years under the nickname u/omegaweapon. (I'm permanently banned from Reddit now actually, i hurt an admins feelings) I was just a lurker who dropped the occasional comment. Then I discovered r/choosingbeggars and thought pffft! That's nothing compared to the shit i get. (I actually said pffft. It was a defining moment in my life)
I posted my story. Front page. People loved the fact that i clapped back at that dickhead.
I get a couple of choosing beggar customers per week. Most take the hint when i shut them down politely, but there's always one who just won't let up. I had to write the following in bold to stress a crucial point....
I posted every week, sometimes every fortnight. This lead to a misconception that I was getting a CB every week. That's not the case though, these posts were posts that I've archived over a few years with the intent to start a blog and upload them.
I didn't want to spam the r/choosingbeggars channel with everything in one go.
The other misconception was that every one of my customer interactions had some spectacular outcome where I won. nope. I only posted the good ones that actually worked, that's like 1 in 6. The other interactions I had either flopped when a joke I had in mind fell flat, or the customer just disengaged immediately when I started being a smartass. So only posting the good ones gave the impression that all of my interactions were great.
So I made it my mission to not block them like i used to, but to give it back to them as eloquently as possible. See how they like being on the receiving end for a change. Post after post made the front page of Reddit.
ADMITTEDLY I DO BAIT THEM SOMEWHAT
I'm always polite and professional at first. Always. But the minute they get nasty or entitled, I'll say my goodbyes. If they don't quit, i feel I'm justified to hurt their feelings.
Usually I'd try and turn their own words against them. It's more satisfying that way, watching them back peddle, then I'd go in for the kill. If it's worthy enough i might screen cap it and post it.
The jokes sometimes fall flat though, no one's perfect and I'm not a comedian. But my point got across to them, 'don't fuck with people, especially ones you need shit from'
But that's not professional! Some say. I don't care. It's my business. I don't want to work for an asshole, take their money and you'll be a slave to their every whim.
THEY'RE ASSHOLES BECAUSE THEY'RE USED TO GETTING AWAY WITH IT
I get asked constantly why i don't just ignore them. Why waste my time responding?
Because that's what perpetuates their behavior.
They get away with it. People concede, or just block them, or remain polite regardless and take the abuse. I can understand that you don't want negative ratings. Just respond to it and call out their bullshit, people are drawn to read that one star review. So there's your platform.
If they've wasted my time, I'll waste theirs. If they insult me, I'll break out my arsenal of hurty feely words. If they get bitten hard enough they might just learn a lesson and change their ways.
BACK TO REDDIT...
Post after post made front page on Reddit. It wasn't the karma score, I don't care for fake internet points, people laughed, I got literally thousands of emails from Redditors thanking me for the laugh, thanking me for brightening a bad day they were having. From frustrated sales people who were cathartic to finally see a difficult customer being shut down.
That's why I post my posts. It feels nice when people get together and laugh over a shitty experience together.
Back at Technical college in the early 1990's I created detective Richard Böhlsach (Dick Ballsack if you still missed it) as a detective noire short story. The name wasn't picked up on by my teacher so it stuck.
In one of my posts below (Toby Tank Style) a guy threatened to sue me. So i gave him my "solictors" name. Richard Böhlsach from Böhlsach, Schlong and Taint Solictors. It's obviously a joke but it's surprising how many people miss it when i direct them to my attorney Richard_bohlsach@taint.net.au
It's become an inside joke with some lawyers around the country who email Richard or refer people to him. I might post those.
DO I THINK I OVER DO IT SOMETIMES?
Of course! Sometimes I feel really bad like with Toby below. He was obviously not all there and I played him pretty hard. But i did reach out and try to make almonds with him. You'll get it once you read the saga.
DO I FAKE THEM?
Seriously? I couldn't make this shit up if i wanted to. These are real idiots. As I stated before though, I do try and direct some of them into a gag I may have in mind if they piss me off enough. Most are pretty gullible as you'll see and take the bait.
Am I David Thorne or copying David Thorne?
I'd actually never heard of David till a few redditors asked if I was him. Then I checked out www.27bslash6.com and became a huge fan.
That's it guys
That's it. That's the backstory all. I wasn't expecting it to be a rant that went on this long, but i thought I'd address the questions i get asked hundreds of times on Reddit.
I hope you enjoy my interactions below. Please direct all hate mail to Richard_bohlsach@taint.net.au