Don’t Let Jerks Ruin Your Reputation Online

When you start to build a business online someone will eventually buy something from you.  And that is great!  After all, it’s what we are all building businesses for.  However, sadly, sooner or later you will also come across a jerk.

Jerks are everywhere.  They are in forums, blog posts and sadly, as customers.  They usually act as if they are better than you are and confront people with malicious words and aggressive behaviours. 

They try and make it personal by saying things that are a direct blow at YOU and you feel your blood boiling.  But you MUST keep your cool.  Most of the time I am pretty good at ignoring them, but once in a while one will get under my skin.

Take my recent experience.  A guy bought an ebook with resell rights from me.  He emailed me he didn’t get his download.  But instead of saying he had problems and being civil, his opening gambit was hostile, aggressive and threatening.  He suggested I was a fraud, a con artist and that if I didn’t reply today he would report me to my service provider.

I have an automated delivery system so I suspect the ebook was caught in his trash folder.  However, I thought it would be simpler just to send a direct reply email containing another download link.

His reply was vicious.  He said there was no ebook in the download and that I was a con artist.  He was going to report me to PayPal.

As it was a “live” ebook rather than a PDF, I thought maybe he didn’t know how to open it.  So I carefully constructed another email explaining in detail how to open and view the ebook.

His reply said that the ebook wasn’t what he wanted and if I didn’t give him a refund he would report me to PayPal.

I refunded him.  The ebook cost just $3.99.

The best course of action is always to walk away.  Choose your battles wisely.  Flame wars can get out of control and there is no jerk worth ruining your reputation over.  If you are in business, you will always have to deal with jerks.

In life, in business, online and offline, build relationships.  Help others.  Don’t be a Jerk.

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