05. January 2008 · Comments Off on Presumption of stupidity · Categories: Issues

After an exhaustive search to find an answer, I sent the Flickr team (to whom I pay $US24.95 per year) my very first help email. Got an auto response that included this:

“Just a quick email from Team Flickr to let you know that we’ve successfully received your recent Help by Email query and we hope to respond shortly. We’d also like to take an opportunity to remind you that one query is sufficient and multiple queries regarding the same issue make the Magic Donkey cry. Lastly, you may not be aware that our FAQs and forums are
full of help goodness…”

This reminds me of those eBay listings that threaten NEGATIVE FEEDBACK if you don’t pay WITHIN X DAYS or to contact them with any queries because IF YOU LEAVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, I WILL TOO and DON’T BID IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO PAY! before you’ve even bid on the item in question.

I think it’s tacky, no matter how cutesy you are about phrasing it, to presume that your customers/anyone seeking your help who has a right to expect support are impatient morons who usually waste your time/are out to screw you.

I cannot imagine creating an autoresponse that could be boiled down to:

“We got your email — give us time deal with it and don’t re-submit because it really chaps our butts and why are you doing this to us when if you’d looked a little harder you probably could have found your own answer?”

If you’re THAT jaded with dealing with customer inquiries — sell up or shaddup. Don’t put pain onto one group to save yourself pain from another. Chances are the people who ARE impatient morons are going to ignore your pleas for patience anyway.

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