I’m in a slightly confused position. You may have been on my website a few days ago, where I posted about some treatment that I received at the hands of a cellphone retailer. I have since been contacted by a representative from that company, but I will come to that.
The original story concerned how I received some poor customer service when I visited the company’s Scarborough Town Centre location in Ontario. It’s a long story. If you read my original post, then you know the story. If you didn’t read it, I’ve now taken it down. I will explain why in a moment. Essentially, I feel as though several details of an expensive, long-term contract were verbally mis-sold to me. I trusted what the sales person was telling me, and signed the contract on that basis. Yes, I should have read it first, but my trust was also abused.
A link to my post was retweeted several times on Twitter (and thank you to those of you that retweeted). I spoke to Daniel. I’m not sure he read my original post. The poor guy was on vacation and, from what I could gather, he had been alerted to my blog via email – probably because the companies head office saw it on Twitter. The conversation was amicable, although brief. I was finishing up at work when he called, so I had to cut it short.
But now I’m in a quandary. In the phone call, Daniel said that he wanted to make things right. He offered to compensate me financially for my poor experience. I didn’t agree to anything and said I would call back. I haven’t called back, and I don’t think I will. I’m not entirely sure what the BEST thing to do is, but here is what I AM going to do:
First of all, I won’t be taking any money from the company. That might seem strange to some people. Many people would probably take the money. At no time did Daniel say to me that a condition of accepting compensation is that I must take the post down, but I know that is what would be expected. I know that is the unwritten rule of this kind of situation. The problem is that I do not want to be paid off. It just isn’t principled.
But what to do about the original article? Should I leave it up? It IS a genuine reflection of what happened. I did get poor service. Is it fair to the cellphone retailer? That’s hard to say. I got bad service on my visit. Every other person that visited that day might have had wonderful service. I work retail and I know that it happens. On that basis, should my post, which spread around the net a bit, remain online forever, hurting their reputation and their business? Some would say yes, some would say no. Well…
Ten or so years ago, my experience would have been restricted to being shared amongst my friends. It would not have travelled very far, unless it was a massive deal and the media were interested. What happened to me was a fairly big deal, but not a massive deal by any means.
My experience has already travelled quite far. People have gotten to hear about it. Maybe it doesn’t need to spread any further. Therefore, although still angry and let down by them, I have taken the original post down.
Perhaps I’m being stupid. The retailer are willing to compensate me. They (probably) want the article to be taken down so maybe I should take whatever I can get from them. If I take it down and get nothing from them, except a call from Daniel telling me that he wants to make things right, does that make me dumb? Maybe. But… they can’t really make things right with me.
All I can say is that I feel like taking it down is The Right Thing To Do and I feel that taking any compensation from them to then take it down would not be principled and it would compromise anything I have to say on these pages from now on.
I won’t likely deal with them again. They can keep the money. My catharsis will probably be writing an article about the condition of the Canadian cellphone industry in general, at some point 😉