The Internet Is Turning Us Into A Bunch of Rude, Whining Dunderheads

I remember a time when, if you were unhappy with something you bought at a store, you would return the product or call and ask to speak to the manager. What happens nowadays?

One-star review on Amazon, Yelp, etc.

         This product is crap! The applicator tip was missing and the box arrived crushed! I would have given it 0 stars if I could. Complete waste of time!!!

The missing applicator tip was the result of human error; you know, the kind of thing that’s worthy of abuse.

I can understand the customer being upset, but hello? It’s not like we kidnapped her first-born child! It’s not as if we ran off with her husband! For all she knows, her postal delivery person might have forced the package into her mailbox.

S**t happens, dude.

I’m not telling you not to complain or express your frustration, but can you be polite about it? We’re all human beings navigating life on this planet together. Absent obvious intention to defraud, can’t we shoot for compassion and kindness, instead?

I recently received a container of hair gel that was broken, with the product leaking out of the plastic bag containing it. Luckily I still had my unfinished jar and poured the product into it. I wrote to the company to let them know that they need to use more bubble wrap in the future. They wrote back, offering to send me another jar. I said that wouldn’t be necessary.

This does not make me a saint.

It’s not like I’ve never left a bad review for something that didn’t work. If something doesn’t perform as advertised, if you can find the time, it’s not a bad idea to let other potential buyers know. I certainly look to reviews for information on a product before hitting the * Buy Now * button. But can we dispense with the insults?

We work with henna and jagua—natural products that can be tricky in that they work with an individual’s skin type, body temperature and chemistry, and other factors. If someone isn’t happy with the product, we happily refund or replace it. When I was born, my parents named me Customer Service. In fact, our satisfaction-guaranteed-or-your-money-back philosophy is very clearly posted. However, quite often the complaints have little to do with product performance but with people not reading the instructions. Here are some typical comments in the one-star review category:

I took the gel off my skin and even one hour later, I had no color! Total waste of money. Consumer beware!!!! 

(Instructions say the color takes 24-48 hours to develop.)

          What a scam. This product isn’t even henna. It’s supposed to be brown. Black henna is supposed to be dangerous. Don’t buy this stuff!!!!

(The customer purchased a jagua tattoo kit, which stains the skin black, and is safe and natural. Plus, the picture on the box shows a black tattoo.)

I really had to stop myself from using those obnoxious and unnecessary multiple exclamation marks!

The internet and the ability to “share” on social media has brought out the worst in people. This blogger was viciously trolled and received death threats over a pleasant picture she posted on Instagram. I mean, really? Death threats? Don’t people have a life anymore?

Now hear this! Next time you feel like ranting and raging over some mild annoyance, think about how you would express it if the person was standing right in front of your face before going all self-righteous, abusive and offensive. Maybe you’ll feel better about yourself, and maybe the time you save not hurling insults can be spent doing a better job at work, which may get you a raise, and along with it, the ability to buy yourself a life!

OMG, I’m ranting!

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