Our customers are the best

02 January 2007

We have the best customers. No, really, I kid you not.

Although I won't go over it again in detail, we made a mistake in the gap between Christmas and the New Year. In the grand scheme of things it was a minor error, but, nevertheless, I emailed everyone concerned with our apologies.

I got back some (that's "some" as in several hundred) pretty amazing and hilarious replies, some of which I'd like to share with you (slightly edited, with my comments in square brackets). I'll be anonymous though to protect the guilty. Our customers were certainly enjoying the holiday season, both as evinced by these replies as well as by all the "out of the office" messages I got.

  • Errare humanum est. [Phew, Latin, no less! From Seneca the Younger, according to wikipedia.]
  • You screwed up so badly that I want a full refund!!! And a pony! And a plastic rocket ship.
  • In Russian we have a saying: Only if you do nothing will you not make mistakes.
  • There are many, many other and much more important things in life to get worried about. What about our soccer competition being boring from the first day it started? Me missing a century by a thin hair during snooker the other day?
  • You guys rock, and glad to see you have problems like the rest of us who live on planet Earth! (You should stop selling to the Martians.. they're pretentious and short tempered..)
  • You have an update available?
  • It's OK. Your automated system was weary of inactivity.
  • No worries. I once had a similar experience where an application I wrote went bonkers and sent 19,000 emails to the same fellow (my boss :-D ) in one night!
  • I have been severely traumatized by the daunting task of pressing the black "X" icon in Outlook 8 more times than I was expecting to today.
  • No problem Jim. [Uh...]
  • I appreciate your apology, it just shows once again what a first class organization you have. Keep up the great work. Your tools have taken our software to another level. [Sorry for repeating the obvious marketing quote: I was just trying it out for size .]
  • EIGHT? I'VE BEEN CHEATED! I only got five!
  • Thanks for coming out and admitting the mistake up front. Took a lot of guts to through yourself under the bus like that, and with a cell phone to boot. [Yep, I'm writing this from the hospital bed.]
  • Keep up the great work. If I could just take this opportunity to request CF support? [Heh, the old one-two: first the buttering-up and then the entreaty...]
  • As I have never made a mistake in my life (well, to be honest I did think OS/2 was the future of computers a few years back) I think this transgression of my inbox is unforgivable! [Heh, heh, he said OS/2.]
  • Just get the next release of CodeRush out and I'll forgive you. [Yo, Mark, this one's for you!]
  • I only got it seven times. Does that make me one of your preferred customers? [Ouch]
  • Because you used the word vociferously in an E-Mail, I accept your apology!
  • Everybody screws up now and again. It would be nice if I could manage to screw up as little as you guys do.
  • Bloody hell mate, it's bloody Christmas, life's too short to get your knickers in a twist about little things like this. [Yep, you guessed it: from a customer in Australia... It helps if you say it out loud pretending to be Crocodile Dundee.]
  • I regard sending out some unnecessary notifications a very minor mistake. If I were to prioritize my expectations to a component vendor, "No unnecessary notifications" would be number 51 on the list. And you fare very well on the 50 before that.
  • Once in a while my program has bugs too.
  • I'll let you off this time... but if you start marketing Viagra, *** enhancements, stock tips or abdominal exercisers you're in serious trouble! {Rats, strike those off the list for 2007.]
  • To err is human, to really screw things up you need a computer. {Since several people sent this, I imagine it must be an "official" quote so I looked it up. It's generally known as Turnauckas' Observation. There's also a Turnauckas' Law: "The attention span of a computer is only as long as its electrical cord."]
  • Thank you for letting me know that I did not have 8 records in your database. [Subtle!]
  • You've saved me months of implementation time, what's 10 seconds with the delete key?
  • I'm especially looking forward to the next version of ExpressBars, so please feel free to email me 10-20 times when it's available! [Bwhahahaha!]
  • We did this once - our newsletter server started looping. And when we sent our apology email, that started looping too!! [Now, that was a brave move, I'm afraid I insisted on my apology email being sent by another program altogether.]
  • I just thought: strange that this happens to DevExpress, they always seem so well-organized. [Little do you know, everyone, little do you know... We're like a swan gliding over the water, on top it's all serene, but underneath it's paddling like crazy.]
  • You surely understand that the honest people on your recipient list have all committed the same mistake as you. {Let's take a count: put up your hands everyone who's done something similar. Er, OK, let's do it the other way, put up your hands if you haven't...]
  • Hey, I remember you from the TurboPower days. I was a big user of B-Tree Filer. {There is literally no escape...]
  • I would like to complain that I did not receive my eight copies of your latest missive as detailed below. I see no reason why I should be singled out amongst your many customers as being unworthy of said notification. I know this is the season of goodwill and that I should be more accommodating to my fellow users. However, this is also the season of receiving and, quite frankly, I didn't. Please forward my eight release notifications as soon as possible.
  • No worries, I just assumed you were VERY keen to get the news about the updates out.
  • My goodness, stuff happens. It's the holiday season. My message to the complainers is relax and drink some eggnog! [(From someone in the Netherlands) My paternal grandmother was always fond of a little advocaat at Christmas, but I'm afraid that gene didn't make it to me. Yech.]

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