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August 2, 2011

Fire the customer?

This never happened to me before: I got fired as a customer. Here's the email:

Hi Al -

To protect from wasting more of your time, we've taken the liberty and unsubscribed you from our list.

All the best,


Michael Margolis
President of Get Storied
Story University, Reinvention Summit

I didn't ask to be unsubscribed. I actually would have continued to read emails from getstoried.com.

So what spurred Michael to this extreme step? Last Friday I took part in an hour-long webinar called "The Secrets to an About Page that Rocks" by Mr. Margolis, self-described as "a leading voice in the world of storytelling."

The webinar contained a few pearls of interesting information, but seemed too long. It ended with a sales pitch that struck me as almost a parody of a Ginsu Knife info-mercial. I thought Michael might be interested in my opinion (silly me). So I sent the email below:

From: Al Wasco <awdsgn@sbcglobal.net>
Date: July 31, 2011 8:23:08 AM EDT
To: jodi@getstoried.com
Subject: webinar

Overall Grade: C-

Content: B
Presentation: C-
Effective use of my time: D

I liked the ideas presented but feel that it could have been done as effectively, probably more so, in half the time. The format was actually a "lecture", not the give-and-take of a seminar as the label "webinar" implies. The sales pitch that came in the last 15 minutes sounded like a TV infomercial - "but wait! there's more!" - but I get it, that's what pays the bills. I think you're stretching the limits of "gift economy" with this.

Best regards,
Al Wasco, Assistant Professor
Visual Communication & Design/Interactive Media
Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus

Too harsh?

Was I too harsh, or was Mr. Margolis too sensitive? I know if my students responded to grades in this way they'd never graduate. I also know that there's research that shows that responding effectively to customer complaints makes customers more loyal than those who never complained.

What do you think? Have you been fired as a customer? Been won over by a great response to a complaint? Click "Comments" below to tell your story.

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