Email I received this morning, and my snarky reply
Frank, love you dearly but i have to agree that, as a retail worker, i got it in the “omg silly customer complaint makes no sense” but for clarity’s sake a haha or lol i can’t believe he took the time to tell off a flavored tea blender about selling flavored tea might have put people in the right mindset (a share the silliness, as opposed to public shame)
coming at it from the proper mindset (silly non customers are silly) and doing much the same in my line of work, it did give me a laugh, but i can see why feathers got ruffled
and for those considering me a fanboy, go check by 52teas ratings, i love frank as a businessman and mad scientist but our tea tastes often do not align
I see the reply as very much aligned with Frank’s personality, which is easy to gleam from his various sites. We’re talking about a man who created bacon tea and beer tea, would you expect a rosy reply to an email like that from the creator of those blends?
As I am a bit snarky myself, that part of Frank’s personality speaks to me and I found his reply delightful, if a bit light on the snark.
Is it good PR? Probably not, but I buy tea from Frank because of the tea, not the PR. I also though think of steepster as a community of tea friends rather than a platform for businesses, although I can see the opportunities inherent in a site like this for a tea retailer.
In short, good show, bad PR, but I’ll still buy your tea :)
I have to say that SimpliciTEA mentioning it could be good PR depending on the people, it reminds me now of this restaurant/bar here in Atlanta, The Vortex. They freely posts the emails from people who don’t like how they run their business (you have to be 18, so it’s typically mad people with babies), and even posted a girl’s fake ID up on Facebook. They don’t tell you that on those food shows on TV! I was like Frank is reminding me just ever so slightly of them. Just a teensy little bit.
OK, I have to put in my two cents. Frank responded the way I would have – and he has every right to run his business the way he wants. He’s a success story and has loyal fans all over Steepster; I’m not alone in the 52 Teas bandwagon.
People are way too sensitive nowadays. Having to kiss the butt of a jerky customer in the hopes that maybe – just maybe! cross your fingers! – he would not only change his mind but buy something? No thanks. I thought Frank’s response was honest and I chuckled – you go, Frank, I thought. I’m not one to turn away from a chance to snark myself…
We have free speech in this wonderful country. It’s a right that jerky customer took advantage of, and a right Frank enjoyed too. And we have the right to post our opinions.
And we can all poke fun at the ignoramus who thinks it’s OK to call someone’s art pieces “crap.” Humor aside, when someone attacks you, you have the right to defend yourself.
Frank comes out ahead in this one. That’s 1 point for creative people everywhere and a big goose egg for uninformed boobs.
KeenTeaThyme: I love what you said! Although I personally don’t like to think of myself as being on anyone’s ‘bandwagon’ so-to-speak (I’d rather think of myself as standing by my values, which may happen to coincide with the values of others), I do agree with everything you said. Risk-taking (or creativity) certainly trumps ‘being nice’ (which to me necessitates being false) in my world.
I’m glad you gifted us with your ‘two cents.’ : – )
I am not uninformed. Definitely not, although the boob issue is a whole other story. :))
As someone who often has to bite one’s tongue when ‘clients’ get rude, I can only say shame on this person for behaving that way toward 52Teas and expecting a positive response! When people learn to be polite, they’ll likely receive politeness in return. I don’t think the response was THAT bad. It’s probably one of those moments when you think later that you could have handled it differently, but we are all human here. Sometimes when people go off on you, it’s hard not to respond emotionally. If this client doesn’t want beer flavored tea or bacon flavored tea, or whatever, they need to just keep looking and not resort to insulting a business.
I have been trying to think of how to vocalize my opinion on this issue, but I think it’s just been done! Having worked in retail for many, many years, I know how customers tend to say whatever they want and expect nothing in response because we have to be “professional”. We’re real people with real feelings, too! if somebody is going to take the time to disrespect someone’s passion and work, I think it’s only fair you get to give your 2 cents back. I don’t know if I’d necessarily have posted the exchange on a public forum, but if there was a message board for a certain bookstore where I spent a majority of my adult life working, you’d bet I’d be sharing my snarky responses! The customer isn’t always right and sometimes they need to be reminded of that. Just my 2 cents (finally)
I have to agree with those that have said that his reply was highly unprofessional, and that posting here to get fans’ back-pats was even moreso. I had a 52teas club membership a while back and while I’ve considered it, after this I won’t be re-joining.
All I have to say here is that bad PR can ruin a business or a businessman. Just ask Paul Christoforo.
@Rumpus Parable, may I recommend the Verdant Teas tea of the month club? Well worth the money, the teas are beyond amazing.
I have read through all the responses and I think people are making a big stink about nothing. I read the original posting as an amusing ancedote. Do we really need to take it so seriously? Good grief!
I’m a pastry chef at a well established-sorta famous place in NYC and I’ve got to hand it to Frank. I’ve read some “yelp” reviews that make blanket & nasty criticisms of what I’ve made. I get offended, defensive, insulted, annoyed and then I laugh. People are silly and feel the need to share their opinions like they are passing gas in a closed elevator. I would have loved to have responded to some reviews, but had not.
I’ve been purchasing teas from Frank and I will not stop.
I knew exactly what his Tea store was providing from day 1. The e-mailer was naive & ignorant and it reflected who they are.
I’m glad Frank posted this and it got many responses