Since we started selling books on Amazon, we’ve had three complaints. Two were from people unhappy with the condition of their book, and both times the books were marked as ‘acceptable’, which is Amazon’s lowest quality rank. This doesn’t mean the rank contains anything that should be ‘bad’, but it does mean the book isn’t ‘good’. But, most people aren’t aware of this, and there’s no reason we should expect them to be. To make sure it’s clear, we always put an appropriate description in the individual item details. I genuinely think the first two complainants had unreasonable expectations, and it’s annoying when one ‘neutral’ feedback heavily affects our visible-to-everyone positive-feedback percentage score.

Today, though, the lady had a point. She’d bought the hardback and we sent a paperback. Fair enough. I haven’t yet figured out whether Amazon’s data is flawed or we messed it up, but whichever, the customer was justified in being annoyed. I refunded her as soon as I confirmed the problem, and braced for the probably ‘negative’ feedback, which would be a first.

She gave us a positive rating, with 4 marks out of 5. There was a problem, she said, but it had been sorted quickly and she’d happily buy from us again.

I am, frankly, astonished. Sometimes people are delightful.