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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

About to sack a customer

We have had enough with a customer.  This customer paid $60 for the software and total estimation of his feature request runs into over $9,000 and he wanted all that free.

-He has been famous for discouraging other potential customers from ordering our software by going on forums and blogs to post about lack of features and that we don't response to him, always trying to paint us bad.

-He will come to us to request features that are already in the software saying he does not like the way it works and he does not want to pay a dime for that feature.

-He will request discount codes for products that don't have one and says that he has friends that we gave those discounts and that we are lying.

-He has the highest number of support ticket in our system over 300+ within 2 months and many of those tickets are for feature request. He also requested a feature for one of our product that he has not even ordered, saying that his friend told him that he does not have that feature and demanded that we add that feature within few days.

I wonder where in the world he think he his.

Me and the support team have been coping to keep us with this customer. A customer that is not satisfied with everything we do and costs too much to maintain, does not deserve further support and I'll refund him in the next few hours .

Have you sacked a customer before? Please let me know your thought. Your comments will add value for other readers.
Denise Thompson Send private email
Monday, October 13, 2014
A customer can never impose you to build a feature, he's only power is to suggest features. This is why it is important to carefully analyze what customers ask, this is how you find a trend.

If the customer is too pushy with very custom feature requests you can nicely offer him a refund, explaining that you cannot implement those features as desired, due to various reasons.

Also, if you don't have a limit (listed on your website and in the purchasing terms) on your supports tickets, what you can do with a customer that is "spamming" you is to delay your answer.

For example if you offer a very good support, i.e. answer in less than a day to all tickets, than you could schedule his ticket for the end of the day, or the beginning of the second day. (This way you don't allow him to send you multiple emails in the same day)

**Never** accept to implement all that a customer wants (especially for one that has the time to go on forums and speak badly of your business). Always the majority (of users) should point out the development direction.
Bogdan Mitrache Send private email
Monday, October 13, 2014
"He has the highest number of support ticket in our system over 300+ within 2 months"

You can't reason with the unreasonable.

I am surprised you let it go this far.

I would just say something along the lines of:

"I am afraid we aren't able to provide the level of support you require. We have refunded your purchase in full. Please feel free to keep using our software, but note that we won't be able to answer any further support emails."

Then refund and ignore all future emails. If you find that hard, then have their emails sent automatically to trash.

He might cause some trouble for you in forums for a while. But it sounds like that might happen, no matter what you do. Hopefully they will lose interest after a while.
Andy Brice Send private email
Monday, October 13, 2014
Yes, in these situations it is very reasonable to refund their money and ban them from repurchasing. When they show up in your product forum and post hate then you just reply that the person is not a licensed user.
Scott Send private email
Monday, October 13, 2014
We did not implement his feature suggestions because they are already implemented, he wanted the features to work in a certain way and that's a custom feature requests which he did not want to pay for.

I have refunded him in full.
Denise Thompson Send private email
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
> He might cause some trouble for you in forums for a while

Make sure you rebut one of his posts in every forum by stating that you've refunded him in full, so others in each forum can see you've done the right thing by him.  That leaves him looking like a goose if he persists.  And don't reply further in any forums after that single rebut.  Just leave him sooking there by himself.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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