Not Sweating The Small Stuff

A customer recently emailed me that they hadn’t gotten their CD key in the email and also needed to update the address on their CD delivery.  I sent them the following:

It appears that your main email account ( is full of emails and as a result cannot receive any more.  I am sending this to your secondary email account in the hope that it reaches you.  You will find your Registration Key and instructions beneath my signature.

I will contact the company which processes shipping for me and make sure they send the CD to

123 Main Street

Apt #123

Anywhere, US 12345
instead of to your address in Big City.


Patrick McKenzie
Dear (customer),

Thank you for your purchase of Bingo Card Creator. This email contains your registration code — please save it for your records. If you ever lose your code, you can contact us at or through our website and we’ll happily look it up for you.

You have also purchased a CD. We will attempt to ship this within the next business day. After that, it generally takes 2-4 days to arrive depending on where you live, if you are in the continental United States. If you are not, send an email to and we can give you a better estimate as to when it will arrive.

You will need to enter this registration code into your software to unlock its full functionality. You can do this by selecting Purchase Now from the menu bar, and then select Enter Registration Key.

Your Registration Key is BINGO-12345-12345 .

Assuming you were previously using the trial version of our software, you don’t need to download anything, but if you wish to make sure your software is up to date go to our website ( and click “Download Free Trial” and follow the onscreen instructions. Note that if you have already put in your registration code no matter how many times you use that installer your software should stay registered, so feel free to update it at your leisure.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at . Thanks again for your business.


Patrick McKenzie

Now, I think that is a fairly easy to understand email.  It should resolve the problem.  So imagine my suprise this morning when I get another email from the same customer saying “Well, I cleared out my email and checked again, but couldn’t find the registration code.  So I ordered it again.  Could you cancel the first order?” 

I’m sort of loathe to yank back the order from SwiftCD (a manual process) not 12 hours after having to yank another order from them (the first, due to the botched address).  No sense making too much extra work for them.

So I’m out an extra $5 for the second CD, because my customer apparently did not understand that my first email resolved their issue.  That is irksome… and I haven’t mentioned it to the customer, and won’t, aside from to say “Of course I can do that for you.  You will end up receiving two CDs — feel free to discard the one you don’t need.”  A certain amount of minor irritations and miscommunications are par for the course.

Sidenote: SwiftCD has been incredibly understanding of my support needs (which include periodically yanking orders and retroactively changing addresses) and unfailingly fast and professional in dealing with them.  If you need decently priced CDs stamped and shipped off to anywhere, they get my unwavering recommendation.  As a bonus point they integrate directly with e-junkie so the amount of work I do on 95 out of 100 CD orders is… nothing.  It just happens and I get a bill at the end of the month.

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

4 Comments on “Not Sweating The Small Stuff”

  1. Daniel Says:

    It looks like you left a valid registration key in that email. I don’t think you wanted to do that.

  2. Patrick Says:

    Thanks! Nuked it.

  3. RichardM Says:

    I think the problem is that the email you sent is just too long. I tuned out by the time I got to “You have also purchased a CD”, and I very nearly missed the registration code as a result.

    I totally understand how that happens – a customer asks a question, you think you can pre-empt it in future by putting that info in the email. Bit by bit the email gets bigger until eventually you’ve forgotten that people won’t RTFM. I’m guilty of that myself, I’ve had similar experiences to you.

    Perhaps try pushing some of the info onto support web pages – do you need the shipping estimate in the email, can you push that onto the site and just link to it in the email? Or perhaps split the info you send into multiple emails – one email about the CD, another email with a registration code.

  4. Patrick Says:

    I haven’t edited the text of that email in forever, actually. Maybe I can tighten it a little bit. I’ll try a stab at doing so tonight. Multiple emails is unfeasible for technical reasons.

    What I really should have done here, which I generally do, is follow “You will find your Registration Key and instructions beneath my signature.” with copy/pasting the sentence “Your Registration Key is BINGO-12345-12345”. No points for me for being lazy if it means having to redo the work later…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: