How Many Customers Don’t Tell You?

I don’t know about you but I really enjoy fresh yellow-fin tuna. I especially like it grilled outdoors over a very hot fire. While cooking out this past weekend, it came to me that I had done a disservice to my fish supplier.

For a couple of years now, I would put in an order for twenty or forty pounds of fresh tuna from a wholesale supplier on the northern Jersey coast. Most of his customers are restaurants or markets so he has a minimum size order. I get it in one or two large pieces so I can cut it up the way I like and so I can freeze some.

Last year for the 4th, I ordered the tuna and we had a party for some friends. The fish, like always, was fantastic quality.

This past Christmas, I once again placed an order for the same quality tuna in one large piece. When it came, I was dismayed to find it cut up in about ½ to ¾ slices as if it had come out of a retail showcase. And, I could see the tuna didn’t seem to be the same quality. It turned out it wasn’t.

It didn’t taste nearly as good as past orders and it was obvious to my family who by now knew what high-quality, fresh yellow-fin tastes like. I ended up throwing out the fish we froze because it just wasn’t any good.

For some reason, I never contacted the fish vendor to let him know that he had not only shipped me inferior fish but it wasn’t sent in one piece as ordered. I just never ordered from him again.

This weekend, when friends asked me if we were planning on having that “wonderful tuna” again, I realized I hadn’t really been fair to the owner. I never told him and I assumed he knew what he had shipped. However, I’m sure he was swamped during the holidays and he probably assumed that whoever packed my order shipped the correct quality in the manner I ordered.

So, I decided to let him know. I have his email address and I’m going to drop him a note. I’ll keep you posted as to his response.

Meanwhile, how many people don’t let you know when your service or product doesn’t meet expectations?

How many just never come back?

2 thoughts on “How Many Customers Don’t Tell You?”

  1. Just as important- did your vendor ever ask if you were satisfied?
    Sure, feedback from the most vocal customers can be helpful, but what if your fish vendor encouraged more feedback from more customers just by asking?
    Do you think you would have shared your thoughts sooner?
    More importantly for the vendor, would he have received your business this Fourth?

  2. Ryan – he never asked. If he would have asked and then followed-up with a good explanation or replacement, I’d still be a customer.
    A lot of companies don’t ask because they don’t want to hear about any problems. How dumb is that!

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