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It’s the little things that drive customers away

A $1 “fuel surcharge” showed up in my shopping cart when ordering some office supplies. It would have been fine if they raised the shipping or the price–but sticking it in at the end was just rude.


Cheap little rip-offs like this will drive away your customers — and you’ll never know.

Lost customers from annoyances like this don’t show up in your research or sales reports, because they happen post-purchase. Instead, customers just decide to not buy from you again. They tell a few friends.

And one day you wake up and wonder where everybody went.

Go through your entire sales process today and eliminate all those practices that you would never tolerate if you were a customer.

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  1. Douglas Karr December 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Could not agree more. The technology equivalent of this is purchasing software and then finding out their API costs money.

  2. Stephanie M. Cockerl December 22, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    How come companies put on a separate fuel surcharge especially when gas prices are going down? It would of been wise to lump it together in shipping and handling.

  3. Jessica Sanders December 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    This reminds me of Ticketmaster and their ridiculous fees – I paid $12 for a concert ticket recently and $8 more in fees, almost double! Great way to get people talking about your brand – well, complaining to be more accurate!

  4. BetterRetail December 24, 2008 at 6:56 am #

    The fuel surcharge indicates (to me) that it’s temporary and will disappear when fuel prices stabilize. If I were a regular customer and noticed a $1 spike without an explanation I’d be a little upset.

  5. Chaitanya Sagar December 25, 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    Nice post. There are many other little things! In a service business, it’s about telling all the bad news the moment your provider has it. And making sure they don’t over promise – on a regular basis.

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