I buy a lot of envelopes. We went to the website of our envelope printer because we wanted to check out some new colors. I asked for some free samples.
They insisted that I pay for the samples.
Such a bad customer service moment. I’m annoyed and I’m shopping elsewhere. They turned me away at the moment I was ready to buy.
Better idea: When someone asks for a sample, they should get me on the phone, help me make the perfect choice, and give me a little coupon.
This sort of weirdness happens when companies have a bad experience with freeloaders. So they create bad policies to punish bad people (who aren’t even customers).
Lesson: Get rid of all the negative, defensive policies that protect your business over a hypothetical harm — and hurt your best customers.