Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hall of Shame-- DojoDirect in the UK

DojoDirect, a martial arts gear company based in the UK, stirred up a storm when its spokesperson Adam James Collier insulted a female customer, well-known British competitor Pippa Granger.

Granger, a Checkmat purple belt and gi/nogi referee, had written to DojoDirect to mention a spelling error repeated numerous times on its website.  Instead of "jiu jitsu" it referred to "jui jitsu" (and called gis "suits," though she did not comment on that oddity.)

Collier responded with little command of the written word yet much sarcasm, and essentially accused her of PMSing, though he was fairly ignorant of the concept and contended that her 'cycles' were "premature." (?!?!)  Classy.  Here's the screen shot:

Later on, another customer, Vikki, chimed in, prompting more hamhanded PR fails and ageist comments from Collier:

Lessons for Adam Collier and other business owners:

1. In my opinion, if a customer bothers to inform you that you have unprofessional errors on your website, you graciously and gratefully accept their input and refrain from insulting them!  I don't care if you think they're wrong.  The customer may not always be right, but you don't argue with them.  

2. You want their business, no?  you want to be seen as reputable, knowledgeable, and reliable, no?  So do your research and spell the name of the art for which you purport to provide gear correctly!  Proofread your website and make sure you present your company in the best possible light.  And make sure you try to use proper spelling and grammar in your public comments on social media, as well.  (We all make typos, of course, but if you can't tell the difference between 'your' and 'you're' then you should not be the public voice of your company.  It's just not professional.  Hire an English major to edit your copy first and handle social media.)

3.  No sarcasm with the customer.  None.  Sarcasm is not acceptable.  With friends, sure... on social media, meant to insult and put down your potential buyers?  DUMB.

4.  Misogyny is stupid in an era where a substantial chunk of the market is... WOMEN.  Women who train and compete and buy gear for themselves... plus women buying gear for their men who train and compete...  so asinine comments claiming that constructive criticism about your website stems from hormones?  DUMB.

I wrote to Adam and DojoDirect suggesting they make a public apology.  DojoDirect (assuming that's Adam) wrote back right away, told me he was sorry, and said he'd publicly apologize later.  

Here's the "public" apology, on twitter, to his few followers-- nothing on Facebook or anywhere else.  (I am happy to repost any future apologies here, in fairness...)  EDITED TO ADD: on Thursday August 15, Collier did post a public apology on a Facebook group which I was unable to screen shot last night.  He included a percentage-off coupon, as well.

I have to say-- baloney.  "Sensitive issues" doesn't begin to cover it-- and "I didn't intend to offend you"-- ???? WTF!  And what, is she to be bought off??  lol...

1 comment:

Meerkatsu said...

Kinda of a muffled apology but at least he owned up to something. Hope he can learn from the experience.