This morning I woke up, and as I do most mornings, I browsed through my blog comments. I have to say this is one of my absolute favorite things about having a blog, while I’m sleeping, my blog is still growing. This morning I noticed that my review of WPEngine was still getting comments as recently as Saturday. I looked and the post had twenty comments, most of which were complaints from unhappy ex WPEngine customers and responses from WPEngine. The comments got pretty harsh as my post turned-into a public forum for people to complain about WPEngine.
In my post I talked about why I had decided to go with Zippy Kid rather than WPEngine. My issue was around a specific experience that I had, but I was very open-minded that the company could definitely turn things around in the future. As someone who has launched many web businesses I know how hard it can be to please everyone. I also know that it takes years to perfect something and building a software platform and a business take time. I also know many happy WPEngine customers who are very successful people, running very successful companies.
So I was a bit disappointed to see people really ragging on WPEngine in my comment section. Poor Ben (from WPEngine) was keeping up with the comments and doing his best to explain what happened in some of the situations described. In one case one of the commenters verbally abused the WPEngine technical support staff with the following being said in an email:
“F&*K YOU BUDDY.” “TOUGH TITTIES YA LITTLE BITCH.” NICCEEŠ
I have edited out the F word in this excerpt but I have to say this is incredibly disappointing to see. I’ve never understood what makes people think they can treat other people like crap period, but I have not respect for it when the person being treated poorly probably has nothing to do with it. At a startup like WPEngine, their support staff are real people, in fact, they are passionate entrepreneurs who are taking a risk and working hard. Nothing works perfectly and while I was disappointed with my WPEngine experience that NEVER gives me or anyone else the right to treat them like crap.
However this does make me think…what an angry person you’d have to be to send an email like this to someone you don’t really know. How sure are you that the person responding to the email even has anything to do with the problem you had, in many cases they are just there to help, they didn’t create the problem!
I see this happen at the airport just about every week (yes I fly a lot!). A few weeks ago I was leaving New York City and my flight was delayed due to weather. Most people approaching the gate agent were polite, they understood the situation and just wanted to get things worked out as best as possible. However I’d say about 5% of the group got very angry, and this anger was directed at the gate agent. Just to be clear, the gate agent does not control the weather, nor does the gate agent make major policies for an airline or control how your past experiences have gone. I heard people approach the agent and say things like:
“Every time I fly your F&*king airline this happens, why can’t you guys just make your flight times!”
Are people actually so stupid that they think the gate agents are in high-level strategy meetings about improving airline efficiency? Also, do you know that the person you are talking to is probably someone’s Mom and someone’s loving wife? However there are people in the world who are angry, it’s not the situation they are unhappy with, it is their own life.
Now I’ll level with you – I don’t give a shit how bad your life is, treat other people with respect, period. If your life sucks, do something about it, have a job you hate? Do something else. Have a bad relationship? Get therapy. Tooth problems? Go to a better dentist.
There is no excuse for treating other people like crap, but doing so does show a lot about yourself and how you value other people. Killing the messenger does not solve your problem, instead you just take your anger out on someone who is trying to help you. In so many cases it is the people working in technical support and customer service that end up taking the bulk of the abuse when their jobs do not involve any strategic decision making for the company they are working for.
In this case though the CEO of WPEngine, Ben Metcalfe has hopped on and helped to provide a context to some of these issues. He was very responsive to my issue and getting a response from the CEO of company is a great sign. Let me know the last time you complained about one of the airlines and had anyone with decision-making power actually get back to you? As a startup you are inherently doing something new, great things take time to become great, and it takes great people to do it. As I said in my original post, I think WPEngine has some real all stars and there is great potential. I might not use this service right now, but that does not mean that I won’t use it in the future. On top of that, it is important to understand that the company does have many happy users, unfortunately the unhappy can often be the most vocal.
Last, but certainly not least, one of my other favorite things about having a blog is getting to know your readers better. Many of my readers want me to get involved in business opportunities they are involved with. I have helped fund many projects and partnered on many more. Knowing someone would send a nasty email like the one quoted above is an instant warning sign that this is an angry person that most likely will be sending me an email like that if something ever goes wrong with a project we would be working on together. I have a file I’ve been keeping for years of “people I don’t want to work with” and one person was added to this list after reading this comment string.
Want to use a brand new product or service? Don’t expect things to be perfect, if they aren’t you can always do what I did and leave the service. There is no excuse for talking down to other people that you don’t know anything about. All it does is show the whole world that you are an unhappy person, and if you’re willing to treat some random person you don’t know like that, who knows how your treat your kids and family, I just know to stay away from people like you, bad karma is contagious.
As you know I don’t moderate my comments, this blog is and always will be an open forum, agree or disagree comment and let your voice be heard!