The other week I heard an article on TV about new words which have become commonplace in todays’ world and “Ghosting” was one of them.
Apparently it refers to a situation where you have been in a relationship with someone and, suddenly, all communication ceases for no obvious reason!
Well, for the past year we have had an advertising relationship with a successful company which runs a number of cafes/restaurants across Ireland. Their advert was up for renewal at the end of August so I contacted the marketing department and enquired if they were planning to renew the advert and was told “Yes, we probably will”.
Over the next eight weeks I tried to have the renewal confirmed by email and telephone calls but could never get a reply. I even raised an Invoice for the renewal and emailed it to the person concerned but when I phoned to ask if the Invoice had been received I was told by someone on their switchboard that they never advertise!
When I pointed out that they had paid to advertise with us for the previous twelve months the switchboard lady asked for my telephone number and said someone would contact me.
Sadly, no call was received!
On the 2nd November, eight weeks after my initial enquiry, I wrote to my contact in the company, and said that, as no-one had had the courtesy to reply to my enquiries, I had taken their business off our database and would not be bothering them any further!
Boy, did that bring a swift and indignant response!
There was a terse apology for taking so long to reply, a claim that the Invoice had been passed for payment but “put on the back burner” because they were involved in opening a new cafe, and then they expressed shock that I should speak to a customer in the way I did. Deep offence had been caused by the tone of my email!
Apparently I was failing to show appropriate respect for a customer who had ignored me for the previous eight weeks! The pot calling the kettle black methinks!
I have now discovered that my “Marketing Department” contact has the same surname as the company owners so I’m guessing he is a younger member of the family.
In my book, business is done between people and respect is a two way exercise – not a one way street! I reckon this “marketing department” character has still a lot to learn about business and, sadly, simple good manners!
I’ve been “Ghosted” but believe me, I’m not losing any sleep over it.