Teaching your customers a lesson

Megan points us to this photo of a package returned by the post office. For being less than 1% short on postage.

Obviously, it’s cheaper to deliver the package than to go to all the trouble to void the postage and send it back just because it’s a penny short. So why bother? To teach her a lesson. To be sure she never does it again.

A million pennies adds up, after all.

While monopolies can get away with this, you probably shouldn’t try. Yet businesses (and non-profits!) do it all the time. We overreact to slightly bad behavior because we worry, "If we don’t slam this door shut, then everyone will do it…" So we yell at the church member who parks the wrong way, or we grudgingly change a policy but loudly proclaim, "but just this one time!"

Hey, it’s not the Supreme Court (fortunately). You’re not setting precedent every time you interact with someone. The best thing a marketer can do is have the attitude that customers deserve a little slack now and then. If it gets out of hand, then you can start acting like the post office.