Think Before You Act

We are all human and none of us is perfect. It is easy to see oneself as a rebel or a revolutionary when you sit anonymously behind a keyboard in an industry where few know your true identity or actual location. This can sometimes give people an altered sense of reality and justice.

I say this because the other day there was a post on a webmaster board from a guy claiming a sponsor had bounced a check to him. When asked he did reply that he hadn’t yet contacted the sponsor but was doing so. As the thread grew there were many people that now claimed they would never send traffic to this sponsor and calling them out as scammers. This guy made the same post on many different boards all over the place so the word was spreading fast. Over the years I have had a couple of sponsor checks bounce. One was just a mistake and the other happened when the sponsor’s bank closed their account without warning. In both cases I was paid and reimbursed for any fees I may have incurred. As it turns out this guy had a similar situation. The company had recently changed accountants and a few wires got crossed. They overnighted him a new check and all was good. Except, of course, for the numerous industry wide threads slamming this sponsor. The person did go back to each thread and post that everything had been taken care of, but by then half the threads were buried and few people paid attention. The damage was already done. I have seen companies nearly go out of business and incur major losses because of stuff like this.

We all make mistakes. Unlike the real world, in the virtual world I can’t drive to your store or office and talk to you face to face to solve a problem. Our business requires a higher degree of trust than many others. Mistakes are bound to happen eventually and things get mixed up. If this happens to you, relax, be smart and go first to the sponsor and ask them about it. If you get the reputation as someone that badmouths people on the boards a lot of people simply won’t do business with you. By acting professionally you can help your reputation and help preserve the reputation of others and not destroy either or both over a simple clerical error.

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