snarky response

Does Customer Service Allow Any Room for Snark?

I belong to the Social Q’s Facebook group, an etiquette-themed panel that discusses how to handle everyday sticky situations with tact (think: how to address noisy neighbors, respond to passive aggressive emails, come up with a wedding guest list with minimal hurt feelings…).

As of late, though, the topics have veered toward current events, including sportsmanship at the Olympics, and — no surprise here — the U.S. presidential election.

Earlier this week, someone posted an article about a pair of jewelry makers who received an order from Ivanka Trump and sent her a snarky personal note, which they posted on Instagram. In response they received more than 7,000 likes, 3,000 comments, dozens of reposts, and applause from New York magazine, the Huffington Post, and Jezebel, among others.IMG_4208

Here’s what the note read:

Dear Ivanka,

 Thank you so much for your web order! We’re happy to let you know that the proceeds of your sale have been generously donated to the American Immigration Council, the Everytown for Gun Safety organization, and the Hillary Clinton Campaign. We hope you enjoy your new Lady Grey #helixearcuff.

Jill and Sabine

To me, this stunt is pretty crass. I have no qualms with the owners using Ivanka’s sale to fund things that defy her father (though I’m wondering just how expensive this cuff must be for them to donate the money three ways) — but to breach a customer’s privacy and insult her publicly? — that does not suggest customer appreciation.

Some Social Qers have argued that Ivanka is a celebrity and thus fair game. Others have pointed out that this snarky message pales in comparison to Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments (true). But, in this particular scenario, shouldn’t the emphasis be on Ivanka Trump as a customer rather than as a presidential candidate’s daughter?

Is it ever acceptable to mock a customer? Wouldn’t it be better to (politely and privately) turn down business for a person whose values clash with yours?

1 thought on “Does Customer Service Allow Any Room for Snark?”

  1. Business is Business.
    Politics is Politics.
    The two do not mix… at least publicly.
    No “vote for…” signs on the building.
    No political bumper stickers on your company vehicles.
    And no employee may wear a political pin while on duty.
    American flag pins, IMNTBHO are fine.
    All the best, Bill

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