What Happens When A Customer Tells Fab's CEO He Needs To Learn To Take Criticism

Jason GoldbergJason / Goldberg / FacebookJason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.

Fab sends its registered users a lot of emails. One recipient, annoyed by all the inbound, felt compelled to respond to one titled, “Would you recommend Fab to your friends?” He shared what happened next with Business Insider.

This person says he rated Fab a zero out of 10 and added colour.

“All you sell is tat, your business practices are questionable and your CEO needs to learn how to take criticism,” this person wrote.

Within minutes, this person received an email from Jason Goldberg, Fab’s CEO. The email was titled, “Criticism.”

“Hi __, I got your feedback note. I would love to learn how Fab and I could serve you better. Thanks.”

A respectable response from Goldberg. Prompt, polite, caring.

Only in the feedback-giver’s opinion, it completely missed the point. This person felt that instead of acknowledging a weakness in both Fab’s products and in Goldberg himself, Goldberg ignored both issues and read it as a customer service issue.

“It’s his typical response – not listening to what has been said,” this person told Business Insider. “The subject line was related to him. No mention of my comment in relation to their product quality/choices. Perhaps if I hadn’t mentioned the CEO I wouldn’t have received any response at all.”

So this person responded: “Are you kidding me? This is exactly the type of thing I meant. Listen mate, take the rough with the smooth.Don’t take everything personally.”

Goldberg kept his cool, and responded again.

“Hi. I actually was trying to give you some good service here. It’s sincere. Can I help you enjoy Fab more? I care.”

This person says he restrained himself from sending another, more irritated response. When asked what made him to comment on Goldberg’s ability to take criticism, this person said he doesn’t like how Goldberg has responded to recent articles about Fab.

“I don’t have any issue with Fab or Jason, etc,” he tells Business Insider. “I just feel that, in this hyper-localised world, people need to be extremely careful with what they write and put out there. I am referring to his blog responses to articles written about [Fab].”

An example: This is Goldberg’s response to a Bloomberg article that claimed Fab was missing revenue marks.

Lately, it seems Goldberg can’t catch a break. He was recently criticised for a line in a lay-off memo that suggested getting fired was an “opportunity.” He was also bashed for complaining about a plane passenger’s refusal take his $US100 in exchange for a seat swap.

It’s not easy being a startup in the spotlight. Startups that start out strong can attract negative attention more easily down the road, from both press and users. In the words of an early Foursquare employee: “People are in love with you, but then all of a sudden, they can’t wait to watch you fail.”

Here’s the exchange, below (names and email addresses have been removed).

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