Study: Unhappy Customers Prefer Apologies To Cash


Talk may be cheap, but sometimes it’s cheap and effective.’s Renee Oricchio reports on a study conducted by the Nottingham School of Economics in which customers of a large eBay seller who had provided negative feedback were offered either an explanation and apology, or $4-$8 to reconsider.

Surprisingly, 45% of those offered the apology withdrew their negative rating. Those who were offered the cash payment withrdrew their negative ratings only half as often.

Everyone would like to treat their customers right the first time, but in practice, mistakes will be made. Swallow your pride, and say you’re sorry. It’s a rare case in which doing the right thing is the cheapest, most effective option you have.