Freelance marketing writer, Jonathan Cohen asked this question in comments:
Here’s another freelance etiquette question:
I had a telephone interview with a prospective client, and at his request spent a few hours gathering statistical info on previous work I’d done. After I submitted the information to him, I never heard back from him.
I ended up sending him a frank email saying that I was disappointed with him, and that since he was the CEO, it didn’t bode well for the company’s customer service, either.
Should I have done it? It made me feel slightly better at the time, and I don’t mind if he tells others I wrote that. I’m fine with prospects not responding to initial contacts, but after you’ve done a phone interview and expended time and effort gathering material for them, I find it tacky of prospects not to at least say “Sorry, not interested.”
Well, um, ahhh, sigh.
I suspect you’re sort of wishing you hadn’t done that. I know I would be. Not that it’s the end of the world, or will mean your failure as a freelance marketing writer. Not at all. And if that’s the worst that happens to you you’re in great shape! I’m also glad you sent him an frank email rather than an angry one.
The trouble with this sort of thing is not unlike the old joke about the pedestrian who had the right of way, which is what got carved on his tombstone after a car hit him anyway.
I have a friend who has a bumper sticker on his car that says Kindness Is My Religion. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate that sort of sentiment. These days I try to encourage what I consider good behavior rather than punish or even point out bad behavior. I don’t always succeed.
I do, however, make it a point to complement people, even write an email or talk to their supervisors, etc., when I get good service. I have no real idea if it makes the world a better place, but it sure makes me feel better when I do it.
But I’m glad you asked the question. I suspect there will be some who disagree and some who agree. I’d like to hear both sides.
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