The CEO of Postmates made an embarrassing rookie email error, including a disgruntled customer on an email chain instructing someone else within the company to… well, in polite terms, instruct the customer that the company was disinterested in her gripe.
Of course, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann didn’t say it that way, using a four-letter expletive in his directive of how the customer should be dealt with — or more accurately, how she should deal with herself.
The awkward misstep occurred when Erin Boudreau of Seattle emailed customer service with a slight complaint about the service she’d received in her Postmates experience.
It’s not clear what Boudreau’s issue with Postmates was originally, whether she’d complained unreasonably, or if the complaint was just poorly received.
But when the email was escalated up to Lehmann, he was clearly disinterested — adding to the chain, “someone also please tell her to f*** off.”
After the error was revealed, Lehmann posted to the Postmates blog about the “f*** off” comment, passing it off as a joke and in poor taste. He began:
“Last night I sent a private e-mail to our Customer Service team in response to a customer complaint regarding her past orders and restaurant profile. My e-mail, which outlined how to resolve the customer issue, contained a bad joke which was very poor in taste. Subsequently, the bad joke was sent to the customer.”
“What I said was a major lapse in judgement on my part. I deeply regret this… I immediately reached out to the customer and offered my full and sincere apology. I would like to extend that same apology to all of our customers and Customer Service team. There is no excuse for this.”
Later, the Postmates CEO adds:
“I cannot find the words to describe how much I value our customers and how deeply I care about them being happy. There is no excuse for this type of conduct… I take full responsibility for my actions. I am sincerely sorry.”
Boudreau accepted the apology from Postmates’ CEO, but not so much with the excuse:
For what it's worth, I accept @basti's apology. However I don't believe instructing his team to tell me to "fuck off" was a joke or typo.
— Erin Boudreau (@Erin_Boudreau) September 15, 2013
After the Postmates email screenshot was circulated, Lehmann says he “apologized immediately” and called the lapse a “total fail.”