Ribbing your web developer in public

My wife grabs me the other day and tells me I should contact a prominent website that she frequents about some website work.

When I asked why, she said that the website owner had posted a big whinge about her web developer on the front page of the website, and perhaps the client was looking to change. Rather than the client and web developer being a cohesive team unit, the poor old web developer was getting a ribbing in public.

By the way, on Thursday morning I will be able to tell you all what is more painful - getting this website up or having my teeth pulled

This short quote was taken from a much larger public whinge about the new website. The answer to the question, if you were wondering, was that the website was more painful.

Perhaps it was deserved, who knows.

What this says

I wondered about the image this portrays though. From the perspective of the web developer, I can imagine this would be a fairly unpleasant piece of content to read about yourself - especially from a client you are still working with.

But from the public perspective, I don't know if this gives a good look either. It's like the management of a supermarket disciplining staff in front of customers. Or having to listen to someone else's credit problems while you are waiting in the same room. Regardless of who's fault it is, the customer doesn't want to know about it, and it just reinforces the image of unprofessionalism and disorder that we all try so hard to avoid.

I told my wife I'm too busy to be taking on new work anyway, and the site was Microsoft based so I didn't want to follow up on this one - but that aside, would you want to knowing that any mistakes you make will be aired publicly?


So as I'm sitting here minding my own business, a newsletter arrives from one of my clients. Included in the newsletter is the following snippet...

We have been all year working on a new web site and could now write a book on all the pit falls!

Oh that's just great. I know they aren't talking about me, because I have only just taken over the site from the old developer, and have bent over backwards since to deliver good service and get the site operational, finally.
But it's my name at the bottom of the website, and how are their clients to know that the comment is directed elsewhere?
Based on this last newsletter I'm giving serious thought to removing my name and link from the thing. Which is a shame, I was quite proud of the work I have done.

Public ribbings

I think public ribbings of your own staff / contractors is a reasonably negative thing to be doing - aside from upsetting the staff (who may well deserve it) it just doesn't give off a professional feel on the front page of your website.

Might I humbly suggest saving these sorts of rants for your husband or wife?

Anyone else agree?
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Tags: worst practicecustomerscustomers "worst practice"