RAYGUN found itself involved in a bit of a controversy this afternoon after recounting a customer exchange on the company’s official Facebook page. The post received dozens of comments, likes and “shares” before disappearing from RAYGUN’s page shortly before 6:00 p.m.
The initial update was posted shortly after 12:00 p.m. Verbatim, RAYGUN wrote:
a senior Iowa Legislature staffer for the Republican “Senate Minority Leader” (we’re assuming that’s Senator Bill Dix?) asked us for a 20% discount on some glasses. Mike asked if he demands discounts just from small places or big ones like Home Depot, and this guy (and his wife) assured us that he demands discounts from “everyone.” Mike remarked, “that must make dinners out exhausting.” #MakersAndTakers
RAYGUN then added the following as a subsequent comment:
new slogan in here somewhere? “RAYGUN: Moderately-Priced American-Made Products that You Should Demand to Pay Even Less For.”
This update immediately began to circulate around the social network, receiving dozens of comments and being shared across more than 30 Facebook pages, including our own. However, the details surrounding this story became slightly more obtuse when the customer in question, Ed Failor Jr., responded directly to RAYGUN’s initial update.
Failor’s verbatim response was as follows:
THIS IS UNFAIR. I never identified myself. I said I wanted to buy a dozen of an item sold individually. I asked specifically whether he would discount a dozen purchase. AFTER I PAID, he asked me what I do for a living. I answered honestly.
RAYGUN’s verbatim response to Failor:
that’s true, but we’ve only got so many words to work with, Ed Failor Jr so we gave the abridged version. we don’t normally put up anecdotes about customers, but figured this one was reimbursement-in-entertainment for the $24. we encourage you to take that savings and spend it locally!
As it turns out, this response would be a divisive one for RAYGUN, which–it should be noted–does indeed offer a bulk discount on purchases. The comment section’s largely unified voice began to splinter. Many stood by RAYGUN, but others began to criticize the company for how it had presented the exchange. An element of confusion set in.
As the conversation continued to deteriorate, Ed Failor’s wife chimed in to add her account of the story.
Kristine Failor’s verbatim response was as follows:
That is a horrid and very unclassy move on your part Mike. I can guarantee (as the wife) we just commented that it was a lot for glasses and would buy multiple if there was a discount for bulk. No mention of what either if us did for a living. Its disgusting that you would utilize friendly conversation for your own political points. I can guarantee after years of being proprietors we will no longer be buying ANYTHING there again. Bad form.
A short time later, Kristine Failor replied a second time. Responding to another users’s remark about RAYGUN’s return policy, she wrote:
Oh good because I will be returning the 30 some shirts I own from your store. I also have some friends who are already interesting in taking advantage of your “no receipt”policy. Oh and Michael Fischer, Walmart posts their bulk discount policy. I was there and that is exactly how he asked. We said we wanted to buy a dozen and if there was a discount for bulk. Mr Draper chose (and admitted to above) manipulating the conversation in order to fit into the word count. Apparently his integrity has a word limit.
By this point, RAYGUN’s initial post had received dozens of additional comments. Some leveled claims of libel at RAYGUN. Others criticized the Failors for inquiring about a bulk discount given his involvement in the public sector. Regardless, the shift in tone was palpable and RAYGUN soon found itself surrounded by just as many critics as it did supporters. Some in RAYGUN’s corner weren’t quite sure of what to make of the exchange, while a number of others voiced their disappointment more explicitly.
RAYGUN would make one more comment, this time responding to Kristine:
we accept all returns no questions asked. so Kristin’s request would be fine with us.
This concludes the exchange between RAYGUN, Ed Failor Jr. and his wife Kristine, though the initial post continued to receive comments until it was deleted approximately six hours after its publication.
A call was made to RAYGUN’s Des Moines location this afternoon, though CEO Mike Draper could not be immediately reached for comment. Little Village will update if more information comes in.