Is Customer Always Right?

“Is customer always right?” is among one of the acrimonious debates among the business intellects. Many essays are written on this specific unresolved paradox of our time. Recently, after seeing my Facebook page content entitled “Real boss is the customer”, CEO MAL Pakistan Limited (Formerly Mobil Askari Lubricants Limited) sent me an email:

Dear Ashraf, I saw your post on the FB regarding customers. It’s pretty cliched, old, time-tested theorem. However, sometimes one needs to take a perspective as often you come across customers that cant be kept happy and hence retained.
The attached article sheds some interesting light on the old angle of ‘Customer Is Always Right’.

As some bosses are great and some bosses are comprehensively assh*les, so are the customers. Let me narrate a recent story.

I took a year to get business from one of the companies in Karachi. Three days after the materialization of business, the CEO of that company sent me an email that I could never expect from a man of his stature. He was not only absolutely wrong but also his tone was ignoble. The worst thing was that he had copied that email to his two junior employees. I sent him Reply All:

Gentleman, I stand by my content. We can discuss any time. The tone of your email is ridiculously harsh and UNACCEPTABLE. The contract is over and we cannot work for you. 


Within two minutes, I got a reply: “Mr. Ashraf, I apologize if my words hurt you.” And my reply was: “Your apology is accepted. As a matter of principle, we work for only those clients who have a sense of mutual respect. Wish you a great future.”

After rejecting the business, I was confused if I did the right thing or not. I was confused till today until CEO, MAL Pakistan sent me an article “Top 5 reasons why “The Customer Is Always Right” is wrong“.

The customer is NOT always right. I am happy to fire the nasty customer who thought all vendors are to be treated equally.

4 thoughts on “Is Customer Always Right?

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  • September 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    pathetic, meaningless and not so helpful. Customer is always right and we should constantly keep reviewing our commitment to help customer as much as we can.

  • April 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Actually, Ashraf I appreciate your writing here but let me add some point here, Business isn’t and should never be One Sided Game, its well played only if both Vendor and Customer work mutually to bring up the Quality Product. I have learned this by myself after many years of experience with the different Clients from all across the Globe. So the tagline is “Customer and Vendor should be friendly, only if they want a Quality Outcome”

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    no doubt customer is king and at the same time we should take care of the integrity of our business


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