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Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages?

 

   


wvtrigeek

Mar 4, 12 5:19

Post #1 of 11 (2083 views)
Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? Quote | Reply

I think people are becoming increasingly impatient and technology may be somewhat to blame for that issue. Everything has to happen NOW! I'm wondering what exactly is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages. I actually had someone tell me my "customer service sucked" because I didn't respond to their personal message in less than a day and a half. Ebay has an entire webpage devoted to this and essentially they allow 3 business days to pass before they see it as an issue. I would see this as reasonable. Here's their policy, what is ours?

Remember, many eBay sellers keep regular business hours, and some do not respond to emails during the evening, on weekends, on holidays, and so on.
It should also be noted. Most eBay Sellers have Real World jobs, which limits them to evening hours, during the weekday. And because of family demands, many may not be able to respond on weekends or holidays.
eBay has this rule, because, both the Buyer and the Seller can have issues that will delay a response.
Some of the many reasons, eBay allows a Three Business Day wait are.

1 ) Computer crash (dead computer)
2 ) eMail sever is down
3 ) ISP is down
4 ) Other sites needed to supply info are down. IE USPS International Rate Calulator
5 ) Computer virus
6 ) Hijacked account (there are over a 1000 eBay accounts hijacked on eBay every day)
7 ) Unexpected real world job issues
7 ) Family issues
8 ) Illness
9 ) Power outages
10 ) Flooding
11 ) eBay system bugs like:

a ) Messages sent using My eBay are not received by the buyer/seller.
b ) Internet Explorer crashing, due to system changes to My eBay.

And there are a lot more reasons and the above reasons do not apply only to end of auction emails.

I personally sometimes wait a half day, whole day or even well into the next couple days so that I can sit down for an extended period and reply to emails, personal messages, etc. all at once. Some people may have the luxury of being able to work at a computer constantly but I am not one of them. I may intermittently check the new threads on slowtwitch throughout the typical workday on my phone but that is quite different than having the ability to sit and type a paragraph-long reply to someone on an actual computer. So what is the etiquette on this?

a) 1 hour

b) 6 hours

c) 12 hours

d) 18 hours

e) 1 day

f) 2 days

g) 3 days

h) greater than 3 days


B.McMaster

Mar 4, 12 5:33

Post #2 of 11 (2052 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Same timing as your next post.


ziptied

Mar 4, 12 5:33

Post #3 of 11 (2052 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

48 hours


tigerpaws

Mar 4, 12 5:40

Post #4 of 11 (2037 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I figure if someone has time to log on they have time to type a few words like 'got it thanks'....'on it's way'. I travel for a living so it's planes, trains and automobiles. Even when I drop stuff off on the way to the airport, like tomorrow on my flight out, I will PM the buyer with a FedEx tracking number while I'm standing in the security line. Takes about 30 seconds and makes everything smooth. Not saying it's the only way, but I attempt to give the same level of communication I enjoy on the buyer end.
He is excited to build up his road bike with my 105, I know how that feels...gonna let him know his toys are on the way! I don't have to log on to ebay to do this b/c I have those ebay emails forwarded to my gmail so I can just respond via my mail client.

If one doesn't have access to a hand held email/date device this of course renders one to time in front of PC.....and that is an entirely different scenario.


(This post was edited by tigerpaws on Mar 4, 12 5:48)


tribritre

Mar 4, 12 9:48

Post #5 of 11 (1885 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

wvtrigeek wrote:
I'm wondering what exactly is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages.



I'll get back to you on that.

Later!

Brian

Swim. Bike. Run. Repeat as necessary.
Welcome to the Church of Briantriology!


David B

Mar 4, 12 9:51

Post #6 of 11 (1877 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [tribritre] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I just tell people I'll do my best to get back to them within 24 hours but it doesn't always happen. Personal messages are one thing, business ones are something entirely different in my opinion. PM's can wait, business ones usually get priority.


Strength coach and post rehab injury specialist. Check out my blog at http://www.paradigmfitnessottawa.com.


Cmikul

Mar 4, 12 10:28

Post #7 of 11 (1851 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I feel your pain. I agree that technology has sped up the anticipation and expectations for responses.
I complain about this daily in my work environment.
I've gained clients because my competitors couldn't respond the same day to requests....only to ave the same customer complain about me because I couldn't respond within 5 minutes. Seems a little unreasonable.

Ok, it sounds downright absurd to me.

I have had periods of time that I'm out of cell range...hunting, at the lake, offshore fishing and am just unable to respond to someones request.

I try and use some good sense judgement about how fast I need to reply based on the subject matter. The same goes for my expectations.

Do I think it's unreasonable that I've waited 4weeks for a response from Cervelo customer service? Yes, that's what loses customers.


mcmetal

Mar 4, 12 10:29

Post #8 of 11 (1851 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [David B] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My vote is for 24 hours. Anything more than that implies you can care less about whatever it is you are selling.


ZackCapets

Mar 4, 12 11:18

Post #9 of 11 (1804 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

When I email adults who have no responsibility to me: During the workweek my expectation is that I'll hear back next-day or the morning of the 2nd day after I send the email under most normal circumstances. Over the weekend, I have no real expectations, particularly if the message concerns business. I want to enjoy my weekend and others should too.

When I email adults of whom I have expectations (my coach, people in my employ, etc): During the workweek...emails sent in the morning should ideally get a response by the end of the day, or early the next morning at the latest. I start to get frustrated when emails sent to people of this sort go 36 hours without a reply. By 48 hours I'm officially annoyed.

When I email fellow students: During the workweek I typically expect a same-day reply on most things if I have no real working relationship to the person. If I'm working with someone on a project I expect a reply within probably 4-6 hours (i.e I should be able to send out an email in the morning about a team meeting in the evening and get 100% response rate). On the weekends I still don't have any real expectations, although now that I know people have smartphones there isn't any reason simple messages couldn't be responded to in a matter of a day or so.

When I email a company (such as by using a form on their website): I'm usually happy just to hear back from them. Within 5-7 days is good, within 2-3 business days is better.

When I'm buying/selling something on Craigslist or ebay, my expectations fall somewhere in between the first two scenarios and timelines.

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Mexpedip

Mar 4, 12 11:35

Post #10 of 11 (1771 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Here's the only reasons people do not respond within a few hours.

1) they're dead
2) they do not want to deal with the issue.

I prefer to believe it's the first because the 2nd is truly sad. With that being said I do realize emergencies happen. I am also not saying I always give the exact answer but I always make sure I at least respond with something so the person knows the issue/question is being addressed.

For what it's worth I travel for work as well. When I am traveling I set my out of office reply with a tentative schedule and when a response can be expected, with the exception of any travel delays. And no, I don't have a job that is literally life or death but technology, regardless of what you think about it, has made it very easy to respond quickly and easily.

*all of the above refers to business relationships including eBay transactions etc. All my friends would happily confirm that I rarely respond in a timely manner.



Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in hand, favorite beverage in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, 'WOO HOO, what a ride!' author unknown


vwkismet

Mar 4, 12 13:15

Post #11 of 11 (1712 views)
Re: Poll: Etiquette - What is a reasonable amount of time to respond to personal messages? [wvtrigeek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This is an interesting question to me because I have been on a recent buying spree trying to build up a new bike. Having interacted on the classifieds a bunch recently, here is my take.

If you are selling an item, I expect you to be interested in selling it. I would say a response beyond 24 hours or so to a new thread you posted is pretty slow. Many of the deals move pretty quickly, and you shouldn't put something up and then head off on vacation for a few days and not be responsive. If it is an older thread, then there is much more leeway - I will typically look at how many posts a person has (total and per day) to gauge how active they seem to be. Of course, I am a lurker so that wouldn't give a very good indication of how much time I spend here! Generally I would be a bit put off if someone did not respond in 48 hours - that is two evenings and/or two mornings and/or two weekend days when I imagine people are typically checking in on the site.

I think ST is set by default to notify you by email if you have a new PM (and you should set it that way if it is not default), so it is not like you have to specifically be checking the forums to know you have a PM. I also will often try to post my email in a message because I know that email is a better way of communicating than back and forth PMs unless both people are very active on the site.

I would probably not tell someone they have poor customer service for a 24-48 hour silence, but I might move on from a deal. Same thing for offers. I don't like making offers that I can't stand by, so if I make an offer for something and the person is not getting back to me, I could be stuck not being able to look for anything else. Depending on the situation now I would probably just send another PM saying that I had to withdraw my offer because I had found something else, but I would rather not have to do that.

Ultimately it all depends on the situation. It is not too hard to tell someone up front that you are busy, going away for a few days, or don't live on ST. Clearly communicating in the first place is the most important part.

   
 
 
 



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