Author Topic: The First Customer Service Complaint in Recorded History (1750 B.C.)  (Read 918 times)

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Offline ASHOOR

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Absent a Yelp app, the ancient Babylonian costumer in this case inscribed his complaint on a clay tablet—which now resides at the British Museum—sometime around 1750 B.C. The irate purchaser here, Nanni, writing to someone named Ea-nasir, received a shipment of copper ore of an inferior grade, after some annoying delay and in a damaged condition. In the translation below from Assyriologist A. Leo Oppenheim, Nanni vents his spleen.




    Tell Ea-nasir: Nanni sends the following message:

   
Quote
When you came, you said to me as follows : “I will give Gimil-Sin (when he comes) fine quality copper ingots.” You left then but you did not do what you promised me. You put ingots which were not good before my messenger (Sit-Sin) and said: “If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!”

    What do you take me for, that you treat somebody like me with such contempt? I have sent as messengers gentlemen like ourselves to collect the bag with my money (deposited with you) but you have treated me with contempt by sending them back to me empty-handed several times, and that through enemy territory. Is there anyone among the merchants who trade with Telmun who has treated me in this way? You alone treat my messenger with contempt! On account of that one (trifling) mina of silver which I owe(?) you, you feel free to speak in such a way, while I have given to the palace on your behalf 1,080 pounds of copper, and umi-abum has likewise given 1,080 pounds of copper, apart from what we both have had written on a sealed tablet to be kept in the temple of Samas.

    How have you treated me for that copper? You have withheld my money bag from me in enemy territory; it is now up to you to restore (my money) to me in full.

    Take cognizance that (from now on) I will not accept here any copper from you that is not of fine quality. I shall (from now on) select and take the ingots individually in my own yard, and I shall exercise against you my right of rejection because you have treated me with contempt.
[/b][/i]


It does seem that Nanni maybe took this poor service a little too personally. In any case, let’s hope he received some satisfaction for the trouble it must have taken to inscribe this angry message.

Source: http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/the-first-recorded-customer-service-complaint-from-1750-b-c.html




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Offline Neon

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It's amazing how so many firsts are found in ancient Mesopotamia.

Wheels, locks, writing and now customer service complains...

And yet, the West somehow likes to focus on ancient Rome and Egypt for some reason (when we have contributed more vital material).
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

Offline ASHOOR

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It's amazing how so many firsts are found in ancient Mesopotamia.

Wheels, locks, writing and now customer service complains...

And yet, the West somehow likes to focus on ancient Rome and Egypt for some reason (when we have contributed more vital material).

Great point!

And to answer your question, I think two things would help our culture more:

1-If Iraq was a European country and more stable
2-If the country wasn't Islamic, it would also help in promoting our civilization and history as much as the Greek and Roman.


ASHOOR
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Offline Neon

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Great point!

And to answer your question, I think two things would help our culture more:

1-If Iraq was a European country and more stable
2-If the country wasn't Islamic, it would also help in promoting our civilization and history as much as the Greek and Roman.


ASHOOR

1. There's a truth to that, but the west is still into Egypt a lot, despite its Islamism. Maybe their ruins are more visually appealing or interesting (pharaohs, pyramids, sphinxes)? - We didn't have a lot of unique (or at least massive) architecture, besides the winged bull and the gate.

2. Again, Egypt is Islamic and we are big fans of its past. I think their rich history compensates their Islamic present.

I think the "stable" part is significant here - Iraq isn't. Egypt is at most parts nowadays. I think the west is visual. They care more about lush structure and visually appealing costumes that, admittedly, stood out more in ancient Egypt than, say, in Mesopotamia and Persia. We were just more the "inventors" rather than the showy "performers" that the Egyptians were, if that makes sense.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 10:34:53 AM by Neon »
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

Offline ASHOOR

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1. There's a truth to that, but like I said the west is still into Egypt a lot. Maybe their ruins are more visually appealing or interesting (pharaohs, pyramids, sphinxes)? - We didn't have a lot of unique (or at least massive) architecture, besides the winged bull and the gate.
2. Again, Egypt is Islamic. But like I said, I think their rich history compensates their Muslim present.

I think the "stable" part is significant here - Iraq isn't. Egypt is at most parts nowadays. I think the west is visual. They care more about lush structure and visually appealing costumes that, admittedly, stood out more in ancient Egypt than, say, in Mesopotamia and Persia. We were just more the "inventors" rather than the showy "performers" that the Egyptians were, if that makes sense.


Great points! We have a lot of artifacts and ancient sites, but problem is, a lot of it is in ruins, already out of the country, or just not massive enough like the Pyramids, the Mayan Ruins, the Acropolis, the Colosseum etc.

Imagine if the hanging gardens of Babylon (or Nineveh?) were still there and most of it preserved: that would go a long way.


ASHOOR
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Offline Neon

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Re: The First Customer Service Complaint in Recorded History (1750 B.C.)
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 04:17:32 AM »

Great points! We have a lot of artifacts and ancient sites, but problem is, a lot of it is in ruins, already out of the country, or just not massive enough like the Pyramids, the Mayan Ruins, the Acropolis, the Colosseum etc.

Imagine if the hanging gardens of Babylon (or Nineveh?) were still there and most of it preserved: that would go a long way.


ASHOOR
Or Nineveh? I thought it's well-known that they're in Babylon, or are they disputing this now? Lol
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

Offline Sharukinu

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Re: The First Customer Service Complaint in Recorded History (1750 B.C.)
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 02:50:30 PM »
1. There's a truth to that, but the west is still into Egypt a lot, despite its Islamism. Maybe their ruins are more visually appealing or interesting (pharaohs, pyramids, sphinxes)? - We didn't have a lot of unique (or at least massive) architecture, besides the winged bull and the gate.

Assyrians (and Mesopotamians in general) had plenty of unique and large scale architecture but the main difference between them and the Egyptians is that the former mostly used mud bricks made from abundant local material. Despite advanced engineering and contemporary sufficiency, mud bricks don't stand the test of time and can be destroyed much more easily than something like limestone, which was the main building material for the pyramids and abundant in the respective region.

Note that building with limestone is very inefficient for the purposes of creating most residences and general civil buildings however, the Egyptians went out of their way to produce such structures due to religious reasons and the whim of dictators that was embedded in a culture of their self glorification yet after their deaths.

To put this into perspective, most of the most famous modern buildings in the world today will fall to pieces after a few years of a lack of maintenance.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 02:54:13 PM by Sharukinu »
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