Naming names or not naming names

I was going to write about, and started writing about, how I feel after not paying attention to who I was buying from on eBay and discovering that the one fiber vendor that has not once but twice previously screwed up on my orders so bad that I will never ever purchase anything through his website again.

I have no problem criticizing larger companies like eBay, Etsy, Paton’s, anything owned by Rupert Murdoch, or whatever my current mobile phone carrier is just prior to switching service to another carrier when they act up. Those businesses can take the criticism, and no one is going to accuse me of launching a smear campaign against a big corporation for talking about my experience with customer service.

Where I do have a problem is talking about negative experiences with small businesses. I like supporting small businesses, I understand that mistakes happen, but this one business keeps making the same mistakes in my direction over and over. At least I think they are mistakes, I hope they are, otherwise it would be oddly personal.

I just don’t like naming names when things go horribly wrong.

To me, this is way more interesting than talking about my frustration with yet (another) transaction going horribly wrong with a vendor or the fact that I really do need to look before leaping to the Buy it now button and clicking on that sucker.

Why would I want to protect the identity of a bad seller?¬†I don’t have any issues at all with leaving negative feedback on eBay, which I’m certain has more of an effect on his business than anything I write on my blog, and in the few times I’ve ever left neutral or negative feedback the seller has gone out of his or her way to deserve it.

I don’t even know if I’m protecting anyone’s reputation or just my sense of fairness. I do know that it really messes with my writing style when I use generics like “vendor” and “business” instead of specifics like proper-freakin’-nouns.¬†Names, those pesky proper nouns, are just so much more efficient but I’m loath to name names because in the icy little chambers that pass for the deep cockles of my heart I don’t want to harm anyone’s reputation or source of income just because I want to air my thoughts.

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