Poor Service Has Existed Forever: Tablet Inscribed With 3,765 Year Old Customer Service Complaint

February 26, 2015

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This is an ancient Babylonian tablet from around 1,750BC inscribed with a complaint from a man named Nanni to a merchant named Ea-nasir about the quality of copper he was delivered. It just proves that piss-poor customer service has existed since the beginning of time. No word how long Nanni had to wait on hold before making his complaint. A full translation:

Tell Ea-nasir: Nanni sends the following message:


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.

Daaaaaamn! You should feel pretty ashamed of yourself, Ea-nasir. Not only are you trying to pass off poor quality copper, but you're withholding the man's money in enemy territory? That is some SHADY SHIT. I'm reporting you to the Better Business Bureau. "I'll have you killed." I'll just be on my way.

Keep going for a shot of the back in case you were wondering whether there would be a stick figure of a naked woman (sadly there was not).

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Thanks to

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