Don’t Defend Errors, Fix Them


When I notice something that looks like an error or a bug to me on a website I use, I will generally tell someone at the company with the hopes that they fix it or send it to the proper channel to have it fixed. Oftentimes, there are reasons for why the error happens, but more often than not, the error should be fixable. Sometimes it’s not a bug or an error, but the way something is done is annoying.

Whatever the case may be, I want to share some advice for companies who receive user feedback from customers and/or potential customers: listen to the complaints and address them.

Please don’t get defensive about your system, service, or platform, but instead, try and figure out how it can be improved to resolve the issue or at least explain why it has to be that way. Show that you actually care enough to address the issue rather than ignoring it and hoping nobody else has thought the same thing.

There are a number of services I don’t use anymore because I think something is broken and it hasn’t been addressed. If something annoys me, I will find something else to use that doesn’t. There aren’t many companies in this space offering something so totally unique that I can’t go elsewhere.

Companies might not think of some issues as problems, but if they listen to their customers they will be rewarded. Chances are good, if someone took the time to let the company know about the problem, it bugs someone else, too.

Not only does fixing a bug identified by a client make that client happy, but it will likely make the product or service more useful, and it will probably drive more revenue in the long run. There are a number of great companies in the domain space that listen to client complaints and requests, and I think it’s a wise move, especially in a small “industry” such as ours.


  1. I’m the same way. I think it’s nuts that some company would be offended at free testing/feedback. If that is the response you get to feedback, I’d quickly move on to a new solution.

    • Some aren’t offended but give excuses about why it can’t be changed rather than digging in and making the change. I understand on small issues that would impact larger things, but if a platform is “broken” it should be fixed, even if it’s from the ground up.

    • Nope… I think Fred would be able to confirm that I’ve never lodged any complaints about his platform. When it comes to and its operation, I am pretty hands off. is doing fine… wish it was making more, but I suppose the same can be said about all of my sites.

  2. That phenomenon is human nature in general, not just related to fixing errors in tech.

    That one dynamic is a fantastic way to appraise executive talent. Good executive talent is relentless about improvement, bad executive talent is relentless about maintaining and managing their own personal ‘image’ in the eyes of their superiors.

    The result is that good executive talent will regularly change course to correct errors once they realize that methodologically superior avenues are available, while bad executive talent is always making excuses for their errors and staying course.

    Matter of fact, I’d go so far to say that is one thing is a total dealbreaker if I recognize it in any of my people. Show me a man who stands around and makes excuses for inoptimal decisions worried more about how it reflects on him personally rather than his responsibility as a manager, I’ll show you a man who’s packing his desk within the hour.

    It’s something I’ve learned to recognize very quickly and I have fired people for just that within the past 12 months.

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