Buyer Beware

In my last editorial, Restaurant Encounters, I discussed my dilemma regarding approaching someone in a restaurant who had very blatantly insulted and upset me. I received some feedback on that which I would like to share (and discuss briefly) before moving on to my topic for this editorial.

From:A. Riley

I would have done nothing. In my experience people with biases as strong as those you encountered are better left to them. One can only wonder how much of life they have missed due to their narrow-mindedness.
Good point, I think sometimes I just wish I could open their eyes to what they are missing.

From: alterboy

This is a common issue. When we get modified we are expected to accept ridicule from the rest of society and it isn't right. Most of my mods aren't visible and most people accept me for me but some reactions make me angry or hurt. In your situation I'm sad to say I probably wouldn't have done anything either. There really isn't much you could do either. I doubt these people would even acknowledge your exsistence or listen to a word you said if you confronted them. It's sad; it really is but what are we to do but think of all the funny things they might turn out to be in their next life.
A good way to look at it, I suppose . . . the one thing that keeps me from being depressed too much about the whole thing is that I don't know what life they lead. Perhaps they're just trying to boost their own self confidence through degrading of others?

From: maria in Brazil

hi. I'm Brazilian, and I think -- based on your experience and many others I have read -- here people don't act as shocked and rude as they do in North America when confronted to body modified people, even though body modification is much more common up there than here. I hardly ever get anything worse than curious questions about my piercings and tattoos. Actually, only once, a man, who said he was a doctor, stopped me in the street and told me to remove my labret in a not elegant way. And I just told him that was none of his business.
That is an interesting subject to touch on. Why do certain countries and regions handle this differently, and is America the worst offender when it comes to rude people putting the modified down?

From: Duztun Schild

I honestly, wouldn't have done anything. Causing a scene in the restaurant was definitely not the answer. It just puts me in the stereotype that modded people have had for years. However, even speaking to them nicely isn't going to change the way they think. They're honestly not worth the effort if they can't be open minded enough to approach me. I would have to done exactly what you did. Sit there. There's no reason why I should let someone else's ignorance bother me. I know that I'm not a bad person. My friends and family know as well. That's all that matters to me. I don't care about somebody else's opinion of me. Especially somebody that I will probably never see again.
That's where the dilemma really hits, are they worth the time and should I even care? Really, Duztun's way of looking at it seems logical, but sometimes things get past that barrier and they do bother me. Not so much because of what they think of me personally, but because I'm in shock that somebody would be so blatantly rude in such a hurtful manner.

From: pete

I really had to write in on this one, maybe it's just where I'm at, but I really don't get most of the shit people complain about, not that I have no visible piercings (10g labret,2 12 g ring labrets,septum,stretched ears and lotsa ink). I do get dirty looks and wierd stares sometimes. I've found that the majority of the time I get nothing but positive comments, compliments, and lotsa questions about piercings and tattoos (the usual does it hurt,how they do that etc.) Sometimes the Q&A sessions get annoying when I'm trying to eat dinner, but I really don't fault people for it, curiosity is human nature. I'm real sorry to hear that other people are treated so rudely like you were, hopefully this isn't a daily thing for you where you live, I just don't get it around here and I always am surprised when I hear of stories like that. I guess it's just piss poor manners,bad upbringing,whatever
I guess so . . . many a kid has not been lectured for saying something rude to my face etc., but when a child is respectful I try to go out of my way to compliment their parents. I don't get this on a daily basis, but that's more due to the fact that I tend to stay at home rather than spend large amounts of time in public.

There are two other responses that I received that are a bit longer, but well written so I've decided to post them separately and link to them here. They are from CT (click here to read his response) and Caitlin Davies (click here to read her response).

My topic this time is the body jewelry industry, and was actually inspired by an follow-up e-mail I received from Heather, who wrote a review on Alphasylum for the Jewelry Supplier Review section. She asked, "what can we do?" referring to the evident problem shown by the number of bad reviews of this supplier.

I am not singling out this company in particular though, as I have seen a number of bad reviews for numerous suppliers. The Jewelry Review section is there for people to share their experiences and hopefully prevent others from having bad encounters and lead them to the quality companies instead. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing and I really do encourage every one of you who has any experience with a supplier to submit a review. I felt that this was a section that needed to be a major part of Modified Mind, and I do think it's getting there . . . and as this e-zine gets more visitors and more exposure I do think it will fulfill its intent.

There's only so much that this section can do, but it has pointed out a good question. While some suppliers have a temporary lapse in service, what about those that have the policy of "lapse of service" as their norm? These companies are as happy as can be to charge your credit card, but then where's the jewelry? It never shows, and the problems begin. For those of you who have experienced this, there is frustration, phone calls, and the question of never receiving a refund. Something you wouldn't wish upon others seeking their next piece of jewelry.

So what happens when a company creates numerous bad experiences for their customers. What can be done? Regulation? Should sites like BME and Modified Mind just remove them from link lists based on others' experiences with them. What do you think?

Thank you, Modified Mind Editor/Creator Bryan Henderson

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