Clarification of spiral bound notebook description

A new customer of Smartpen raised an issue with me about the wording of the name of the spiral bound notebooks on the Smartpen website. The concern raised was that the name of the product referenced the term “A4” when the pads were not a true A4 size.

At the time of creating the products in the store a decision was made to use the term A4 so as to simplify how we describe the pads. At no time did we not provide detailed product information on the site. If you click on the product the detailed product information clearly states the pads are approximate A4 and the actual dimensions are listed.

So whilst the product details section outlined the fact that the pads weren’t true A4 and provided actual dimensions, the customer felt that the name of the product was misleading. We’ve taken these concerns seriously and amended the name of these two products on our site.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how our products are described or displayed.


About Mark Parker

Mark Parker is the founder of Smart Selling International Pty Ltd. Smart Selling International is a niche technology market launch expert - helping technology companies launch and grow their brands in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Mark is focused on Augmented and Virtual Reality, IoT, and digital data capture devices. You can find him online at - Twitter (@smartselling or @smartpen), LinkedIn -
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2 Responses to Clarification of spiral bound notebook description

  1. Matt says:

    I’ve got no affiliation with the aggrieved customer. I love the product. That said, in my opinion this is an appalling bit of market management. Why quibble over what the page said? The fact is what you wrote was misleading; a customer was mislead.

    Why not simply say “sorry, it seems some people were mislead… the pads aren’t actually A4, but close to it. We’ve changed the site to avoid confusion and anybody who feels mislead should contact us for a full refund and a replacement product in another format if you prefer.”

    What do you gain by having the “moral victory” in stating (in bold type, no less, as though that somehow makes it more legit) that the customer who brought the issue to your attention is some kind of idiot because they were mislead by a mistake you made.

    What’s the point of a blog if not to engender the love of your brand in your customers? This isn’t the way to do that folks.

    Just my two cents.

    As I said, great product – just a crap response.

  2. Mark Parker says:

    Thanks for your comments. Whilst I don’t agree with everything you’ve said here I have published your comment in full.

    The intention of the blog post was to explain to our customers that when creating the name of the product, we used a word inappropriately. We made a mistake. A customer felt the use of the word was misleading and in hindsight we agree, so we changed the name of the products in question and created this blog post so as to explain to our customers the mistake we made and the corrective action we’ve taken. You’ll note also that the last sentence in the post invites customers to get in touch with us if they have any grievance or require further information from us.

    We weren’t seeking any sort of “moral victory” by using bold type. We simply wanted to make it clear that the issue was with the name of the product. If you look through the blog you’ll note that we have always been quite open about the pro’s and con’s of the Livescribe product range.

    I am quite shocked that you feel were trying to make this customer out to be an idiot. As such, I’ve added a clarifying comment to the blog post so as to further clarify our intentions

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