I can’t decide whether this is courage or not.
If you click the link, you’ll find an exchange unlike any you’ll find today, at least between a business and a customer: a fan–a season ticket holder, no less–wrote a letter to the Cleveland Browns organization in 1974 complaining, of all things, about people throwing paper airplanes in the stadium. The Browns’ response, to their credit, is dismissive of the complaint, but crosses the line to insulting; it’s the sort of thing we see today on Internet message boards between people who don’t know each other and have no business relationship.
The courageous part is to dismiss a ridiculous complaint by a season ticket holder as exactly what it is. Too many businesses these days would try to reassure the complainer with pretty words, maybe going as far as to make promises they have no intention of keeping, or lack the power to deliver on. The Browns understood in 1974 that sometimes you have to be willing to fire a lousy customer.
But just like you wouldn’t abuse an employee when you fire him, you shouldn’t abuse a customer when you fire him. That’s the part that puts me off what, with slightly better wording, could be a truly inspired letter.