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lehmann33OK, here’s the startup lesson of the day. If you’re a CEO of a startup company or any company for that matter, don’t tell your customers to “fuck off,” or even joke about it.

That’s the situation that arose over the weekend after Erin Boudreau — a Seattle customer of the Postmates online delivery service — complained to customer service.

According to a response that Boudreau posted to Twitter, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann responded by telling customer service reps at the company to tell her to “fuck off.” In an apology posted on the Postmates blog, Lehmann said his private email was a “bad joke” that was “very poor in taste.”

Boudreau isn’t quite buying the joke response, as you can see in this Tweet.

https://twitter.com/Erin_Boudreau/status/379376834229456896

Postmates, which often draws comparisons to the dot-com disaster known as Kozmo.com, arrived in Seattle in March.

Here’s the full apology from Lehmann:

Last night I sent a private e-mail to our Customer Service team in response to a customer complaint regarding her past orders and restaurant profile. My e-mail, which outlined how to resolve the customer issue, contained a bad joke which was very poor in taste. Subsequently, the bad joke was sent to the customer. What I said was a major lapse in judgement on my part. I deeply regret this.

I immediately reached out to the customer and offered my full and sincere apology. I would like to extend that same apology to all of our customers and Customer Service team. There is no excuse for this.

At Postmates we love and value our world-class Customer Service. We take great pride in our Customer Service team. However, with my comment I have not lived up to our own standards and also damaged my team’s reputation.

I cannot find the words to describe how much I value our customers and how deeply I care about them being happy. There is no excuse for this type of conduct.

I take full responsibility for my actions. I am sincerely sorry.

Bastian Lehmann

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