A customer accidently posted a message on a project managing website that was quickly deleted from view because it was meant to be an internal reply to the customer's team. However, when a comment is posted on this site the messages are emailed out to everyone in the project, including me, regardless if the message on the website are deleted later. My boss gets 40 of these emails every day and does not go through them like I do which was when I found the deleted message.

Should I tell my boss about the negative comment the customer posted? What's the ethical thing to do here? Bringing it up may harm the contract between us and customer, but it may also go a different direction.

  • In what way did the harsh comment have anything to do with you, your company, or your relationship with the customer?
    – atk
    Feb 28, 2014 at 20:36
  • "Telling <bossname> their work is garbage [...]"
    – Err
    Feb 28, 2014 at 21:00
  • 1
    It's a bit unclear what you're asking. We don't know the content of the comment by the customer, nor do we know if it is something that can be fixed (or just plain badmouthing). We don't know if it's your responsibility to relay these things to your boss, or if it's just something you found out but totally unrelated to your actual job duties. Could you edit your question to better explain what exactly the issue you have is (why you aren't able to determine whether you should tell him or not)?
    – jmac
    Mar 3, 2014 at 2:40

4 Answers 4


Do you remember when, in Adam Sandler's Click, he used the control to translate the conversation the Chinese businessmen were taking among them in Chinese, because they where doing criticism about the project presented, and, without them noticing Sandler's character used this in his favor, changing the project to fit the desired results? The same applies here: you have valuable information in your hands. You should share this with your boss, but you will be way best listen to if you also present a solution for the problem - something that impresses your client (for you to being posting this question here, the customer is surely important for the company).

If you work this correctly, you will be on the customer's and you boss's grace, and will save you and your entire team from a possible loss of the customer.


You should bring it up, in private. The boss needs to know that there could be a semi-unspoken issue from your customer. Most likely though, it was a post made in the heat of the moment. That could be a reason why it was deleted quickly.

Your boss may already know about it. If so, thank him/her for their time and go back to work. They can handle it as they see fit.

As for whether or not it was accidentally posted, you can never know the full truth of that.


Yes, you should. Though if it's not in person, chat over IM saying there's something you would like to share and then tell him what has happened.

Bring it to him in a polite and indirect way if you are not sure of your boss's response and then say it. Being in a higher position, he should have taken care of it. In my opinion, whatever the situation might be, if it is related to work, there's no wrong in discussing it with your superior when you want to.


The problem statement here is the comment which could directly affect your contract and a potential loss for the company, even if ignored at this juncture, might later on prove costly in the case of a similar situation is replicated down the line before the termination of the contract.

I believe that each and every client's comment should be should be regarded as crucial feedback to the work done by an organisation offering services to them and hence coming to the conclusion that informing your boss about the reaction of your customer is vital to improving services and in turn satisfying this client and any future client obtained thru this particular customer.

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