Trivia

Hard

The Oldest Known Written Complaint Details A Customer’s Dissatisfaction Over?

Grain Deliveries
Beer Purity
Tea Leaves
Copper Ingots
A fragment of a stone relief carved with the 'standard inscription' that records kings' names, titles, and ancestry in Assyrian.
BabelStone/Wikimedia

Answer: Copper Ingots

Today, it’s pretty easy to complain. We can complain on Facebook, leave disgruntled Yelp reviews, and fire off text messages, emails, and other forms of communication with ease. If you like to complain about the state of things, frankly, it’s never been easier to get the word out.

Imagine, if you will, that in order to air your complaint, you had to get a clay tablet, carefully tap out your complaint with a wedge-shaped stylus, wait for the tablet to dry, and then send one of your servants to deliver it. That’s exactly what happened with the oldest known written complaint, composed in cuneiform and dated from 1750 BCE—almost four thousand years ago.

The tablet is a message from a customer named Nanni to a merchant named Ea-nasir. The story, as delivered to us via the contents of the tablet, goes as such. Nanni sent his servant to buy copper ingots from Ea-nasir. Nanni, via his servant, had paid for the copper, but when Ea-nasir’s delivery men brought the copper, not only was it of substandard quality, but his servant had also been mistreated. Nanni also mentioned issues regarding a previous delivery. He refused to accept the substandard copper and admonished Ea-nasir for his poor business practices, insisting that he make things right again and restore Nanni’s faith in his business.

Alas, there are no additional surviving tablets indicating whether or not the issue was resolved or what Ea-nasir had to say about the allegations that his copper and customer service were unsatisfactory.

Trivia

Easy

Which Viral Video Was So Popular YouTube Had To Change Their View Count Algorithm To Prevent An Integer Overflow?

Trivia

Hard

In The United Kingdom Which Of These Literary Works Has A Permanent Copyright?

Trivia

Hard

If Someone Is Promoted Within A Company In Order To Minimize The Harm They Can Cause, They’ve Been?

Trivia

Hard

The Square Where Julius Caesar Was Assassinated Is Now A?

Trivia

Hard

The Driest Place On Earth, As Measured By Precipitation, Is Located In?

Trivia

Easy

Sideburns, The Facial Hair Style, Derive Their Name From?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1980s A Nuclear Safety Task Force Proposed The Creation Of What, To Protect Future Civilizations?

Trivia

Hard

The Division Symbol Is Formally Known As The?

Trivia

Hard

The Iconic Coca-Cola Bottle Derives Its Shape From?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Men Is Considered The Father Of Public Relations?