Tag Archives: Yelp

Bad Yelp Review

15 Apr

Yelp and other reviewing sites are nice because they give customers a voice.  Before social media, it was a lot harder to have a voice, and often even if you went through all the effort of snail mail letters, making phone calls, or asking to speak to a manager–your opinion didn’t go anywhere or count for much.  That public component, makes any comments more relevant, and allows other people to jump on and agree also.  It just might lead to change…

But also, it’s a double-edged sword:

-It’s bad statistics, because not everyone goes on those sites, so it catches a certain demographic that isn’t a representative sample.  And like polls, most people with middle of the road opinions do not take the time to comment.  So you get the very bad and very good at either end of the spectrum.

-The reviews are not very accurate for the unsavvy.  Some things a business does are technical, and non-experts do not have the background information to appreciate why things are done that way.  In a restaurant setting, for example, someone may complain that the milk was pasteurized.  This reviewer wants only milk that is “natural” (aka they are a fucking idiot that doesn’t understand science and only hears the latest buzz words) so they left a bad review about it.  But they don’t know that milk is very regulated and it has to pass certain tests to even go to market.  So the restaurant couldn’t legally obtain or sell raw milk.  This also goes for medical.  What is good medicine isn’t necessarily popular w/the public.  Some things are done at the doctor’s office, dentist, and vet because they are science-based and ethical and legal.  And many people are going to be inconvenienced or angry about many of those things.  So giving that bad review lowers the ranking of the business, but is nonsense, you see?

-Someone called in sick and I got stuck working reception at a vet (lucky me) and this high-maintenance client came to pick her pet up from a dental.  Before the surgery day, she had gone over the estimate with the vet and techs.  And they each explained what would happen as they did with every client.  We always explained which costs were firm and which might change depending on what was going on in the mouth.  You can only get a cursory exam on the inside of an animal’s mouth when they’re awake, so there may be many surprises when they’re anesthetized and you can get a better look at things.

Anyway, it was guessed that only 2-3 teeth had to be extracted.  But on the big day, more like 7 had to go.  So the cost was more than the owner expected.  I was the lucky one that had to try to convey that to her, but she went hysterical, started making a scene in the lobby and was screaming and crying.  After like an hour of emotions running high (the owner’s) and price negotiations (on the part of the vet) the owner came out to run her card.  I said something offhand (honestly, I can’t remember what at this point, but nothing crazy) and she hated it and went hysterical again, refused to give me her card, and asked my name so she could give me in particular and the whole practice a terrible Yelp review.  I won’t be bullied so with confidence I spelled my name for her.  She looked shocked that I didn’t get upset or grovel to her, and asked to see my boss.

I got the vet, and could hear the owner fussing about how she didn’t like my attitude.  And I am just not going to let that kind of stuff bother me.  Also, none of this was my fault, I was just trying to check her out and feeling awkward with her scene like any person would, so I did not get reprimanded–as I shouldn’t have.  And P.S.  I checked a few times, and I don’t think that owner ever did write that bad review…

-Which brings me to my next point that it’s not all that fair that 1 really bad or really good review can ruin an overall rating.  People can just be angry and go off in a rating, and actually put people out of business over it.  And if it’s a highly specific situation, or a very one-sided story, or a non-technical opinion that’s not right.

What I really don’t care for is when staff becomes fixated on the online review and panders to it.  It’s lame to ASK customers to complete them.  And it skews the accuracy of reviews if the business asks for it.  Oh well.  So reviews are good for entertainment, but also be a conscientious reviewer and take other reviews with a grain of salt.

“There are Holes in Your Story”

6 Mar

Ugh–why is it so difficult to stand up for yourself, defend what you feel is right and appropriate, without crossing the line into disrespect, tactlessness, and immaturity?  It’s not like I go out looking for a fight everywhere I go.  On the contrary–I HATE confrontation.  It really makes me feel icky and ruins my whole day/week/month–depending on with who and how big of an impact it has on my life.  And I don’t want to be over-emotional and reactive, especially given my impending 30th birthday.  I want to be an adult about things and pick my battles.

It just seems sometimes like everyone is against me.  And it’s so hard to maintain an upbeat attitude–or just neutrality.  Work–you know THAT story.  School?  You’ve heard that too.  And now mechanics?  I feel like I should be able to SAY something if I’m getting cheated.  And I’m pretty certain that they looked at me (small, young, female, gay) and increased my price accordingly.

It’s no excuse, but I think the financial situation in this region leads a lot of people to act sketchy. Business owners take on more then they can handle well.  They may charge more.  They may cut corners.  And consumers don’t want to pay for service.  They complain no matter how awesome the work.  Everyone is emotionally charged, because money is tight for all.  Owners need customers to keep their business. Consumers do not have extra money to spend.  But I shouldn’t be the one left feeling bad.  Not this time.  This was not my doing.

I feel like I am within my rights to give a bad review on a review-site for bad service.  And I should be able to do it without the business owner giving me a lot of $hit about it.  I stand by my review.  But now I have doubts–SHOULD I have given a poor review for bad service?  Is my opinion valid about my experience?  After such a heated conversation–with an adult, business owner–well, I’m doubting ME.  That’s not right.  They were the jerks.  My opinions and memories of the event are valid and accurate.  I should not be the one feeling sorry.  And yet, the confrontation is tugging at my mind and making me feel awful.

And it kept me up and or restless all night, so I was exhausted all day.  And yet, I had my best Riverpoint–no probably best college class EVER today!  At least in the social realm of things.   But back to the a$$ and his horrid phone call 20 days after my review and visit–it impacted my productivity.  And THAT makes me crazy and angry that some Douche-bag had that far-reaching affect on me–when he and his business were in the wrong.

The final installment of the Rusty drama will be posted tomorrow.  Right now (7:15PM) I’m going to get some much needed sleep.

The Nerve!

5 Mar

My school/work schedule JUST allowed me to take Rusty to another shop today.  And of course, nothing can go smoothly for me.  It’s why when an unknown number called me–I picked up the phone–which I NEVER do.  Well, it was a car mechanic, but not the place where Rusty currently was.  It was Troy’s, the place I went to previously, and gave a poor Yelp review for based on my bad experience there.  Which you saw in my last post about Rusty.  The fact there was a 3 week (2 week 6 day for accuracy’s sake) delay should already tell you a lot about Troy’s service.

It was not a call to say–We’re sorry you had a bad experience, that is not our norm.  It was a call basically saying my review is wrong and I should remove it.  Who does that???  Which takes my experience at TROYS TIRE & MECHANIC on 3rd Ave from slow, poor customer service, where they tried to gyp me on the price–> to insane.  Who calls people that give them a bad review?!!  What exactly are you trying to do?  Yelp is not designed to give the biggest bullies the highest ratings–it’s a reflection of customer experiences and opinions.  My review is perfectly valid, because I was a dissatisfied customer.

It was a a lengthy and heated conversation and here are some of the highlights that I can remember (to have on record and have people commensurate with my disbelief/annoyance):

-The guy (Troy himself?  I’m not certain, but the guy I dealt with at reception the day I went in).  He said he saw my review and there were “holes in my story.”  What?!  I said, I stand by the review–the service was in fact, poor, and the price they quoted me was extreme.

-He said my transaction receipt was for 7:51 AM, not 7:30 AM as I had stated on my review.  I reiterated that was because I had to stand there and re-report my name, address, car, and problem info–I maintain that I got there no later then 7:30 AM.  He also said within 2 hours of a mechanic looking at my car to diagnose a problem is GOOD.  Which I said they barely had to DO anything, what could take that long?  And he said I didn’t understand all they had to do with my car.

-He told me complain to Hotmail, because e-mail is not trustworthy.  When I said I got a confirmation e-mail he tried to dispute that and asked if I got an appointment time in that e-mail.  Which I told him I had picked 7:30 AM, and how many confirmation e-mails should I have to expect anyway?  He said he’s sorry they didn’t get mine–and checking in only takes 5 minutes anyway.  Besides that’s the fault of e-mail, not him.  Which I responded–don’t offer a service if you can’t provide it, follow-through with it, or trust it.

-He tried to tell me my complaints about the high price quote weren’t valid because I declined the work.  He said it’s not valid for him to complain about a restaurant just because he can’t afford not to eat there.  And I said he was missing the point.  If I went into a fast food place and they told me the hamburger was going to cost $15–I would not buy it, knowing full well that I was being cheated.  Then, I would give a bad review of that particular fast food joint for being UNTRUSTWORTHY.  Well, yes, I declined to pay that price because I suspected it was unreasonably high, and I wasn’t about to get taken.  And sure enough, when I made phone calls to a few other mechanics in town checking the pricing–they were HALF.  Then he said phone estimates weren’t accurate–everyone in town would give me low prices over the phone.

-He attempted to tell me they actually FIXED my remote start/alarm without charging me.  I said, they fixed noting, there had been no prior problem.  Because, after all, in order to fix something it has to be broken in the first place.  What Troy’s did was almost break my remote start, then fix their own mistake–which had not been a problem before they touched my car.

-He said the diagnostic charge they gave me was actually cutting me a break.  Umm-no.  And if true, also proves the prices are variable?  He also said there was no way anyone would charge less for the work then him.  We’ll see about that. . .

-He tried to tell me my review was erroneous so I should remove it.  I told him I thought the service was not good and provided my rationale, in the form of several examples, for that opinion:  My online reservation was not acknowledged and maybe lost all-together.  The diagnostic took too long.  The quoted price was too high.  When I went in after declining the work, I was not met at the door.  The unapologetic nature they used when I was informed my car wasn’t ready wasn’t good customer service.  Another issue cropping up while my car was in their care wasn’t great service.  Waiting 30-40 minutes after the phone call to pick up was also bad customer service.  AND this call (3 weeks after the fact), trying to coerce me into taking down my review=bad customer service.  And I forgot to mention the older gal who came and left and wasn’t acknowledged by their staff at all–that’s terrible customer service.  They didn’t even realize they lost a customer!

The conversation was heated–with both him and me talking over one another and volumes rising.  I couldn’t believe the gall–to tell me my review was WRONG, and tell me to take it down.  Ummm, that’s not how Yelp works–you don’t get stars for bullying your bad reviewers to take down their opinions.  At the end though, he said that if I produced a receipt of the work that was half the price Troy’s had quoted me, they would take the diagnostic charge off my Visa.  “That’s the kind of customer service we offer,” he finished off.  Like the Triple A comment–Troy, you are great at those final one-liners!  Not so good at customer care or soft skills though. . .

The drama lives on.  I hope Rusty can get fixed fast without sending me into bankruptcy or hysteria.