Someone wrote a crappy review about us. Here’s what we did about it.
We’ve all had that client: one minute things are going along smoothly, and then suddenly things start to go south. Maybe you didn’t respond to an email quickly enough. Maybe a well-intentioned friend gave them advice that completely contradicts the advice that you gave them. But there’s nothing worse than that nagging feeling that your client has suddenly lost confidence in you.
We did what most agents would do—we continued to try to work with the client. After all, things had gone so well for weeks, and we had several hours invested in this client. But then the client stops communicating. Usually this is where the story ends. But for us, this is where the story began.
Several weeks after our last email interaction, I received what is usually a welcome site in my inbox-an email from a bridal site informing me that someone had taken the time to write a review about our services. Except this time, the review wasn’t the 5 star, glowing recommendation that we’re used to. This time, it was one of the most horrifying reviews I’d ever seen.
We did what anyone would do, and filed a dispute. Much to our dismay, the bridal site’s response was “In order to protect the integrity of the reviews we have to allow brides to post their opinions both good and bad.” But in our case, it wasn’t opinions that were an issue. The poster made several false statements that he presented as facts about the operation of our company. And then I started to receive emails from other sites that it had been posted on their site as well.
While I hope that none of you ever find yourself in this situation, here’s what you need to know.
- No matter how long you’ve been advertising with a bridal site, they will not remove the review. I had hoped that our 10 years as an advertiser would matter. It did not.
- Most review sites will not remove a review without a court order. As far as most bridal sites are concerned, it’s a “he said, she said” matter. The poster can remove it, but the bridal site will not remove it unless ordered by a judge to do so.
- You can post a rebuttal. However on most sites, your rebuttal won’t automatically show up. The reader will have to click on a special, very tiny link to see it.
- If you really want it fight it, you’ll have to hire an attorney. We tried to appeal to the poster to remove it, but that proved to be pointless. We’re now working with an attorney on next steps.
After almost two weeks of hard work and countless emails, we did succeed in getting one of the biggest bridal sites to remove the review. We had hoped the other sites would follow suit, but this was not the case. To add insult to injury, one bridal site just asked the poster to revise the review to make it more “opinion oriented”, rather than removing the review completely.
It’s unfortunate that so many sites will allow a review to remain on their site, knowing full well it contains defamatory statements. While we did have one small victory with one of the most well-known bridal sites, we’ve likely have a long road ahead of us to have the remaining reviews removed.
Laura Frazier is the President of Bliss Honeymoons based in Columbus, OH. For more information, you can contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org
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