Of a vicious vindictive customer. I will spare you some details and not give out names due to the ridiculous nature of the event.
In my spare time, I like to help small businesses with their advertising needs. One of my favorite customers (for lack of a better word) owns a property on the beach which I advertise and in many cases deal with the customers from beginning to end. A few weeks ago, I had the delight of being contacted by a nice family who wanted to stay at the property for a few days. Deal was closed, family came over and the nightmare began. There were many red flags I missed. The guy was a little intense, asked the same question 20 times, did not mind calling at one in the morning to say the internet was not working…but, since I have very high customer service standards I let all of this go and took care of him.
The big issue took place at the time of check out. The property owner did a routine inspection before returning the guest’s security deposit. Hell broke loose when the tenant was advised $40 would be withheld due to the many luggage scratches on some cabinets, the dirty condition the unit was being returned in and the water spilled on the couch (cleaning the couch alone could cost $50-$80). The tenant went wild, said he should have been paid for staying at that unit, got feisty…you get the idea. He ended up leaving and agreeing to the $40 charge as he had to catch an international flight.
Two days later I get these nasty-grams from one of the sites where I advertise and my own blogspot!
The guy went nuts, dared to call us scum bags and rip offs! He, of course, trashed the unit down with his reviews, put our characters on the line and threatened to make us regret every penny we took form him.
While I thought his word choice was very poor and demonstrated lack of objectivity and perhaps education, I understood this was a hurt customer trying to express himself. I cleaned up his mess and moved on. Now, when I say I cleaned up the mess I mean that his reviews were deleted. I don’t mind bad reviews as long as they are objective, being called scum bag does not qualify as objectivity in my books.
Surprise, surprise. A week later he contacted my customer’s employer and filed a list of ridiculous charges which of course generated a lot of commotion. Please someone tell me when was the last time you broke and entered your own property after being invited by your own tenant. Furthermore, since when does a $40 fee count as extortion? Is it me, or does this sound like pure madness?
A few words of advise for all vindictive customers out there:
- Make sure your reviews are fair, objective and factual. Lying in a review shows lack of character. Poor language, name calling and subjectivity make you sound bitter and crazy.
- Pointing a positive aspect of you rapport with the vendor in question increases your chances of a resolution and being taken seriously.
- Keep in mind that some reviews are dismissed by third parties if deemed questionable or inappropriate.
- Choose your words wisely. Spam filters will block reviews using bad words and adjectives such as scum bags.
- Let it go. You did your duty. You posted a bad review about this vendor in hopes of alerting other customers about bad business practices. The point of a review is to share your experience with others not to tear the business or the business owner apart.
- Let it go. Bitterness hurts you more than anyone else.
- Beware of vindictive vendors. The internet is a two way street!