Feeling Yelp-less?

Published November 12, 2012 by Maryanne

The first time I posted on Yelp was a year ago when I had horrendous service from Lens Crafters.

Then I forgot about this haven for bad service until I started working for a client who used Yelp as her bible.  My client, a restaurant owner, takes all her Yelp and Zagat reviews very seriously. Too bad no one else does. While my client goes over all her reviews, good and bad, and thanks reviewers for a good review and apologizes to the ones who wrote bad reviews, this is the exception rather than the rule.

Unless you live under a rock, you must know that we’re living in the Me-Me-Me Century. In this day and age, the customer is not always right. In fact, the customer is rarely right. Business owners will most often get defensive when you confront them about their wrong doings. Back in the 1980s if you complained about bad service, you may have gotten compensated for it with a gift certificate and an apology. But nowadays, you get bitch slapped for complaining — how dare you! Dare you complain, you’ll hear every defensive excuse in the book. A business owner will always defend his employee. A business owner will not admit to being wrong. A business owner will not accept constructive criticism. And a business owner or manager does not care if they lose a customer.

Sadly, we’ve gotten to the point where customers may not bother complaining because they know it will do no good. Yet, some of us still must make our voices heard, because venting is healthier than holding it in. So we will write those bad reviews no matter what the consequences because we want business owners to KNOW how we really feel. And that gives us a little bit of satisfaction even though deep down you still feel very hurt because you are not a valued customer and the business will never make right on how you were wronged. But what’s really pathetic is that the business owner may even read your review and hold resentment toward you! Their bad service is not the enemy — YOU ARE!

Why the change of heart since the 1980s? Maybe too many people screwed over places by complaining in order to get a freebie and word got out? Maybe there are so many people in the world, if one customer left there are so many others that it won’t harm a business. It’s a big world out there, right? If you burn one bridge, there’s so many others to travel over. Or maybe, as I’ve said before, people are just too pig-headed, too self-righteous to admit they are wrong.

Whatever the case may be, it’s a very sad world we live in. I’d love to go back in time to when the customer was always right, when there was such a thing as a “baker’s dozen,” when you can get something accomplished by writing a letter … sigh …

My only salvation is the fact that I am a self-employed home business owner and I have the power to treat people as I like to be treated myself. And one person can always inspire someone else.

So, c’mon people, let’s take a good old fashioned trend and make it new again! Let’s get good service back in vogue!

13 comments on “Feeling Yelp-less?

  • I don’t know that service is any better or worse since the 1980s. There is the recourse of things like Yelp where we can let the business have it at least. I can tell you from what I do that baseball and perhaps teams in other sports treat fans a LOT better than they used to (and I remember those days); but cable and phone companies are still the worst. Six of one…

    • It’s nice to “let the business have it” but my point is they don’t take constructive criticism. They are always on the defense, except for my one client who goes through ALL the Yelp and Zagat reviews and answers them personally.

      I’m glad to hear fans are treated better. And in my opinion, I think cable and phone companies are the least of my worries. My biggest issue for the past 10 years has been restaurants, health food stores, banks, eye doctors and sometimes hair salons.

  • The customer is not always right–at least in my line of work. I do kids parties and it has been my experience that in the last couple of years I have seen more bogus complaints as a way of getting money back after too much has been over spent on a kids party or after the husband has found out how much the wife actually spent. After 30 years in the business you can tell when a complaint is real or not. And you also get to know your performers strength’s and weaknesses…yelp is great I use it. Since I am in a customer service industry I also go out of my way to find managers and let them know when I have gotten good service. Most people do think to complain but not many ever go out of their way to compliment.

    • Again, girl, you’re preaching to the choir! If you check out my Yelp account, I give more compliments than complaints! I am the COMPLIMENT GIRL! ALWAYS saying something nice about everything and everybody! It takes a LOT out of me to complain, which is why when I do I want the respect of my opinion to be taken seriously! I understand that people try to pull one over to save money — especially extremely wealthy people with a sense of “entitlement.” But I am a hard working, middle class person who was able to make something special of herself in her own special way and be able to keep my little business thriving during a bad economy. Go me.

      That said, I think I have every right to complain about poor service. I’m mainly talking about restaurants and health food stores (from moms and pops to Whole Foods — which I sometimes call assWhole Foods because most people who work there are absolutely horrible! I wait on line extra long in order to be waited on by a NICE cashier who enjoys her work!)

      I’m sorry you have a career you need to complain about on my time. Maybe you should consider another line of work if you feel people aren’t complimenting you enough?

      • Actually I have been doing my job for the past 30 years because we are so good at it and there are more compliments than complaints. My performers really are some of the best—they have to live up to me. But I have noticed that since the economy crashed about 5 years ago there has been a rise in what we would consider a bogus complaint in this industry. But yes, this is the “day job”. I have been very blessed to make a living in entertainment for the past 30 years. I think part of the problem in customer service is that so many people are just doing a “job to pay bills” and are not happy with what they are doing and quite possibley we have raised a generation of slackers who feel entitled………

      • I totally understand. I manage a few entertainers as part of my business and some of the complaints are not valid. I’ve been an entertainment journalist most of my adult life and I know what good is, but you can’t argue with some people. I agree about a generation of slackers … which is what brought me to my originally complaint — you go to check out at a grocery store and kids get mad because you took away their free time of texting, talking on cell phones and the cashier in the next aisle. Okay, so it’s not their “forever” job or their “dream job” but at least DO the job until you move on. A creative person can make the most of almost anything in life, and it just irks me to no end to have to deal with such lazy, uninspiring, jerks who make it bad for everyone else (especially positive people!)

  • Speaking of bad service, there was a television show called Restaurant Stakeout on yesterday showing an employee who was the host of a restaurant. He supposedly had a bad leg, so would point customers to their table and was hollering across the restaurant, when they didn’t sit at the right table. The customer later asked if they could eat in the outside dining area and that request was refused, until the customer came up with a tip and it was suddenly OK to eat outside.

    Since there were questions about the bad leg of the host, a girl drove up with a flat tire while the host was on a smoke break. He proceeded to change the flat tire after tossing his leg brace to the side.

    Then the girl asked if he would meet her at a club and he showed her a few dance moves outside the restaurant.. The owner of the restaurant saw all of this and went outside and brought the employee inside the restaurant and he was fired on the spot.

    The employee even made fun of the customer who wanted to eat outside calling him Charlie Chan behind his back.

    Maryanne, sorry to write so long a comment, but your article fit that show so well.

  • I find that people in the retail sector these days don’t seem to care about the business they work for. They feel that their job is simply to earn money and god forbid an issue arises that they have to deal with. With today’s social media onslaught I am surprised companies don’t do more to quell this sort of lackadaisical behaviour

    • I KNOW!!! It’s like people don’t give a shit no matter what, without knowing who or what they are dealing with. I’d love to be one of those undercover shoppers and call people out on their shit.

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