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Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog

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A Unique Approach for Responding to Negative Yelp Reviews

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Recently, someone posted a bogus, malicious review about our appliance service business on Yelp. We had never worked for the reviewer nor had a service call that went anything like what he described. We think it may have been posted by a competitor. But this doesn't stop Yelp from posting it or allowing it to remain.

There are two ways to deal with such reviews on Yelp, both of which are focused on perception damage control and so are written with the potential customer in mind. But they are very different strategies:

1. The Serious Business Approach: This is a direct approach where you politely explain that, although you don't know who the reviewer is, that you would be happy to refund all his money if he contacts you with his real name. Then go on to showcase how your business works. This is the approach that 99.9% of service companies take.

2. The Surreal Approach: This strategy employs the principle of Judo where your opponent's own force is used against him. In the context of dealing with a fake review, the idea is to extend the reader's experience of reading a bogus review into the surreal and, in so doing, lampoon the bogus review. It's the proven technique of illustrating absurdity by being absurd. Again, this approach is not for a typical negative review by an actual customer. This is for over-the-top, fictional reviews by people who weren't even your customer.

And for most service companies, the first approach is probably the best strategy. However, if you have access to a creative writer (you can hire my son, Stephen), you can take the second approach.

Here's the reply we posted to our 1-star "review" on Yelp:

Why bother to tell a tale, William E., if you are going to leave out all the best parts? Come, gentle reader, let me tell you the rest of the story.

Things admittedly got off to a rough start when I walked into his house and stepped on his dog and dropped my toolbag on the cat. I then tried to diffuse the situation by paying a compliment to his grandfather, who tearfully explained that she was his wife. When Mr. E started to complain about all of this, I interrupted him by loudly imitating goat noises. I do this periodically to connect with my totem animal. It’s a spiritual thing.

Mr. E showed me to the oven and left to comfort his wife. I then felt the call from The Beyond and began to meditate. I was carried off to the seventh Heavenly Realm where Fixituru no Dotukami, the Great Samurai Repairman in the Sky, dwells. There, we drank sake and had our back hair braided by cherubs. I then started up the path of total appliantological nirvana, but was rudely brought back to earth by the voice of Mr. E asking what the *bleep* I was doing. This is why I appeared angry to him: never interrupt a man who is hallucinating vividly.

After skillfully applying duct tape to the oven and making a random guess at what the problem was, I went to pull up the repair cost on my tablet, when I realized I'd mistaken a piece of cardboard for my iPad. Again. Punching the cardboard with my fingers and making beeping noises, I made up a price on the spot using my keen, appliantological wit.

After he told me “no way,” I quickly hid the piece of paper Mr. E thought the part numbers were written on because I didn’t want him to see the sacred doodles of divination scrawled on it. They are not for the eyes of the uninitiated.

We here at The Appliance Guru are sorry that, as Mr. and Mrs. E stood in their doorway and watched me soar away on my magical, flying toilet, wishing one and all a merry Kwanza and sprinkling enchanted pixie dust across the land, they were not thrilled by my services. If it pleases Mr. E, I can return to his home to perform ritual suicide—perhaps the sight of my steaming entrails spilled on his kitchen floor will be enough to repair any ill-will.

We thank you for using our business. Have a nice day.

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applianceman97

Posted

Wow! I'm dying laughing over here! AWESOME!!!

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

Thanks, brotha! Just to complete the image make-over, I added some, uh, illustrative pics to our Yelp page, too.  

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William E. is a f**k nut. I dislike these "customers" reviews because they come from cowards and liars.

Hey William E. - if you ever ever read this - why don't you get a real job if you can't hang with the big boys. Fat, drunk, and lying stupid is no way to run a business, son.

Dude, totally rad yelp avatar. Rock on!

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KurtiusInterupptus

Posted

I hope you used that fancy-schmancy foil duct tape and not the regular ol' plastic 100 mph duck variety... could explain his less than positive review ...;)

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My wife & Daughter are rolling in hysterics.    This is going to be our nightly christmas story says my wife in between the tears of laughter.    Job well done as usual.  

 

Screw Yelp & their unfair tactics.    How long you recon before they delete your retort.   I have had several great 5 star reviews only to be squashed by their false theory of you can not have all good reviews bad must be out there.    If you give them money as they are always asking you to pay for some bogus service they provide I bet they will let the good reviews remain.

 

Again Well done as always, we in the Patricio household applaud your son Stephen for his inherited worldly wit.    ScrewYelp

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Wife & Daughter are rolling in hysterics.     Show yourself Billy the shady elf troll.    Instead of your nose growing your ass grows stink crap by the buckets.     Yelp I think William E. is your middle name.    No I won't buy your services either.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

You know, Patricio, we actually thought about the possibility that Yelp may delete our reply.  That along with the goofy pictures and avatar I put at the Yelp page. We thought Yelp may not appreciate us not taking their blackmail site seriously and showing it to be the joke it really is. 

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Why would he need your part numbers if he already looked up the parts?  Unfortunately this seems to be a trend.  Bad companies can't compete with skill and marketing they resort to this.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

Good point, Basin! His entire story is a fabrication, none of it ever happened. The inconsistencies, such as the one you pointed out, are further proof of this.

 

And you are also correct about bad companies who resort to tactics like this-- it's all they can do since they can't compete based on skill and service. So they can try silly antics like this in a futile attempt to make themselves look better by smearing their competition.

 

But truth will out! A phony bad "review" on a stupid dumping ground like Yelp will not make the competition better at what they do. I believe that most people are smart enough to see through these tricks and it ultimately backfires. 

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Scott, that was hilarious! His "complaint" read like a crank anyway. I did not realize the goat is your totem animal. When we worked together in the late 80's, you often emitted goat sounds. Now it all makes sense.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

Hi LowwREEEEE! My son, Stephen, wrote that response. Of my three kids, he's the one who got the alternate reality gene; the other two were spared by the grace of Galla-Galla the Goat king.

 

Now you know my secret for how I survived "Environmental Controoooool!" Had I not been in frequent communion with my totem animal, I might have left after only a year!  I always admired how you could stay there longer without needing the guidance of a totem animal. 

 

Good to hear from you, Lorrie! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and get to do something fun over the holiday. 

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DurhamAppliance

Posted

Well, I would guess Samurai was using the goat symbol and making the goat sound as a subtle way of letting everyone know... "make way for I have arrived... For I am the Goat, the (G)reastest (O)f (A)ll (T)ime!..... baaaaaaaa!"

and you thought I wouldn't pick up on your symbolism? Ha!

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That was hilarious! I've pretty much been there but never thought of the goat noises before. Thanks so much for the laughter!

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I had the opportunity tof answer the phone from a yelp telemarketer. Tried to explain all the negative practices that yelp performs that I do not agree with & I was not interested in help business. The girl could not understand why I felt this way,went on to justify their practices. I stopped her asking why the call. Bottom line she was selling advertising (my term) to promote our service business. Replied I didn't need a BS company to bring me work. She laughed at me.

I expect a rash of negative reviews now.

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