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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Unwarranted Review by Customer

    I was doing some on-line searching of my website ranking and saw in the Google link next to my site that somebody had given my company a review so I opened it up. What I read was not what I was expecting at all. The client gave me 2 out of 5 stars, said I missed multiple things and said a plumber stated "your inspector should be shot in the head......" regarding the condition of his plumbing system. I pulled up my report for his house and the picture file. I clearly documented the conditions of which he spoke so the only thing I can assume is he did nothing with my report and probably only skimmed over it if anything. I never heard from him and he never contacted me to state he was having any problems.

    I saw this on Sunday evening at 11pm and the more I looked at the review vs. the report I issued, the more incensed I became. I think I slept 1.5 hours that night. I sent an e-mail to the client disputing his claims but I don't expect to hear anything back.

    Unfortunately, I'm now stuck with his factually incorrect and negative review tied to my name on Google. Has anybody run into anything like this?

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 01-14-2014 at 04:36 PM.
    Inspection Referral SOC
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    Nick,

    This will happen to all of us at some point. If where he posted the review allows you to respond do so in a positive manner. If he used one of the consumer revenge sites, your kinda screwed. If this is the one I saw on Google then its simple - encourage your clients to post positive reviews on Google plus respond to the two star review. I know one inspector that every couple of months he will send out a letter and reward the first two people who post with a $25 Starbucks cards. Usually he will get a couple of posts out of it.

    Be thankful it not on one of the consumer revenge sites they use extortion tactics to take down negative reviews.

    Most Realtors and Clients have HI stories that aren't too flattering. People tend to remember what we missed and not the thousands of dollars of items we find. Recently I had an inspection that allowed my clients to get $35K in repairs. Will I get a positive review? Probably not but then again its my job.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    I too was going to mention the possibility to reply. If you can, keep it clean and informative. Most people will appreciate that.

    I'd say something like;

    "I reviewed the inspection report to which these negative claims were made. I clearly and accurately reported on, and made recommendations of the exact things mentioned in this negative review. I'm at a loss to understand why this resulted in a negative review. I've attempted to make contact with the client to resolve this matter and hope they will respond to me. I take my responsibility in serving my clients best interests very seriously"


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    I did post a response to the clients' review and it appeared for a couple days then disappeared. I posted it again but I'm not sure it will stick but hope it stays. It's frustrating to know this irresponsible review is out there and not know how many people have seen it and used it to make a decision.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I did post a response to the clients' review and it appeared for a couple days then disappeared. I posted it again but I'm not sure it will stick but hope it stays. It's frustrating to know this irresponsible review is out there and not know how many people have seen it and used it to make a decision.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    I had a client do the same with the BBB when I was using NCR forms. Though the BBB said it was not a formal complaint and that it was not necessary that I respond I was P.O.d and wrote the BBB back. The incident made it into any public record but had it gone online I might have had more of a problem defending myself. Oddly enough that client was the only one who found me through the BBB while I was a sucker member.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I sent an e-mail to the client disputing his claims but I don't expect to hear anything back.
    I don't know why you would email. I would have been on the phone immediately to figure out what the problem is. Or agree to visit him so you can talk about it. A lack of real communication is why this crap has gotten to this point.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    Nick,

    Is it possible that your report's wording wasn't strong enough to catch the client's attention? And there's also the possibility that his plumber found more extensive problems as he dug into the system, finding more serious problems than you reported.

    Offer to meet the client over coffee (or go the whole nine yards, and buy him breakfast), so you can discuss face-to-face exactly what his problems are. If he's a real jerk, he won't want to meet with you.


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    I noted this on another thread a short time back. I had a review stick with me through Google for at least a couple years. Very lengthy and total false. I sent response after response to the person that left the review but that is all I could do was respond to the review as there was no name address or email that you could follow up with other than the email behind the review that certainly gave me no clue to who it was. I also sent letter after letter to Google disputing the matter to no avail. It finally disappeared but honestly I am sure it was a couple years, or more, later. I am also sure it cost thousands in revenue I would have gotten if not for the review. Google has changed it so you have a better chance of knowing who left the review and you can address it properly other than "This is a bogus review". Legally there is about nothing you can do that would not cost thousands and retrieval of you legal costs is just about impossible.

    No matter where anyone leaves a review, they and everyone reading the review knows who you are. Everyone including you should be able to know exactly who the poster is.


  9. #9
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    Bad reviews are like lawsuits: Anyone can post a bad review at any time for any reason...............

    I had a woman client who had a young child and was so afraid of the world knowing that she had a child that she objected to me putting the address of the property in the report. It's not like I posted the report on the Internet.

    She didn't want her Realtor to have a copy of the report with the address in it, much less the Seller's Realtor for the list of requested repairs. Didn't make sense since both Realtors, obviously, knew the address of the property she was trying to buy. I had never seen anyone quite so obsessed with her privacy. The funny thing is that when I Googled her name, she was everywhere. I showed her just how unprivate her life was, but all that did was make her angrier.

    Ultimately I offered to refund her money provided that she return the report and any copies, and did not rely on anything in the report for purposes of the real estate transaction. She refused, but I heard (hearsay) that she canceled the transaction because "everything was too public."

    She is the only Client of mine who is not in my contact database. I don't want her as a Client, and I'm sure the feeling is mutual.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    I don't know why you would email. I would have been on the phone immediately to figure out what the problem is. Or agree to visit him so you can talk about it. A lack of real communication is why this crap has gotten to this point..........Well, I e-mailed him because I found his review at 11pm and had no plans on calling him in the middle of the night. His review got me pretty riled up and after reviewing the report and the picture file, I had a clear set of points I wanted to make and cover and to make sure I left none of it out, I sent him the e-mail. If he was having so many issues, he could have called or e-mailed me. It was the second house I inspected for him and this one was only slightly less in disrepair than the first one. Call me strange but I don't have any desire to meet face-to-face with somebody who takes to the internet to air his concerns rather than contact me directly. He knows how he can reach me but he chose not to do so.

    Nick, Is it possible that your report's wording wasn't strong enough to catch the client's attention? And there's also the possibility that his plumber found more extensive problems as he dug into the system, finding more serious problems than you reported.

    Offer to meet the client over coffee (or go the whole nine yards, and buy him breakfast), so you can discuss face-to-face exactly what his problems are. If he's a real jerk, he won't want to meet with you.


    Is it possible? Anything is possible as not everybody comprehends things the same or maybe even reads the entire report. However, I documented specific defects on all but two items in the entire interior plumbing section in my report with specific comments after every noted defect stating that repairs were needed. Is it possible the plumber found more? I won't say it isn't possible but I noted in the report that due to finished areas, the main sanitary drain line and main water shut-off valve and meter were not observable. If there were issues with these areas, I can't report what I can't see and I clearly noted that these items were not observable or found during the inspection. But I don't know how much more clear I can be when I document a specific defective condition and state repairs are needed. At some point, the buyer needs to take ownership of the information given to them and take responsibility for their actions or non-actions.

    I have no idea how many potential clients saw his review and let it affect their decision to hire me so I'm in no rush to buy this client coffee or anything and according to Google, his review has been out there for 6 months. I did this inspection for him in November 2011 so we are over 2 full years after the fact. The response I typed out to his review appears right above his. So I feel I have done what I can at this point in just getting my side of things out there and making sure he is not the only one with a say in the matter.

    If he wants to call, I will speak with him. But I don't go looking for problems either.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Unwarranted Review by Customer

    Nick,

    I feel your pain. I have a negative google review that was posted by a competitor back several years ago and have not been able to get it removed. He wrote negative reviews about several home inspection companies in the area claiming that he was buying his first home. Google did nothing. It is really frustrating.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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