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When The Customer is Wrong

17 February, 2017 / Category: News

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In today’s blog, Infolio Property Advisors’ Director Lauren Staley addresses the elephant in the (online review) room. What happens when a troublesome ex-client takes to the internet and attempts to slander your business?

Unregulated reviews have the power to influence any business’ prospective clients, and when that business is an expert boutique agency like Infolio – well, the injustice of false reviews can be infuriating, as Lauren Staley explains in this opinion piece about the impact of online reviews.

“Last week, it was brought to my attention that a past client – if you could call him that – posted a less than complimentary Google review for Infolio Property Advisors. Despite being fictional on many levels, the onerous onslaught of invalid (and often misspelled) ‘facts’ regarding his experience got me thinking. Why is it so easy for people to post unregulated reviews about a business? Why is it that someone can potentially damage your reputation or brand whilst as business owners, we have no recourse and no right of reply? (Happily, this trend is changing as  The Age’s recent article concerning a Melbourne dentist suing a patient for defamation illustrates.)

Don’t get me wrong. I completely accept that people are entitled to their opinion. But what if their view is baseless? What if they were so difficult, rude and offensive in their dealings that – as a business – we found ourselves unable to look after them? Telling ourselves that ‘the customer is always right’ doesn’t make it right.

Whilst the unfavorable review placed on our company page concerned the work of an advocate who no longer works with Infolio, the attack was made on our company rather than the individual. This in itself shows that the content of the review is also somewhat inaccurate. As a business owner, I’m of the firm belief that your company is only as good as the people on your team. Sometimes they are great and sometimes they are not. In this instance, the client was unrealistic, moved the goal posts continually and also pulled out of two contracts.

Quite frankly – and given the opportunity – I would be putting a post up about him so other business could avoid wasting their time. But I can’t. All I can do is hope that people see through the ridiculous rant of someone who has nothing better to do with their time than rave about their experiences a year after the fact (yes, this client posted the review twelve months after terminating their agreement!).

Look, sometimes we all need to rant. I run a small boutique business, I work my arse off. I care about my clients, and reviews without recours

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