Bad Review = Free Money?

Pet Camp recently purchased an item from Amazon for one of our pet care facilities. Before you yell at us for not buying local from a San Francisco business, I did try to purchase the item locally first,but couldn’t locate it. Anyway, the purchase was a failure – the item just didn’t meet our needs OR perform as the seller indicated it would. We struggled to get the product to perform long enough that we couldn’t return it and I placed a summary of our experiences (a review) with the product on Amazon. Honestly, I didn’t trash the product – I simply explained where we felt it had fallen short.

When a bad review can get you free money.

Since posting my summary, I have been inundated with emails from the seller asking me to remove the summary and offering me $20 when I do so. I responded that I was comfortable with my summary of our experience with the product and thought that other potential buyers should benefit from our experience. The result — offers of more $$.

For many years, businesses have complained that customers threaten them with bad reviews as a way to shake the business down for free stuff and the review sites warn businesses not to pay for positive reviews, but I’ve never heard of a business offering money for the removal of a review. The business didn’t reach out to me to discuss the review (something we have done), didn’t offer help in using their product – they simply offered me money. I found the business’s actions reprehensible. I understand that not every customer is going to be 100% pleased every time, I understand that customers might want to express their concerns, and I very much understand that businesses get upset about bad reviews (some small business owners have even been known to take bad reviews very personally) – but offering me money to take down the review isn’t the answer.

How does Pet Camp respond to bad reviews from pet parents?

If this company really wanted to address my concerns they would have: 

  • responded to the review (maybe telling me how to solve the problem)
  • given me a call to explain the situation and ask what they could do to make it better
  • or even simply said “sorry.” 

As much as I hate to admit it, Pet Camp has gotten a few bad reviews in the past 25 years and that’s how we try to respond.
Thanks for reading.

Pet Camp is the San Francisco Bay Area’s most award winning pet care facility.  We are proud to offer doggie day care, overnight care for dogs and cats, dog and cat bathing (but not grooming), dog training and pet transportation.