See You In Court…Or On Social Media

September 12, 2019

When I was younger, I remember hearing that a company had settled a lawsuit even though it looked like they had done nothing wrong.  I was told that companies often determined that it was simply less expensive to settle a lawsuit than to fight it.  Sadly, today the threat of “I’ll see you in court” has become “I’ll see you on social media” and for small businesses, this is much worse.

Most businesses are still run by people and shockingly most people are not perfect.  People and businesses sometimes make mistakes and when they do, they should apologize and correct the mistake.  That said, there are often times when someone is simply not satisfied and the business did nothing wrong.  In the “old days” say, before 2010, a customer might threaten to sue the company seeking to get compensated for something the business didn’t think was their fault.  But to actually sue a company, the disgruntled customer had to do something and incur some costs (maybe file some documents or even hire a lawyer).  These costs stopped some customers from suing for no reason (and yes, costs can also stop a person in the right from suing too) but there is no barrier for the “I’ll see you on social media” threat.

So, what’s a small business to do when you think you’re in the right, but a customer says, “unless you do or x or y I’m going to give you a bad review on ….”?  Do you cave and simply give them some money?  Caving hurts the business and everyone who works there since you’re giving away money everyone worked hard to earn.  Do you risk the bad review which can also hurt the business and everyone who works there?  I know there are some small business owners who have the position “I would never pay,” “it’s blackmail,” or something similar.  I applaud these owners.  I wish that had the internal fortitude to simply have a “no” position, but I don’t.  I worry all the time about how a bad review (even if not a deserved bad review) will impact Pet Camp: Will our reputation suffer? Will our numbers go down?  Will we have to cut counselors or make other changes that negatively impact them?  Frankly, we end up paying for things simply because someone threatens us.  But guess what? If we are spending money on this kind of stuff, we need to make it up elsewhere by charging more. So yes, you are paying more for the wild-wild-west nature of on-line reviews!

Want to help Pet Camp put an end to the extortion of the threat of a bad review?  The easiest way is to give us a good review. Yup, the more good reviews the less Pet Camp, or any other small business, has to worry about standing firm to the threat of a bad review.  So, help us keep our numbers up and the counselors employed with health insurance, a retirement plan,  and scholarship opportunities.  Leave Pet Camp and other small business you enjoy a good review and help us push back against review bullies.

Thanks for reading.


Pet Camp has been providing 5-star pet care for over 20 years.  With two San Francisco locations, Pet Camp is only minutes away from any neighborhood from the Marina to Mission Bay. The Pet Camp Express and the Pet Camp mobile app mean your only a click of a button from the best doggie day care or overnight care in the Bay Area.  Need pet care for your cat?  Check out all the Cat Safari has to offer.

 

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