Had a conversation today that reminded me of something…
WHEN LOOKING AT REVIEWS ONLINE (ie: Rip0ff Report, Ye1p, etc.)… here are my professional words of advice.
I have been a licensed investigator in several states since the mid-1990s. As a result, many of my past clients were exceptional professionals who had been listed on Rip0ff Report, yet who have been wrongly accused and / or sabotaged.
AFTER HUNDREDS OF INVESTIGATIONS by my team, these were (and likely still are) the top 3 reasons people end up on Rip0ff Report & sites like it:
- unethical attempts by jealous competitors to indirectly steal their target’s clients or customers.
- disgruntled employees who were pissed off despite being fired because of their own incompetence.
- former patients who did NOT follow through on their own self-care yet chose to blame the doctor or therapist, saying their “program” or “advice” didn’t work.
- online trolls, haters, or cyberbullies
I’m sure we can both agree that we don’t have to look too far to see adults who do NOT take responsibility for their own actions. In fact, many choose to blame everyone else – from their parents and bullies in elementary school, to their EX, their Pastor, and even President Trump. After all, the jails and prisons are full of innocent people.
In addition, we can also both agree that many in our society try to complain to get “free” products or services. Many citizens in today’s society could be considered “vicious litigants” by court professionals. Just another manipulative tactic to get something for nothing.
Before we move on to how to voice your dissatisfaction with a business or individual professional, let’s do a quick RECAP. Most reports were completely unfounded or were a sick twist of what really occured in which – as expected – the sabateur was automatically the “victim” in their own story. In a nut shell, most were serious sabotage attempts by uncouth individuals who had an *agenda*.
(1)If you have a problem with a company, organization, or professional, first try to deal with them directly and privately. I personally feel leaving a bad review is unfair when used to vent because it’s human nature to pretty much never share what YOU did to mess things up… screw-ups take 2.
I’m sorry to break this to you but if you have a problem with someone in your personal or professional life, it is highly unlikely that you are 100% innocent in the matter so have some integrity.
Besides, posting or ranting “uglies” anonymously online is a cop-out… just another way to “hide behind the internet”. Interacting with someone face-to-face is perhaps considered primitive to some, but still powerful nevertheless. If the tables were turned, would YOU want the chance to work it out privately with your customer / client OR would you rather they ran like a spoiled toddler and tattled online in an emotional hissy fit? (more on this in a bit)
(2) It is always best to make your own decisions when interacting with professionals you are considering doing business with, and not depend on someone else’s opinions. Since many postings online are actually submitted by fake names or completely anonymous, why would you depend on the opinions of complete strangers? If they are too ashamed to reveal themselves, what does that say about them?
(3) And, as for Rip0ff Report specifically, let’s not forget that the man who put this website up has been sued repeatedly, and he’s using a tiny loophole in the federal law that allows him to never have to verify if any of its true, and he also never has to take any of it down. So what you put on there about someone, or what someone puts on there about you… will be there forever. However, what this site owner did was to create a service in which the sabotaged person or company could pay LOTS of $$$ in which he “MAY” remove the unfavorable comments. In other words, that website is a huge moneymaker for him so he doesn’t care what anybody says about anybody else. As for character… that speaks volumes about the site owner’s ethics and self-serving agenda. I could tell you something similar about Ye1p.
(4)When deciding whether or not to work with another professional in any capacity and you see a unfavorable review, TELL THEM UP-FRONT. Society is becoming so weak that they are afraid to speak! I personally recommend letting these professionals know on the first phone call or email that you saw the bad review online BUT add that you want to give them the opportunity to be heard. Most ethical professionals would appreciate the opportunity to talk about it. If it was YOU who was talked about badly online and possibly losing business, wouldn’t you want the opportunity to that as well? In addition, it shows the other professional that YOU ARE NOT one to just fall into the status quo and that YOU ARE CAPABLE of forming your own educated and objective opinions.
** What I personally do is set up a time to interview THEM in person or on video ** because when I tell them face-to-face about the review I saw about them, I am able to tell more through their non-verbal reaction than what their words could actually reveal. IF I still wish to work with them, as a formality, I will then ask for references. Realizing that about 50% may be friends or family, I contact them anyway.
However, absolutely NOTHING is a stronger indicator of truth than your own instincts. So much of society has become lazy and in a hurry that they no longer use their own instincts… instead they choose to believe what’s online… and yes, even posts by complete strangers!
Somewhere along the so-called advancement of our supposed *enlightened* society, we have opted-out of doing our part of the work. Yes, doing the above takes a little bit longer. However, doing the work also helps build YOUR own character and shows that you are a fair, objective, and credible professional too, not one who “goes with the flow” because it’s the easy way. PLEASE don’t be one of the lazy members of society, there are far too many already.
As promised earlier from (1) above…
QUESTION: is it ever OKAY to post a BAD REVIEW?
ANSWER: YES, and this is how I do it…
- If I do choose to leave a review online, I only do so after THREE attempts to privately work it out with the person / organization. I leave a few days between each attempt to allow them time to respond. This takes about 10 – 14 days total.
- If I do not have about 10 – 14 days to wait for resolution, I always wait until EXACTLY 11 hours after the incident occurred before writing the review. There is a very powerful forensically-scientific reason behind the 11th hour that I posted about before on my Facebook page.
Whichever option I choose, if they refuse to work it out, discuss it, or are total jerks, then I will leave my review but I only do so with objective FACTS and do not include any subjective emotions or opinions. Think in terms of the “who, what, why, where, and how” of journalism.
THEN… before I hit “post” or “submit” I always ask myself:
“If I had to go to court and prove what I just wrote, could I?”
If any part (no matter how miniscule it may seem) of my review says, “No”, I immediately reword it. It’s only ethical to do so.
PARTING WORDS TO THE WISE: remember, just as you are trying to be “stealthy” online, so are others. Take 5 minutes to look at the social media timeline or a news website and you will see that people are probably more psychologically unstable than ever before, or perhaps just as much as before but with more easy access to you, your loved ones, and they can easily show up where you work or live. In other words, you never know who you are truly messing with on the other side of the WWW.
Choosing to belittle, post rants and harrass people with “uglies” is exactly that – a choice. If you choose to always remain in integrity while being objectively and respectfully honest, you will likely sleep better at night, and remain safe from “society’s psychos”.