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Rant Discussion Anyone having a problem with bad customers bringing up race/racism?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by rossmosh, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    Our shop deals with a lot of different people from different cultures, races, and creeds. We do our best to treat them as fairly as possible.

    It's only happened to me twice, but I've gotten bad reviews that bring up race and racism. The first I was able to get deleted by Yelp because the woman was truly nuts. I just got another for an incident 2 years ago via Google which may or may not remove. I have had maybe a handful of other times people bring it up at the counter which we will immediately squash citing all of the different multicultural organizations we work with.

    Is it just people know they can throw out racism and make it makes it the most damaging? In this circumstance, this guy could have easily written me a 1 star review, not called me a racist, and been justified. He was an *******, but I lost my temper and ended up calling the cops to get him out of my store. You don't need to add the racist angle on that to give a 1 star review.

    I hope this discussion doesn't turn racist or negatively racial. I was hoping to see if people had similar experiences and if they were able to do anything to do anything to resolve the situation.
     
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  2. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    We've never experienced a negative review with a Racist slant, it would be a tough thing as today people are ultra sensitive and social media gives anyone a platform to complain with or without basis.

    We are on an online presence growth track right now and its one of the things that scare me is unfounded reviews that are difficult to fight.
     
  3. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Impossible to fight. I had a perfect 5 star rating until some nitwit left 3 stars which dropped me down to 4.9. I never heard of the guy before...didn't even leave a review, just a star rating. Tried to Google him to find contact information but only found out he was on probation and had been arrested many times before.
     
  4. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Nothing you can do, just let it roll. Best defense is encouraging happy customers to leave you something good and don't bring it up to the bad ones. The normal people that read these can quickly sort out the legit comments and you should avoid the ones that can't cuz they're probably from the same apple tree. Also, take the high road with any rebuttals or risk making their comment look legit. I see too many business owners writing nasty things back and whether justified or not, it sours people from wanting to do any business with them. IMO a simple, "we did our best for you and am sorry that you were not happy with our service" should be about all that you write.
     
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  5. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    The fact that they bring race into a review should give you a good idea of their mentality, unless you brought it up during the interaction.

    Luckily I've only had to deal with 2 bad reviews in all my years, 1 was for a client who we were making a new sign for, I emailed her a proof and didn;t get a reply (which was typical for her, she said she needed to show some committee the design and it might take a few weeks to get back) I forgot about it and 3 weeks later there is a nasty google review about how unprofessional we are and how i never got back to her and now they were going to be without a sign for their grand opening. I called her and it turns out I misspelled her email address, which was her name (she was polish, so it was a very long name).

    Rather than call me and check on the status of her proof, she decided the best thing would be to leave me a 1 star review. In the end I got her sign done in time, she removed the review, and then she missed her grand opening date by 3 months anyway...
     
  6. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    I don't fully understand the situation and hope you can clarify.

    Is it that they accused you of being racist towards them in the reviews? Or they made racist comments while in your shop and you refused to serve them?
     
  7. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    When something bad happens maybe some good will come from it. The next rally or get together by white supremacists in your area will get all their banners and hand held signs from you.
     
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  8. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    One situation we hurried along an order after spending an hour for a $50 sale and the person wrote a review how we were racists and not Americans.

    The other person showed up just as we were closing. Gave us a hard time over a minor situation. Had an argument. 2 years later wrote a review calling us racists.

    It's come up once or twice within the last few years, typically with customers taking a very long time and us losing patience because they refuse to listen to us. Race never comes up. We don't say anything racist. We don't have a problem with them because of their race. They just happen to be a different race while also being difficult people to work with.
     
  9. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    Having dealt with a few malicious, false reviews when we owned our B&B and even now with the sign company, there is little one can do to get them yanked unless you can show that the person is trying to speak for others, has made blatantly false statements that you can verify with multiple witnesses or they chose you randomly.

    I really feel for you and hope you can resolve it in a way that satisfies you and your staff. We don't call them PITA's for nothing.

    Most reasonable viewers of such hostile reviews will take the outlier with a grain of salt, but as soon as you get multiples of any one issue, it can spell trouble for a business.

    Most sites that offer reviews afford a management response. If you choose to use it, I would recommend using it only with incredible restraint and only after letting people you completely trust review and critique it for you. You all are just too close to the situation to let fly with a response without an objective observer seeing it first.

    One of the worst to deal with is Yelp. The algorythim they use is impossible to figure out. They will conceal great reviews you get that their bots deem to be a friend gliding the lily for you, but let some malicious hack with an axe to grind blast you and it stays up forever.
     
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  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Race has never seemed to come up in any of our shops or anywhere I've worked doing signs in the last 50 years. It has, if I know the person and we're on the same page, but nothing at all with employees or customers ever, that I can remember.

    However, playing in bands and stuff on & off for the last 55 years, yes, race comes up all the time and sometimes gets outta control. You learn to deal with it or become another Reginald Denny in my case. I played mostly Black nightclubs for a long time. So, back in the 70s & 80 was somewhat tough, in more ways than one. In earlier days, I was jumped by 7 older Black guys who proceeded to beat the living sh!t outta me. I was only 13. Honestly, the only thing I did wrong was catch a fly ball, in a playground league game and win the game for our side and go to the bleachers to get my new bicycle. That's where they jumped me. Head concussion, bruises everywhere and put in the hospital.

    I later married a woman of color, so you can't say I harbored any ill feelings.
     
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    You may want to rethink you handle situations with customers. When I was in my 20s I would get short with people, but not so much now. Never hand anyone in my sign business call me or anyone raciest.

    I've learned, specifically growing up in a black community that "Respect" is one of the most valued things. If someone is trying to show you respect by coming to you and trying to give you business, they don't want laughed at or be shown attitude. You disrespect someone and you'll a whole other side to them.

    Things I've learned.. Be super kind to people when you're about to let them down. If they are calling for something that is unreasonable or something you don't want to mess with, apologize and kindly direct them to another sign shop or an online source. Sometimes people ask me for crap no one would mess with and I tell them "Honestly, you can get that decal online for like a couple of bucks on Amazon, and really I don't know how they can make it for that AND ship it but that would be where I go if we needed one!"

    Always take their request seriously and even if you find it laughable (crazy deadline, a weird product you don't want to do, or someone that seems like a PITA for a small order) make a genuine effort to point them in the right direction and be respectful.
     
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  12. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I had a nimrod give me a 4 star rating and he hadn't even been in my shop. A few weeks later he came in and needed some decals for his truck. He kept changing his mind, calling me, emailing me, etc. Did the job and he keeps calling me about little decals and how much is this and that and never orders anything! He's a little slow I think, for real. No issues with race so far but it's a mostly white community. Politics gets brought up a lot but I keep my mouth shut unless I know they have the same opinion as I do.
     
  13. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

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    If I'm not mistaken...if it's not true and you can prove their public accusations are costing you money...that is Libel, and Defamation. You can go to court over BOTH of those offenses. All you need is:
    A) Witnesses that will falsify their claims of racist comments
    B) Proof you are losing money or customers because of the ratings/comments
    C) Time to hassle filing paperwork, hiring attourney, losing sleep over going to court and possibly not getting anything in return because the court, though they may decide to reward you money...doesn't at that point in time have a way to mitigate such funding from the defendant. At which point you'll have to go through more crap to file a Lein on their property (assuming they own any) and will be in line waiting for a possible day they may sell said property and assuming there is a profit from it when it sells.
     
  14. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

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    Not race related, but I once had a customer almost punch me because I told him we weren't going to alter the Real Estate logo for his car. He was just an agent and I told him we couldn't alter the company logo without approval from corporate.
     
  15. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    While mostly true, the cost and time spent pursuing a case and eventually collecting on a judgement would not make it a good investment of time and resources for anyone but a large company with budget for the exercise. Courts in the U.S. have a higher threshold on libel and defamation claims than other countries.

    Online reviews are usually pretty positive for small businesses but can be a double edged sword. We all want great ones, but the risk we run of getting a negative one or a malicious false one can greatly impact our reputation.
     
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