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Casey Movers Demonstrates How Not to Handle a Bad Online Review

It is inevitable in the lifespan of any company, it will receive bad reviews online.  While the source of those negative reviews can be from competitors or trolls, most often those reviews come from legitimate customers with gripes.  Casey Movers did numerous other businesses a favor and offered a lesson on what happens when you address a legitimate online review that is negative the wrong way.

Phil Buckley, who blogs over at, is an SEO and web development strategist and recently posted about receiving a letter from Casey Movers (via certified mail) requesting that a negative review posted by his wife on Yelp! about her experience with the moving company.  Needless to say, Phil did what every savvy blogger would do (and did it in tremendous style) – he picked apart Casey Movers and their empty threats of a lawsuit and even uncovered some possible instances of AstroTurf-ing.  In the end, the single letter the moving company sent did much more harm than good.  Hat tip to ThePope Hat for this.

In the end, this is a good lesson of what a company should do when it gets a negative review:

  • If the review is from a legitimate customer, contact the customer and find out why they feel like your service or product was sub-par and work to rectify the situation (even if you think the customer was wrong).  Once you get a resolution, post the resolution in response to the review.
  • If you cannot determine whether the review is from a legitimate customer, post a response in which the company politely asks to contact the company directly so it can make things right.
  • If you are sure the review is not from a legitimate customer, then other actions may be necessary such as a cease and desist letter.  Be mindful, however, that such a letter can be found on the Internet and be subjected to the scorn of dozens, if not thousands of potential customers.  Sometimes doing nothing is the best remedy.  In the end, if you concentrate on positive customer service, one negative review will seem out of place versus dozens of positive reviews.

Of course, every situation is different, but if the review is from a legitimate customer, the last thing a company should do is send the type of letter that Casey Movers sent to their customer.  At the very least, this is a good learning experience for everyone else.

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