Monday, October 6, 2008

Brides Beware: False Vendor Reviews

OK, so I hate that I even have to post this. But a girl's gotta have some place to defend herself, right?

Backstory first: Many of you may be familiar with the oh-so-hot wedding website "The Knot." I love The Knot. They have fabulous inspiration photo galleries, and I know their resources are helpful to many brides.

However, they also have their infamous "message boards." Now don't get me wrong, my company has gotten a lot of positive press on these message boards. I've got some fabulous brides who are knotties, and I can tell everytime they post something positive because my email inbox gets flooded with inquiries. (That was actually how I discovered these posts, I began to wonder one day after getting so many inquiries all at once, and after a quick internet search, I found an awesome testimonial about my services on the board!)

However, because it is a faceless environment, some brides have also taken to writing false reviews. Why you ask? I don't quite know the answer.

So imagine my surprise when after doing another search of my company, I found this comment posted this morning by a bride:

"So because our wedding is in January, I've been trying to finalize all the vendors as soon as possible, per my persistent mother. We met with several this past weekend, and as promised, here are my findings:
WC: Cassandra w/ Flaire weddings was really nice and her experience speaks for itself, but then we went and met with J.Lee w/ A Perfect Pair and that meeting went just as well. So we thought about it and decided to use A Perfect Pair since they were $100 less and contracted to do just a little bit more than Flaire."

Now, this is all fine and good -- brides can totally choose whoever they want... but here's the kicker. I didn't meet with this bride this weekend. I have never met with this bride. I didn't have any consultations this weekend. I was working on my mother's suprise birthday party all Saturday (pics to come soon!) and Sunday was busy too. So, not only did I not meet with this bride, she's now claiming to have met me and comparing my services to another company. I would love the chance to sit down with this bride and actually discuss my services and pricing... but that hasn't happened.

Why would she claim to have met with me when she hasn't? I'm not sure.

Does she maybe work for this other company? Who knows?!

Is she secretly a demented old lady who has created alter-online-ego's for herself? Could be. (Okay, okay. Probably not, but you never know.)

She may not have met with the other company either. At this point, her whole post is suspect due to her false information and claims.

All this to say... brides, take reviews like this with a grain of salt.

The internet, while a hugely helpful resource, can also be fraught with falsehoods. Be sure to do your own due diligence. If you are interested in a company, meet with them for yourself. Call references, check with the Better Business Bureau. Once you've hired a coordinator you connected with, then he or she will be a fabulous resource for you as far as hiring your vendors go. Most coordinators only recommend trusted vendors that they've actually worked with, so you know you're getting their best referrals!

Brides: what are your thoughts? How much stock did you place in "reviews" when hiring your own vendors?

Planners: has anything like this ever happened to you?

Share your comments!!


Elizabeth said...

Wow. I was surprised to hear about this, especially because I am a member of the board in question and we are such a tight knit group. Some of the other boards are vicious and are quick to post rude responses to one another. Hence the adopted phrase, "Snarky Brides". I know that a lot of us rely on reviews from each other's experiences, but we have also learned to be slightly skecptical at the reviews because we've had several other vendors "setting up" false names and pushing certain vendors. We're always a little weary about those, but that post seemed genuine.

We have learned to only trust what we read from those who we chat regularly with, have become freinds with and have met before at our get togethers. Im glad Sonja put this out there on our board and I hope other knotties learn to just stick with the truth - there is no gain with false posts.

Tish said...

I am the one who posted on theknot. Let me please say that I am terribly sorry if i've misrepresented your company in any way. That was not my intention. Like i posted on the board, my mother is doing all the footwork. She's basically going off websites, email correspondence and others who've contacted companies directly in a way to cut down running around. I do remember your company being on her list to check out and she received some information from someone regarding your prices. She compared them to other companies and that is where I got my information from. I just assumed she met with all the companies, that was MY MISUNDERSTANDING. I didn't say anything negative about your company, but please accept my apology for having misunderstood my mother.

Ali said...

I'm not surprised to hear about this -- people are absolutely ridiculous and -- LAZY.
I'm a musician (I play violin) and I've done gigs all over the place - including infamous weddings.

Anyway - long story short, I found my quartet & other groups I was in were sometimes getting bad press like this because of our competitors.
A horribly cheap shot. And sadly - there's not too much you can do about it.

Just keep doing what you're doing because you're obviously doing something right. And if it is a competitor -- then you are obviously doing something right because they are out to get your potential clients.
Maybe up your marketing so that you're so widely known -- there are no questions about your business.

And -- okay -- I just read the other comments. And I can't really believe someone could be so misinformed with their own wedding-- but oh well.
Guess I'm new at this whole wedding thing from the bride perspective and because I know how businesses really can be affected by feedback (positive or negative) -- I would NEVER post a review without all of the facts. I've only ever posted a review in the past unless something horribly went wrong and it was extremely necessary to do so.

Okay - wrote WAY too much :)

Layla D. Smith said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing AND I'm so glad the young lady stepped forward and owned up to the misunderstanding. Kudos to her.
until next time.....



How embarrassing lol Ladies, just remember, the truth will always find you out! :)