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How NOT to Respond to a Negative Online Review — a Cautionary Tale

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You can’t afford this type of PR.

If your business has ever had a bad review online, you know how tempting it can be to respond in less-than-polite terms.

But that’s generally the wrong way to go, as one tech entrepreneur learned.

Denis Grisak created a product called Garadget, an app-based garage-door controller, Inc. reports. And one customer was none too satisfied, leaving scathing reviews on both the company’s forum and Amazon.com.

User rdmart7 said on the company forum that the app wouldn’t stay open and the product was “a piece of s***.”

On Amazon, posting as R. Martin, he wrote: “Junk – DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY – iPhone app is a piece of junk, crashes constantly, start-up company that obviously has not performed proper quality assurance tests on their products.”

Grisak replied on the company forum:

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Robert,

The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control. I’m happy to provide the technical support to the customers on my Saturday night but I’m not going to tolerate any tantrums.

At this time your only option is return Garadget to Amazon for refund. Your unit ID 2f0036… will be denied server connection.

In other words, the reviewer’s product was rendered useless. And that was a dismal PR move for Grisak — the type that no startup firm can really afford.

Media outlets ranging from Hacker News to Inc. to the Atlantic covered the exchange. And Garadget ended up with additional negative feedback like this review on Amazon: “Would normally have recommended this device but unfortunately this device relies on manufacturer’s cloud services and if you do something trivial to piss off the manufacturer they will brick your device. Look elsewhere.”

Grisak told the Los Angeles Times he regrets his response.

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“I was overprotective of my product and it was hard to take this criticism,” he told the newspaper. “It’s not going to happen again.”

The Atlantic reports that Grisak has restored Martin’s connection, but that Martin is, nonetheless, trying to return the item.

“I should have bought him back with kindness,” Grisak said.

Read more at Inc.

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Pizzeria Helps Reunite Missing Pets With Owners

The effort is a hit with patrons.

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Angelo’s Pizza in Matawan, NJ, has launched an effort to get missing pets back with their owners.

It’s putting missing-pets posters on its pizza boxes, the New York Post reports.

The restaurant recently posted on Facebook: “Anyone in the Matawan/Aberdeen area who has a missing pet can drop off flyers for us to place on all your pizza boxes. No charge.”

In a later post, the restaurant wrote: “Thank you for your support and responses from all of you! This initiative has been very very successful and has raised a lot of awareness for missing pets. Thank you everyone! Let’s all keep helping pets be reunited with their families!”

The initiative has been popular with customers. One commented on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “It’s wonderful when businesses care about animals and their patrons.”

Read more at the New York Post

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25 Cities Honored for Pet-Friendliness

The certification was created by Mars Petcare and experts from the Civic Design Center.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Twenty-five cities throughout North America have landed on the inaugural list of Better City for Pets certified cities.

The certification “honors the work that has been done to create a friendly environment for two- and four-legged citizens and the commitment from each of these cities to continue improving their pet-friendly programs and policies,” according to a press release from Mars Petcare.

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Mars Petcare and experts from the Civic Design Center created the certification as an extension of the Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program. The program works with local governments, businesses and non-profits to provide resources, tools and grants that help communities make pets more welcome.

“On behalf of Mars Petcare, I want to thank and congratulate the 25 cities that have prioritized people and pets in their communities,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “From helping people live healthier lives to creating social connections, pets can truly transform our communities. These certified cities are helping to make a more pet-friendly world and we hope that many more cities will join us in this commitment.”

The following cities share the honor of being the first to achieve the Better City for Pets certification:

  • Bloomington, IN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Calumet City, IL
  • Oakland, CA
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Plano, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Reno, NV
  • Franklin, TN
  • Rochester, MI
  • Hallandale Beach, FL
  • Royalton, MN
  • Henderson, NN
  • Santa Clarita, CA
  • Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Southport, NC
  • Meaford, Ontario
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Memphis, TN
  • Topeka, KS
  • Miami Lakes, FL
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Miami, FL

Through an online assessment at BetterCitiesForPets.com, participating cities were asked to share data on existing and future pet-friendly features within three sections: city profile, survey and priorities. Cities were then evaluated based on 12 traits of pet-friendly cities across the areas of businesses, parks, shelters and homes. Cities that met the certification criteria and committed to continuing their progress in creating a welcoming community for people and pets received the Better City for Pets certification. All cities that completed the assessment received a personalized report outlining their strengths and areas of opportunity, along with resources and tools from the Better Cities for Pets program to help them on their pet-friendly journey.

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Here Are the Most (and Least) Expensive Cities to Own a Pet

6 of the most expensive cities to own a pet are in California.

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GOBankingRates has released rankings of the “most and least expensive cities in the U.S. to own a cat or dog.”

The top-10 lists are based on the cost of pet day care, pet insurance and overall cost of living. (To compile its ranking, GOBankingRates evaluated the 50 largest cities in the U.S.)

The most expensive city to own a pet, according to GOBankingRates, is San Jose, CA. The city has an average cost of pet day care of $40 and average insurance cost per month of $42.

San Francisco is the second most expensive city, with an average cost of pet day care of $36 and average insurance cost per month of $42.

In fact, the study suggests that six of the most expensive cities to own a pet are in California.

Out of the 50 cities, the city named “least expensive” to own a pet is Indianapolis, where the average cost of pet day care is $19, the average insurance cost per month is $31.50 and the general cost of living is comparatively low, according to the ranking.

Wichita is second on the “least expensive list,” with an average cost of pet day care of $22.67, an average insurance cost per month of $29.50 and a low overall cost of living.

Read more at GOBanking Rates

 

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