This morning, I posted this message on Facebook:
“Thinking about taking my F150 to a West Nashville Mechanic for service and repairs rather than driving to Franklin dealership . . . any recommendations? I was considering Terry’s but am a little concerned about some of the reviews”
I knew about Terry’s Service Center because I drive by it every time I go to COSTCO. It looks like a popular and clean operation . . . I checked the reviews and most were VERY positive 5 Star reviews . . . What troubled me was the visceral nature of the (very few) 1 Star reviews. After reading these stories of negative experiences, I couldn’t help but think there had to be some merit to them, so I published the post.
Within minutes, 2 of of my Facebook friends (who I actually know, like, and trust) recommended 2 other service centers – Lawson and son Auto Repair and Polly’s Service Center. A scan of the reviews for these 2 yielded the same result – 98% RAVING 5 Star reviews and 2% 1 Star Reviews (which left the impression that they were all dishonest crooks hell bent on preying on the innocent, uninformed public.)
2 consecutive reviews @ Polly’s:
5 Stars – “Polly’s Is a throwback to an earlier era. It’s a gas station with a large garage operation attached. Their experienced mechanics are good at diagnosing problems and giving you straight answers. You actually get to talk to the mechanic who worked on your car! They will tell you how long your service will take and charge reasonable prices. If you are the kind of person who likes buying local, this is the place for you.”
1 Star – “Had a negative experience at Polly’s. Took my car in last week after hitting a curb and asked them to look at it due to the odd noise my car was making and to make sure my wheel wasn’t messed up. They reported nothing was wrong. I paid the hour of labor and the car still makes the noise. I went back today and basically was told by the mechanic he didn’t have time to ride around and listen for the noise and I should just go to the Ford dealership. Don’t waste your time with Polly’s.”
How do we reconcile this dissonance?
Could it be that ALL of these 5 Star reviews are co-conspirators in this clandestine scheme to cheat good people out of their well deserved convenience, fair pricing, and quality repairs?
Because I’m a curious guy, I decided to continue my research . . . to dig deeper into the reviews.
The things I noticed about the 1 star reviews:
- They were all from 1st time customers
- The owners responded to most of them with invitation to call and discuss. I’m betting few (if any) did
- Most of the issues boiled down to “failure to communicate”
These 1 star reviews were from disgruntled customers who threw temper tantrums while hiding behind the safe veil of digital distance. I’m pretty sure that, if given the opportunity, (within reason) these business owners would have made things right . . . The thing is, these angry people never gave them a chance.
There’s no accounting for crazy people.
So . . . I’m wondering at the usefulness of many of the reviews out there . . . especially the 1 star reviews.
If those folks had invested the time and energy it took to spew vitriol instead on reaching out for real dialog, I think this world would be a slightly better place.
Wishful thinking, eh?
Seek to understand!