Being a small business in this era of the internet and social media, it is inevitable that we may sometimes be faced with the challenge of defending our reputaion and livelihood against the threat of unsubstantiated and often anonymously posted claims of wrongdoing. Because of how fast the internet works, these claims often go unchallenged and brought before the court of public opinion before there is an opportunity for the accused to defend his or herself. That being said, I will take this opportunity to address what has been written about my company. I may hopefully paint a clearer picture of what lead to this and shed some light on to what can only be described as an unfortunate rush to judgement.
I was really surprised to have received a notification from HomeStars stating that there had been a change to a customer review that was originally written in July of 2015. Nervous to think that perhaps one of our projects has not survived the quality test of time. Thankfully, I was mistaken. It was only what appears to have been an unfortunate series of email communication related events. After reading the edited response from the distressed customer, I began my investigation into our history in hopes of determining just where we may have gone wrong. I desperately needed to know what could have driven a man, who I had not seen or spoken to in about two years, to go online, log on to his HomeStars account and write damaging and unsubstantiated words about my company.
This customer had reached out to us back in May of 2017 via email. At the time, unfortunately, we were very busy on a large project and could not arrange a time to provide an estimate. This was communicated to the customer in an email response. In the same email, dated May 13, 2017, I asked if we could reconnect in a few weeks to discuss his project, once we had some more time available. That email went unanswered.
After receiving today's notification from HomeStars, I went searching through my inbox trying to find the so called "numerous communication" attempts and came up empty. It was only when I went through my 'Junk' folder that I found two emails from this customer, dated Jan 12, 2018 and subsequently Jan 18, 2018. At which time, he wrote "I'll take the lack of response as a no....."
How could these emails end up in my Junk folder when all previous communication did not, you ask? I'm no email/tech expert but here's my theory on what may have happened. Sometime between May of 2017 and today, I had some changes made to my website and email hosting package which resulted in defaulted security settings along with a deleted contact list. This may have caused the "numerous communication" attemps to end up in the 'Junk' folder.
I only feel the need to explain because we are a very small business which depends solely on the relationships we build with customers and the level of quality workmanship we continue to deliver. In fact, we are still the same size small business that this very customer hired on two previous occasions. So, to assume that you were being ignored or somehow looked over is unfortunate and completely false.
It's clearly not our workmanship that is the issue here but admittedly a misstep on our part, not being as accessible and available as you would have liked. Now, in a blatant attempt to stain our reputation, you have chosen this platform to express your frustrations not because we botched your project but simply because we were unavailable to connect on your terms to discuss a pontential future project.
"Pick your battles."
Despite the way you were feeling when you revised your review, you are still "whole." We have not taken anything away from you. You were not cheated, lied to, or taken advantage of, in any way. Yet, you felt that it was necessary for you to go out of your way to tell everyone how upset you were, that this transaction didn't quite work out the way you wanted it to. I don't know if that's what HomeStars is intended for but I guess we'll have to find out.
Please accept my sincere apology for not being able to serve you again in a timely manner. It's an unfortunate reality that we sometimes face, being a very small business with limited time and resources. Whether or not you choose to accept my apology and undo the damage done, I accept and respect your right to an opinion, without prejudice.