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Cottage Pie

Here at ReviewTrackers, we’re always keeping our eyes open to help our clients track business reviews. We gotta admit: sometimes the things we see are pretty shocking – not only in terms of how harsh review-writing consumers can be, but also in terms of how vengeful (or just plain crazy) business owners can be.

If you don’t believe us, just check out these examples of crazy responses to Yelp reviews.

It’s not just on Yelp, though. Recently, we came across a very interesting exchange on TripAdvisor between customer Kirsty Parker and restaurant owner Julie Despot.

(Check out: “Case Study: Hyundai Dealer Wants Customers to Talk Online, Even Embraces Negative Reviews”)

Here’s what went down: Kirsty visited Julie’s Westbury Tavern Restaurant in Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK on Mother’s Day. She ordered cottage pie but found that it was too hot, so she had to wait to eat it until after the rest of her family had finished their dinner.

Kirsty made a point of saying this in her three-star review of Westbury Tavern on TripAdvisor. It reportedly took a couple of attempts to get the review through TripAdvisor’s filter. When it finally appeared online, Kirsty’s sentiments were made clear. “Overrated by far!” she exclaimed. That’s when Julie decided to write her response.

Kirsty’s review:

This Restaurant Owner’s Response to a TripAdvisor Review Humiliates Her Customer

Julie’s response to the review:

This Restaurant Owner’s Response to a TripAdvisor Review Humiliates Her Customer

As you’ll see in Julie’s response above, Kirsty was being made fun of for her bad spelling and grammar. Note to business owners: we recommend that you never do this. Treat your customers like royalty.

Even after being interviewed by news site the Sentinel, Julie said she did not regret the way she responded to her unhappy customer. In fact, she thought Kirsty was simply pulling an April Fool’s Day joke.

“On the day the review was posted a member of staff had died and my father had been rushed into hospital with a bleed on the brain,” said Julie, who has been running the Westbury Tavern Restaurant for eight years. “She caught me on a bad day. I had two reviews taken off so I looked at the guidelines and thought ‘I will do exactly that,’ so I posted another comment with exactly the same language she used.”

No, Julie, it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. In fact, Kirsty said that she felt humiliated by the way the business owner had mocked her grammar and spelling. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I was shocked. If I were dyslexic it would have been really upsetting. You should be able to write a review without being slated on the Internet… but they obviously can’t take the criticism.”

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.