This week, my absolutely wonderful and nerdy software engineer husband pointed out to me that there were some really crappy things going on out here in the Internets. After he showed me the "reviews" about my shop, we hemmed and hawed over whether or not to address cyber bullying. He found these on Insiderpages, Google, and Knitmap. They are obviously done by the same person. Last week, a person made a personal comment about me following my blog post about selling the shop (the same person?). Since the comment was a personal attack and in no way constructive, we decided to block the person and delete the comment. A day later, this review showed up in more than one place:
Pros and cons of Stitchcraft: Pros: It's the only yarn store in Vancouver. Cons: 1) It's cluttered and there's no where to sit and stitch--every surface is for displaying stuff they can't sell. 2) No rhyme or reason to the way patterns and books are organised. Everything is just jammed onto the shelves and left for you to guess. They might as well put up a sign that says, "Good Luck." 3) The owner greets you with a terse, "Can I help you?" and then either disappears to talk on the phone or hovers while you browse. There is no happy medium (I think her cell phone notifications can be heard next door because the volume is cranked up so loud). If you do need help, she just sighs loudly and shows you a couple of things. 4) They rarely offer to wind yarn--you have to ask. 5) The owner complains to customers about how busy her life is and how much time she spends at the shop (hint, she'd make more money if she spent less time there). 6) Help is only available on Thursday nights and it's $15. 7) The owner's whiney, bratty kids are there when they're sick and during school breaks. 8) The owner thinks she knows everything about everything and will correct you or tell you you're wrong. 9) The regular knit night only has three or four people (where did everyone go?). 10) Color quantities are limited. If you need a sweater quantity of most anything you probably will have to order it (might as well get it online).
I am a local merchant who offers goods and services for sale. If you want to review my store, please do. But if you really want to be constructive and want us to do things differently at StitchCraft, give us a call or send us an email. We are happy to listen. If you want to comment about customer service, go ahead. But I would appreciate it if you would leave out the personal attacks against me and my children.
I understand that as a business owner my shop and I are going to be under scrutiny and subject to reviews from dissatisfied customers. I want every customer to have a good experience when they visit the store. However, I canâ€™t be everything to everyone and no matter what I do, I will not be able to satisfy everyone. The negative reviews that call out me personally take their toll, but I remain committed to serving the needs of Clark County stitchers because I love the craft and most of the people that walk through our doors leave happy.
Other yarn shop owners get anonymous online reviews that can be construed as cyber bullying and they are unsure what to do about them. Many decide not to address the issue because they feel it gives the bully attention and a feeling of power. Given the recent spotlight on the real consequences of anonymous cyber bullying it must be addressed.
I could go through all ten points and address each and make a case as to why they are untrue, but what's the point? People are going to come here if they like it, or shop elsewhere if they don't. If you really hate our shop that much, then why do you follow our blog? Why do you shop in the store? Why are you so invested in the welfare (or the opposite) of the shop that you feel compelled to post this drivel?
From time to time I read the Yarn Harlot's blog. She has had her share of cyber bullying, has discussed it on her blog at length, and has blocked people from her blog as a result. I've taken classes with her and she's a nice person. I don't understand how people can find pleasure at the expense of other people. A good and constructive review takes skill and thought to construct but any halfwit can pen an assassination piece.
Drama? Yes, drama for which I didn't ask.