Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why Reputation Management Worries Me

I'm worried.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how easy it is to "tip the social media scales."  Shortly afterwards, a new "reputation management" company started creating some buzz in timeshareland.

Last week I saw this posting on one of the LinkedIn groups I regularly participate in:

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone here have any recommendations on companies to look into that handle reputation management online? i am looking for someone who has experience in the Timeshare space. The outcome is to help our organization suppress negative feedback online (Yelp, Blogs...) from the top 2 pages on google search.

I would love to get some feedback.


For obvious reasons, I'm not disclosing the name of the timeshare resort this person works for.  So I went off to Yelp in search of reviews.  What I found was scary to say the least.  These are unedited (except for the name of the resort):

This place is manipulative and would not let me leave even after our spokesman told is he really had nothing that fit our lifestyle.

We had to leave for a Father's Day plan and they would not let us. At one point I said "f*ck it" and to keep my deposit. 

Annoyed, they signed off some form and allowed me to get my gifts that weren't at all worth my waste of time.

Don't sign up pleaseeee!

worst ever!  nothing but lies and manipulation!  don't even go.  waste of so much money and you don't get anything.  dont go for any reason.  they tell you that you will have 3 weeks of vacation a year, bs!!!!!  you're lucky if you get one week in a studio.  this is the biggest waste of time and life.  this will depress the hell out of you if you either use the day use or even get the timeshare.  stay away!!!!

I'm sorry  to say that I got suckered into the "_____" deal, and I'm having a tough time reaching someone to cancel.  Seems like every number I call is either disconnected or I get a recording without the option to leave a message.  Any suggestions on how to deal with my cancellation?  I've already faxed in the cancellation form, but I wouldn't put it past them to say they didn't receive it.  Help?

.Like many other yelpers out there, my girlfriend and I were suckered into attending a time share sales presentation after being told "there was no pressure at all, just a 90 minute presentation to spread the word of our company."  Yeah right!

4 Hours later, after being insulted by the salesperson because we would not commit that day (who doesn't take time to research a significant investment?) to a timeshare, we finally had to leave to avoid being late for work.  The gifts that we were promised (Temecula Wine Tasting and Flagship boat tour in San Diego) were non-existent (the man in charge of our gifts had "no record of these gifts" even though I have a copy of the original receipt that has these noted) but I didn't have time to argue as we were already late for work as the tour took over twice as long as expected.  The Hawaii tickets are really just a voucher that seems impossible to redeem as other yelpers have noted (see Holiday Travel) and my deposit has only been partially refunded and I no one will call or email me back.

It's a shame because I was actually interested in purchasing the time share as the grounds are beautiful,but after seeing how they deal with potential buyers like myself, I didn't want t to imagine having to deal with these people for the next 10 years of my life.  No thanks!

Now I will admit that there are some online reviews that are written by people who just want to make trouble.  These are three of many negative reviews I found in a matter of minutes.

Going back to my original statement of "I'm worried"---I fear that this company is going to hire one of these "reputation management" companies and POOF these negative reviews will either disappear or at the very least, become more difficult to find.  Mind you, I understand the need for "crisis control", but I see reputation management, i.e., making bad reviews harder to find scary.

Wouldn't it be easier, less costly and oh yes, the right thing to do to stop whatever is going on at the resort and simply adhere to good customer service?


  1. Haha. It surprises you that known crooks would hire someone to distort the internet to their advantage?

    That's just naive on your part, Lisa.

  2. OK, I admit that.