Think twice before writing that negative vendor review

Guest post by Love and Kittehs
Bride checking the internet III
WAIT! Before you post that negative vendor review, you should read this post. © by madprime, used under Creative Commons license.

My husband and I had a very beautiful, quaint country wedding with our closest family and friends. Almost everything about our day was perfect. Everything, that is, except for one of the vendors we were working with. While I won't go into specifics here, I will simply say that we were left disappointed and upset by the way we were treated by said vendor.

While I had been generally frustrated by some of the actions of the vendor throughout the day-of, we found out about many of the problems through family and friends post-wedding day. We were quite irritated, but the fact was that since we know about these problems and didn't bring them up the day of the wedding, there wasn't much we could do.

…Or was there?

A few weeks after the wedding, I began writing reviews on Wedding Wire (which has about a thousand sister sites that it shares its posts with by the way — It's like the ten-headed industrial wedding complex monster). Some vendor reviews were great — like our DJs who were rock stars — and some reviews were less great — like for the bakery that never came through, leaving a friend to bake our cakes the day before the wedding. The most negative was reserved for the vendor that was, in our opinion, the absolute worst. I'll admit when I wrote this review, I was running high on rage, fueled by unbridled opinions of several family members and friends. It was a truly negative review, and, admittedly, somewhat uncouth. The review posted, and a few days later the vendor posted their own reply, which was equally uncouth and honestly a bit damning and damaging to the business that posted it.

Satisfied with the result, I forgot about the review and went about my life. Until my parents got the certified letter in the mail. Apparently, I had gotten such a rise out of the vendor that they had decided to sue me. Yes, it's true. By law, in my state at least, some of the statements that I wrote were considered defamatory and therefore against the law. Which meant I could be sued for a total up to $350,000. Basically a very nice house for the price of my opinion on the interwebs.

I was floored. I had heard about lawsuits for postings on the internet before, but I never thought it could happen to me. A few short, hateful sentences translated into a potential lawsuit that could break our new family before we even had a chance to get started.

In the end, the matter was settled by removing the review. Which is way easier said than done! Wedding review websites are hard enough to navigate, and to remove a post entirely often requires contacting them directly, which requires a shady submission form and a lot of hope that some human somewhere will read it and remove your post.

I can't describe the relief that I feel now that the trouble is finally behind us. Trouble that made me realize that in our crazy world, the things you choose to say or blog about can really hurt you, as silly as they may seem. So before you go posting that crazy-mad review, follow these tips:

  • Think long and hard.
  • Be sensible.
  • Be aware of your wording — saying that they “stole” from you is a defamatory statement. If this is true, chances are you've already notified the authorities.
  • If they broke the contract, make sure you have proof and are already seeking legal assistance.
  • Most importantly, don't air your dirty laundry on a blog.

If you want to warn other potential clients about a vendor, do so with style and grace. Be careful of accusatory statements — posting that you were displeased with the services rendered is one thing; whereas posting that they stole your dress or car or grandma's walker is a serious accusation and you should really be following up with the police, not a wedding blog. If a vendor is serious about pursuing legal action, they will do so. We were given an out — others may not give you that chance.

An event like this can really sour that “new marriage” bliss. Luckily, my husband and I were able to approach the matter sensibly. We talked about it and made the decision to remove the post together. He supported me through the stressful process of contacting the site to remove the review and waiting for the answer from the vendor's attorney. He easily could have been enraged with my foolishness in posting something so brash, but instead he was calm and supportive.

While everything worked out in the end, I realized that it was not worth the anxiety and sleepless nights. That single thoughtless act caused entirely too much drama and angst in the few days that it took to resolve the problem. It made me realize that life is way too short to fuss over something so petty.

Comments on Think twice before writing that negative vendor review

  1. As a vendor I have to say this article is so important. I’m sorry you had a crappy vendor experience but I’m also thankful that you used it to learn and help others. One other thing I wanted to add was that often, even after the event is over, if you contact the vendor directly and express your frustrations and concerns with them that they will try to come up with a way to fix it, or at least give you a heartfelt apology. I know I had a few not so great vendor experiences for my own wedding, I thought about leaving bad reviews, but instead wrote my caterer a long email with a detailed explanation of what had gone wrong. I got an apology and I think that they will be more careful in the future.

  2. Hello friends online… in a nutshell, this

    is a testimoney.. i’m Freya, It all started

    some years back when he started behaving in

    a cold way towards me… it didn’t happen

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    sleeping out. i began to nag at him on

    whatever he does which push him further

    away. the days of which he sleeps out began

    to get worse. i became frustrated and drove

    him out. the worst part of it all was that

    he never argues and that ate me up. i

    waited for him to come home by himself but

    he never did for months. i went to his

    office to meet with him with our son, he

    smiled with us, talked and that was all.

    then i knew that i had lost the love of my

    life! i cried for days, couldn’t go to work

    nor do anything meaningful with mt life. a

    year passed and i was not still over him,

    he only contributed to our child’s upkeep.

    i eventually gave up on his return, not

    until i came accross HIGH PRIEST KWAMME, A

    Ghanian, who turned my tears of sorrow to

    tears of joy. it took just three days to

    get my hubby back. He came back on his own

    and pleaded – weeping for me to accept him

    back home and that he wants to make up for

    all our lost times… (sighs) that was a

    memory never for i to forget!. well!

    friends online, i got my hubby back with no

    stress! I PROMISED TO TESTIFY which i am

    presntly doing. IF YOU ARE UNDERGOING A

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  3. To write a negative review..,,It’s really not worth ruining someone’s business and potentially getting sued unless the situation is a major problem. There’s also karma. 😉

  4. You should always try to work things out with your vendor first. We always went above and beyond to make our clients happy and had nothing but 5-star reviews. We were very affordable and our photos were beautiful. A few months ago we were contacted by a couple to photograph their wedding, we met with them and as soon as we did and got to know them a little better a bunch of red flags went off, their expectations and what we knew we could deliver were not in sync with our work and to top it off they were not very nice at all, you’ve seen the show Bridezillas? I do not mind working hard for my clients but to be treated nastily while I am doing it, no thank you. I sent her an email saying that I didn’t feel we were a right fit, she sent me 2 other emails asking “why”, and I was very professional and I tried my best to go around the fact that we didn’t want to tell her it was because she was mean and nasty during her consult so I could only imagine her wedding day. I gave her the names of other photographers who I researched to be in her budget and wished her the best. The next day my 5 stars were tarnished with her 1-star review and copies of our emails posted on a review site. This was my 2nd year in business, I was just starting to get somewhere so I can take care of my two year old and now because of an entitled bride it is hurting my business. Just think twice, take a month or two before you post because a lot of business are small businesses who are just starting out and some of the feelings you are feeling may be heightened due to the overall stress from your wedding.

  5. Hmm. Sounds a bit like a “caterer” I’ve had to endure as an event manager. They never, and I mean NEVER, took responsibility for their mistakes – i.e. late delivery, poor food quality, food PAST the acceptable expiration date. Not to mention the fact when I looked at their website, although there were tabs to view “sample menus”, or view “galleries” and their “online ordering” shouldn’t even be an option; the most deplorable trait of this catering company is that when you fill out the “contact us” form with a legitimate request you receive the following reply, “I am very sorry, but we don’t cater for anonymous trolls”.
    Apparently they don’t need business, even for 300+ executives. But I guess that’s what happens when you try to pass off packing material as food.
    Bless their hearts.

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