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My Experience With Tate Family Complete Auto Care San Jose As a Non-Customer

August 14th, 2009
67 Comments


A lesson in reputation management:

Last night I was driving away from the Local Search Summit Conference with Mr. David Mihm, local search whiz, when I noticed that I had a flat tire.  As luck would have it I stopped the car right in front of Tate Family Complete Auto Care at 477 Market St. in San Jose, CA 95113.  David checked the door to the store but it was locked.  We were about to change the tire but the traffic was pretty busy so I got in and pulled the car into the driveway in front of the Tate Family Complete Auto Care garage, which we noticed was open with a light on inside.

Not eager to change a flat with a guest in the car, I walked into the garage and inquired if they had one of those Tire Inflator kits to temporarily fix the leak, to which the guy at the desk, which was stocked with car repair stuff, replied “Sorry, we’re closed”.  I told the guy “no problem” and walked back out to the driveway to start jacking up the car.

After a bit of comical effort by Mr. Mihm and myself trying to take the hubcap off, the guy walks out of the garage and in a kind of pissed voice asks what we are doing to which I replied “changing my flat tire”.

The guy then says in an angry voice that I should take my car down the street to Wheel Works and get out of his driveway.  I respond that I have a flat tire – and it was totally flat – and that I was just going to change it and be on my way.  He then tells me, again in an angry tone, that a customer is on their way and they will need to get their car and I have to get out of his driveway.

Now I have no problem with the guy asking me to get out of his driveway, even if there was plenty of room for his customer to get by and even if I had a flat.  It’s his driveway after all and he can set the rules.  I do have a problem with him immediately treating myself and Mr. Mihm as Gitmo refugees when we were clearly in need of some help from someone who specializes in I don’t know, auto care.  If the guy really wanted us to move all he had to do was ask nicely, or at least not in a threatening way.  I would have gladly moved the car, even though driving on a flat tire is a great way to screw up your wheel.  But unfortunately the guy had to be a complete jerk.

So what do you think a small business online reputation management enthusiast does when confronted with this kind of unwarranted hostility?

Tate Family Auto Care

Tate Family Auto Care

I almost said to the guy “Dude trust me, you really don’t want to do this.”

If you are the owner of this business I’d like you to think about what my interaction with you says about your company.  Do you think if I was closed for the day and a guy knocked on my door telling me their site had lost its rankings that I would treat him that way?  If you really cared about Auto Care and if you really had family values like your name is trying to imply, I think your guy (or maybe it was you) might have taken a different tone.

Now I am a forgiving person so Mr. or Ms. Tate, all you have to do is apologize in the comment section of this blog and email me at localseo at localseoguide.com with your contact info and I’ll see what I can do about those nettlesome reviews.  Oh and you may want to fix the broken promotions page on your site (sorry no link for you bub).

BTW we drove down the road a couple of blocks and found Dynamic Audio at 599 S. Market St.  They were awesome.  They lent us a power jack and filled my spare with air.  I highly recommend you check them out for all of you car audio in San Jose needs.


Tags: Reputation Management · Small Business Marketing

67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Aug 14, 2009 at 9:39 am

    That. is. *hilarious*!

    I can see myself having gone through that experience and later do the exact same thing – destroy that business on the internets! LOL

    Someone with decent SEO/SEM experience – and, to a degree, *anyone* who decides to rant against a company online – can certainly make an impact on a business’ internet presence as you’ve demonstrated very well here.

    I’ve almost done the same thing in two different occasions when I was cut off by guys driving plainly marked COMPANY VEHICLES – one subsequently giving me the finger and the other ramming his middle finger up his left nostril…

    I was mighty tempted to destroy their companies online, but fortunately for them I got distracted and didn’t bother. :)

    But I’m always waiting and eager for some business to piss me off so I can use the past 9+ years of SEO and past 20 years of internet experience to completely destroy them online.

    Not because I’d want to.. but because I’d *have* to. heh

    BTW, I just checked Google for the name of that company – actually a likely search term someone would enter into Google to find them (“Tate Family Auto Care san jose”) – and your post here is already on the first page at #10, and the reviews are #3 and #5 .

    Good job!

    p.s. if you get the chance, you may consider balancing your karma by posting a nice quick review about that Dynamic Audio for helping out a stranded stranger (who wasn’t even a customer). That’s good stuff too.

  • 2 Andrew Shotland // Aug 14, 2009 at 9:46 am

    To top it off I took my car in this morning to Big O Tires in Pleasanton, told Todd at Big O the story and asked if he would have treated me like this. He was pretty amazed at the lack of empathy and professionalism.

    A while later I was sitting in front of Big O waiting for my wife to pick me up and Todd comes storming out and says “Get the f#%$ out of my parking lot!” with a big smile. We both had a good laugh over that one.

    Dynamic Audio is already getting the karma treatment on a variety of IYPs.

  • 3 James Hurst // Aug 14, 2009 at 10:21 am

    They used to say that a happy customer would tell one friend and an unhappy customer would tell 10 friends. With online reputation management now we will tell anyone and everyone for good or worse. Also, don’t forget Google Maps Reviews. Hopefully because of the internet and the all important nature of reviews, we will see an increase in refreshing customer service.

  • 4 Andrew Shotland // Aug 14, 2009 at 10:30 am

    so true James. I didn’t go all out on the guy because while he certainly pissed me off, I am not out to destroy him – I just want to make a point. In the words of our President – “It’s a teachable moment”

  • 5 Jeremy Jennings // Aug 14, 2009 at 10:36 am

    LOL, that is just great! You’re now number two on G for their company name on my end. I wonder if Mr/Mrs Tate will be commenting on here soon.

  • 6 Rich Rosen // Aug 14, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Andrew – Great story. Some day these guys will understated that better service and reviews will make or break their biz. Had you pulled over an hour earlier and 1 block away, and used Yelp to find a close by shop and read that review, you never would have bothered w/ Tate. What’s the cost of that lost business?

  • 7 Jim Rudnick // Aug 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Wow…great customer service from those idiots eh? Almost made me forget that your passenger was David Mihm….must’a been one heck of a LOCAL conversation! Say “hi” to David for me….and yes, I too think that your response was correct….

    Oh, don’t forget to YELP them too!

    Jim

  • 8 Lisa Williams // Aug 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    That is awesome, karma is a precarious thing and it’s a gift if we all realize how powerful our actions are, good and bad. Nice work!

  • 9 eCopt // Aug 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Sorry that happened to you Andrew. Sounds like you handled it pretty well (much better than i probably would have). And I’m glad you didn’t go overboard with nasty reviews on ALL the local sites. A couple makes the point nicely. Situations like that are so frustrating to me personally, glad to see I’m not the only one crap like this happens to.

    People do need to realize how their personal/business actions affect others, and, most importantly, who it is your doing it to. Seriously, it can make or break many smaller outfits out there.

    Needless to say, bet David and you had a very interesting conversation/ride down the road re-capping what had just happened. Is that where you decided to use your skills to make your point?

  • 10 Andrew Shotland // Aug 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Rich/Jim, I have held off on Yelp and others to give this guy a chance to see the error of his ways.

  • 11 Andrew Shotland // Aug 14, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    And per my talk at Local Search Summit, my main email address is banned on Yelp. Forgot to ask Jeremy Stoppleman to take care of that :)

  • 12 Andrew Shotland // Aug 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks Lisa. eCopt, as the guy was barking at me you know I was visualizing him sitting in a pot of hot water with Googlebot gradually turning up the heat.

  • 13 eCopt // Aug 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    @Andrew – That’s great! I can see you asking yourself, “Does he really know what he’s doing to his business right now?” Google knows their way around the stove, that’s for sure. It’s already at a rapid boil and is almost cooked. Just noticed your two reviews and this blog post out rank their company site on G for “Tate Family Complete Auto Care”

  • 14 Jim Rudnick // Aug 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    YELP ‘em anyways, Andrew….and don’t forget to also YELP the nice folks at Dynamic Audio….they DID step up and that’s such a good thing in today’s impersonal service world…
    :-)

    Jim

  • 15 Steve // Aug 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I posted the first comment to this article (but forgot to say “FIRST!” instead. lol) and just looked again at Google to also see your page here is now outranking their own website!

    From the reviews at #3, 5, and you at 10 earlier today, You’ve moved to #2 and your reviews are #1 and 5.

    BTW, is this a pic of you blocking their driveway..?

    http://local.yahoo.com/info-21600177-tate-family-complete-auto-repair-san-jose?tab=photos#photos

    LOL

  • 16 Andrew Shotland // Aug 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    That is not my car Steve but I like it because it sets a precedent that cars routinely block their driveway :)

  • 17 Steve // Aug 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Did you contact the business the next day and speak to the owner?

  • 18 Andrew Shotland // Aug 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Steve, as you might imagine I choose to have my conversations via Google whenever possible.

  • 19 David Mihm // Aug 16, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I am always one to give the business, or the business owner, the benefit of the doubt if service levels aren’t up to what I expect. In fact, I was just talking to some friends at dinner last night about a miserable experience I had at a highly-regarded restaurant here in Portland…I have not and will not Yelp or blog about it, because everyone else seems to love it so much, and they were probably just having an off night.

    But to those who might say that Andrew’s actions are a bit “over the top,” in this case I can only say that there was something about his downright malicious tone and the complete lack of compassion for two guys who were obviously in need of some tire-changing help that is justified in this case.

    Solid writeup, Andrew.

  • 20 Jason Ibarra // Aug 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I have found myself in similar situations and my favorite was with Comcast, a company we all know and love. While on a call with them I built an adwords campaign and made sure to give them an adcopy that the “supervisor” was excited to see on the front page SERP of google for the query of comcast.

    I’m on my way to reinforce your ratings.

  • 21 Andrew Shotland // Aug 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    That is hilarious Jason. Nothing like real time customer blow back.

  • 22 Steve // Aug 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

    To me it just seems like you’ve taken an opportunity for improvement and turned it into unilateral shouting match.

    What about this scenario: You call Tate and he tells you that he has had complaints about this guy before and this is the last straw-he will be let go. Tate then offers you thanks you and a gift certificate for future service. Of course you may call and he may tell you to drop dead. Either way, then you’ll know.

    It would seem simple human curiosity would prompt a call to Tate to understand such outrageous behavior.

    I guess you will have to pursue the avenue you are most comfortable with. Good luck in achieving whatever outcome you’re trying to realize here.

  • 23 Andrew Shotland // Aug 17, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Steve, this whole thing is so 72 hours ago. I’m moving on until I hear from the guy, but I appreciate the interest. How about you give him a call and report back?

  • 24 Steve // Aug 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Since there is more than one ‘Steve’ commenting here, I’d just like to mention that I did comments # 1 and #15.

    …The later comments are from a different ‘Steve’…

  • 25 Andrew Shotland // Aug 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up Steve. I sensed that something was amiss with Steve #22.

  • 26 Mark Kennedy // Aug 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Good story, Andrew. I had a similar experience with a garage about 15 years ago, but back then there wasn’t much I could do. Now it looks like there is. It just goes to show you that friendly service goes a long way, as well as “un-friendly” service…in the wrong direction.

    By the way, you guys are like dynamic duo of local search, but which one is Batman? At least the Local-mobile got fixed :)

  • 27 Craig Mullins // Aug 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Great story Andrew!

    I think that every store/biz should have greeters at the door asking people as they come in, “Are you an SEO, newspaper or writer, reviewer, etc.”?

    hahah. It could save them a lot of trouble. Or maybe just act like a professional business and not have these issues.

    I had this really awful experience with Dr Jacon Lyhne, D.C. of Back To Health Chiropractic in Danville, CA 94526 – 925-820-1500 last week.

    Still debating whether to write up my experience… But boy I still feel like I was raped after dealing with that guy and his assistant.

  • 28 Andrew Shotland // Aug 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    No need to write it up Craig. Via the magic of SEO you just did.

  • 29 Craig Mullins // Aug 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Oops :) I love my job.

  • 30 Hey Stupid, You’re the aimClear Spam-Email Moron of the Month! » aimClear Search Marketing Blog // Aug 26, 2009 at 11:03 am

    [...] Don’t send stupid solicitations to SEOs, you never know when they might publish it Tip #2: Don’t piss off SEOs Tip #3 Reread tips #1 [...]

  • 31 KevinL. // Aug 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    You’re friends with David Mihm?!?! Lucky….. :)

  • 32 Twitter Trackbacks for Tate Family Complete Auto Care San Jose SUCKS!!!!!!! | Local SEO Guide [localseoguide.com] on Topsy.com // Aug 31, 2009 at 3:24 am

    [...] Tate Family Complete Auto Care San Jose SUCKS!!!!!!! | Local SEO Guide http://www.localseoguide.com/tate-family-complete-auto-care-san-jose-sucks – view page – cached A lesson in reputation management: Last night I was driving away from the Local Search Summit Conference with Mr. David Mihm, local search whiz, when I — From the page [...]

  • 33 Alok // Jan 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Very sweet revenge.

  • 34 Sam // Jun 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    sweet sweet revenge

  • 35 Robert Destino // Jun 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Hi all, I have read and re-read the posts. I have been in the Auto Repair industry for 25 years and counting! I own my own auto repair facility in San Jose. First and foremost, the way this customer was treated was unjustified, rude and just plain wrong. My goal is to the shed some light on the perception the owner or employee of Tate Auto created and how to better handle a similar situation the next time. Based on the comments “last night” and “we are closed”, I can assume this incident occurred near, at, or past closing time. Using my shop as an example, and the several shops I have managed in the past, 10 minutes before closing looks like this: Technicians are gone, the air powered tools are locked up, the air compressor for the air hoses are powered down. As an owner of an independent, family run business, I too, have extended business hours to allow customers to come in late to pickup or drop off their vehicle. I am open 11 hours a day, but the technicians can’t work that long daily due to physical nature of the job. Possibly (likely he was alone, since they only dealt with one person), this was Tate’s reality at that moment. When the Tate employee was asked for help, he should have said “I am sorry, we have no mechanic on duty” (remember the “mechanic on duty” signs at gas stations in the past). and “I cannot leave the office/store/register or phones unattended” “let me at least get you some “air” (if possible) or stage a place where you could safely change your own tire” since he was obviously stuck. Now he may have surprised that he “lost his power” when you started to change the tire on his property without asking, but he acted improperly nonetheless. He could have offered repair the tire the next day while the customer rode on the spare tire, and potentially win two customers at the same time. Now in reference to the “fix-a-flat” cans, I do not carry them, nor do I recommend them, They are useless on a large leak, will throw the tire out of balance because the material will collect in one area of the tire. Worse yet, the leak may seal only for a few minutes, leading to a 2nd blowout, potentially in an even more hostile or unsafe area.
    In this line of work, we have chosen a harder path in life than most. Even my best customers will say, “thanks for the great service, but I hope I don’t have to see you for a while! A vehicle failure is very frustrating, usually occurs at the worst moment in time, and means unexpected costs to a customer. With the combination of the two converge (frustrated customer and a burned out or beat down manager), that is where problems occur. It all comes down to communication, and “being” the patient, helpful and polite customer service person. That was he was paid to do, is responsible for, and should always maintain a professional attitude. I do praise the Audio Shop for really stepping up to help, they are the true heroes of this story. Most Car Audio Stores are open very late because they are in competition with Best Buy etc. so likely their shop was still in full operation by the time you got to them.

    Robert – San Jose Auto Repair

  • 36 Andrew Shotland // Jun 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Great comment Robert. Thanks for taking the time to post it. To be clear, I did not expect the guy to change my tire if he was closed. I just expected him not to tell me to get the fuck off his property while I waa trying to change my tire.

  • 37 Robert Destino // Jun 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you Andrew,
    I totally understand now. One additional point I tried to make was, that if his doors are open, he is still in service writer mode and should act professionally, even if he couldn’t help you directly. But if you are quoting him has saying “get the “F@@K off my property”, that makes the whole situation very disturbing. Now I understand your public forum on this matter. I am sorry you experienced this situation, sort of on behalf of the good shops out there, but more from a sense of compassion for people and the community

    Robert

    Owner, San Jose Auto Repair

    http://www.sanjoseautorepair.com

  • 38 Pacific54 SEO MIAMI // Aug 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Good Stuff!

  • 39 Sucky Businesses Should Not Do Business With Search Marketers // Aug 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    [...] of this collection of hypertext may recall my tale of woe in dealing with a San Jose Auto Repair shop who done me wrong last year.  The subtitle of that little missive was “A lesson in [...]

  • 40 Josh Ramsey // Oct 7, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Let’s see now, you have a car breakdown right smack in front of the driveway of a business and many customers must drive in and out of that only entrance and you expect them to go around you? Who is the one at fault here?

  • 41 Andrew Shotland // Oct 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Let’s see now Josh. Their driveway is clearly wide enough to fit at least two cars at the same time so I wasn’t blocking entry or exit, and if getting you to try to impugn my reputation (anonymously) is the way Tate tries to repair their reputation, then they still suck big time.

    Hey Mr. Tate, as I said in the post, just apologize in the comments and I’ll wipe this whole thing clean.

  • 42 The Local Reviews Ecosystem // Dec 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

    [...] a review has changed dramatically since the days of filling out paper Zagat surveys.  We now write lengthy novellas about customer service experiences, hover over star rating icons, thumb up and down, tweet 140 characters of restaurant reviews and [...]

  • 43 Michael S. // Dec 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

    L et’s see if I understand the logic of this poster correctly – “Either make me happy and do what I want or I will destroy you online.”

    First of all, this person was not a customer of Tate Family Auto Care and has no business making comments about it on a business review site.

    Reviews should be made by people who have experience dealing with a business as a paying customer, who use those experiences as the basis for reviewing the business.

    If you have not entered into a contractual relationship with the business, you have nothing to discuss about the business on a business review site.

    I have been a happy customer at Tate Family Auto Care for over two years. They provide excellent service and I will continue sending my Acura in for repairs at Tate Family Auto Care as needed.

    Even if what you said is true (and I know you are lying, as Eddie is much to nice to say something like that), what the hell does he owe you? You were blocking his business driveway without permission.

    It seems to me you are slandering this busines wrongly and are mis-using your credentials as a Search Engine Optimization specialist to carry out a personal vendetta. You should be disciplined by appropriate authorities.

  • 44 Andrew Shotland // Dec 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    At last someone responds!

    But let me try and respond to your charges:

    1. I think I have been pretty clear since the minute I posted this that I am not a customer of theirs. I never said they suck at what they do. I said they sucked at their interaction with me.

    2. Re the “make me happy or I will destroy you”. You might want to rephrase that as “treat me like shit and I will probably do the same”.

    3. Why would I lie about something like this? It absolutely happened exactly as I said it did and David Mihm was there and backs up everything I have reported. I have no idea if I interacted with Eddie or someone else. All I can tell you is the guy was inappropriately rude to me.

    4. Are you saying that if I don’t buy something from a business that I am not entitled to a point of view about them? So if I walk into a Burger King, the cashier is rude to me before I order so I decide not to order and leave. According to your logic I am not entitled to tell anyone about my experience?

    5. So you have an issue with a car with a flat tire blocking the driveway of an auto repair shop without permission? I guess in the future I will try to get flat tires in more convenient locations. Oh and by the way, I wasn’t blocking anything. His driveway is big enough for at least three cars if memory serves.

    6. How am I misusing my credentials as a SEO consultant? By showing Tate how easy it is for poor service to become a problem for them online? I didn’t do anything special other than post this on my blog and write a review on Yellowbot and Citysearch. If anything, they should be glad it was me and not someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. After all, as I said in the post which was posted over a year ago ALL TATE HAS TO DO IS APOLOGIZE IN THE COMMENTS AND I WILL DELETE MY NEGATIVE REVIEWS!

    7. And re getting disciplined by the proper authorities, the proper authorities seem to have a knack for disciplining those who post fake reviews. I think I am in the clear. Are you?

  • 45 Michael S. // Dec 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I have been a satisfied customer of Tate Family Auto Care for over two years, and as such, find your actions offensive and objectionable.

    There is nothing wrong with forming an opinion of any business from your personal interactions with them, or to use these experiences as a guide for determining whether you personally wish to use the services of the business.

    It is very clear that you have gone farther than this, and that you are trying to slander this business out of personal malice. By posting your opinions in a public forum, you are attempting to malign the reputation of this business, and to harm Tate Family Auto Care financially, by influencing others to take their business elsewhere.

    As I said before, you have NO BUSINESS reviewing this business unless you have interacted with Tate Family Auto Care as a paying customer who has utilized their services. I have done so many times, and can speak from experience that Tate Family Auto Care is an excellent auto service shop.

    As to your statement that “all they need to do is apologize and I will retract my negative reviews”, why should they? How do you know they have even seen your comments? Why do they have to answer to you? They may not have helped you, but they also did not harm you, so why do you have the right to harm them? You atttitude is self-righteous and over the top.

    It is unfortunate you suffered a flat tire, but many businesses would have responded in a similar manner to someone who was not authorized to be on their property. It would have been nice if they had gone the extra mile in the situation but they were not under any obligation to do so. You were essentially trespassing on their property, albeit involutarily.

    Websites like your can cause untold damage to small businesses, which are already suffering terribly in the worst recession since the Great Depression. It is wrong for you to act as judge, jury, and executioner based on your personal whims and a mis-use of your credentials as an IT specialist. It is unfortunate there is not more oversight of business review sites to prevent such abuses.

    If I were Tate Family Auto Care, I would strongly consider taking legal action against you for your wrongful defamation of this business.

  • 46 Andrew Shotland // Dec 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    How again is writing truthfully about my experience with them “wrongful defamation”?

    And how would suing a blogger about a post that has 40+ comments do anything positive for Tate? I am sure they would love that story all over the Web.

    If you are a truly loyal customer of theirs, and it sounds like you are, why wouldn’t you just tell them to write a comment, give me a call, drop me an email, etc. to clear this whole thing up? I think anyone who knows me would tell you that I am a fairly reasonable guy.

    Just to show you my heart is in the right place – I mean this is ancient history as far as I am concerned – I have updated the title of this post to “My Experience With Tate Complete Family Auto Care As A Non-Customer”. It should update in Google in a day or two.

  • 47 Craig Mullins // Dec 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    They may be a great car repair shop, but the fact remains you guys were dicks when a customer was in need.

    It’s these times when a shop shows their true colors, and it’s important for people to post these kind of reviews to know how a shop truly feels about their prospective customers.

  • 48 Urban // Dec 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    This is an example of why I don’t write negative reviews or blog posts when I receive bad service. Even when you are right to do so these things can have a life of their own as evidenced by this post.

    Now, this is just me and I can’t blame Andrew for his actions as he was treated badly. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.

    As for me I usually write the post and then delete it without publishing them. This allows me to vent my frustrations without giving life to a bad story. And lately, I have had to use this method a lot.

    I used to do this but I got tired of the blow back. If they really deserved a bad review I will wait weeks until I no longer have emotions over the issue then I will provide a negative review.

    As for the comments that you have to be a paying customer to have the right to review… Well, that’s simply ridiculous.

    There are lots of opportunities to assist someone or to turn them off that never require the exchange of funds. The problem is that you have to put up with people like this when you write about a negative experience.

    Andrew, from my perspective it did seem like you were on a jihad here with your comments on other review sites.

  • 49 Tom Jones // Dec 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I love that this has resurfaced after nearly a year and a half. I too once had a car break down in front of a repair shop and they helped me push it into their parking lot and keep it there overnight until I could get it towed in the morning. I was not nor ever became their customer, but always remembered the way they treated me.

    Andrew has every right to write about his experience with the people he encounters. It just so happened that these people were the owners or employees of Tate Family Complete Auto Care in San Jose, who could have helped, but chose not to. On top of not helping they were rude to people in need. That just sucks.

  • 50 Andrew Shotland // Dec 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Tom, thanks for the support

    Urban, not sure “jihad” is the way I would have put it. I think my mindset at the time was this is the best way I can express my frustration at how I was treated. I think I figured Tate would eventually see this, ping me with a “let’s discuss” email or comment and that would be that. Hell, I might have even written a post about how Tate figured out the tricky world of online reputation management with some juicy keywords in the anchor text. But since the guy has remained silent, this post persists.

  • 51 Just Because You Can // Dec 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    [...] Apparently, Andrew was traveling with another well known SEO David Nihm when they experienced a flat tire in front of a tire shop that was closing. What happened next is explained in his post, My Experience With Tate Family Complete Auto Care San Jose As a Non-Customer. [...]

  • 52 transmission repair san jose // Dec 22, 2010 at 6:50 am

    thank you for this valuable information, I will post a link on my site so my readers can benefit from it as well.

  • 53 Andrew Shotland // Dec 22, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Hah. And by the way, Leales Transmission and Auto Repair in San Jose truly sucks. (see previous comment)

  • 54 Don Task // Dec 23, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Re: “Leales Transmission and Auto Repair in San Jose truly sucks.” AndrewS, Pleasanton/ 12/22/2010

    Thank you for your feedback. While we respect your right to be incredibly rude and boorish, your “opinion” simply does not jibe with six unbelievably positive reviews carefully solicited by Customer Lobby for posting on Leales Transmission’s website.

    We have therefore deleted your comment in the interests of transparency.

  • 55 Andrew Shotland // Dec 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Don,

    I can only assume that you are the same commenter as “transmission repair san jose” either responding to the fact that I had an issue with the way you were spamming my blog or perhaps the fact that I had sent an email to your client telling him that he should ask his SEO consultant why he is playing dangerous games with his client’s online reputation. Merry Xmas.

    Boorishly your’s – Don Tell.

  • 56 AshleyK // Dec 28, 2010 at 4:44 am

    I do sympathize with your experience as car breakdowns of various natures are a unfortunate event and never at a convenient time and place what I have a issue with is being dragged into this issue. Really Mail this out to your list?

    We subscribe for SEO not a “Do you Know What Your SEO Consultant is doing……” really??

    Your article has nothing to do with the title. As with any negative review a single rebutal should be expected. What this feels like to me is,

    “Don’t piss off a SEO with a list otherwise I’ll smear you all over the internet” with a strong arm tactic ” I’ll take it down if you apologize”

    Well you could delete your comments but we all know that once up, that is impossible to remove those steps.

    If it had bothered you that much first step should have been to call the shop the next morning, ask for the owner and talk about what happened to see if you could get any satisfaction or apology as you most likely were dealing with a low paid overworked employee who might have had a bad day and from appearances is having to stay late to accommodate a “late pick up” and your blocking the driveway it appears. So you added to the issue where you could have limped to a parking spot vs. expecting them to ask you to unblock the driveway.

    You’ve used your trade as a Soprano moment, “apologize or else”

    If you had written your experience without names but just the experience that is one thing, but to leave reviews, articles than mail our to your list well I think that is wrong and does you and your business a discredit. Why?

    Say Im a prospective customer I see that for a minor altercation or disagreement that you are willing to smear a company name, without initial call to the owner or other human type remedy I would have to think twice about doing business with you .

    FYI: I have no involvement of the aforementioned auto business but am a disappointed subscriber being dragged into a personal issue.

  • 57 Andrew Shotland // Dec 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for joining the conversation Ashley. I can see your point – don’t use a bazooka when a phone call will do, but at the time I felt calling these guys out was warranted. When I came to them for help, they basically spat in my face. As I have said, I fully expected them to contact me and this whole thing could have been over a long time ago.

    In most cases when a company treats a customer or potential customer badly, I doubt the customer will call the owner or pursue another “human type remedy” unless the remedy is to take their business elsewhere. Not sure why I should be expected to behave differently than anyone else.

    And I don’t think categorizing this as a case of “don’t piss off the SEO” is accurate. While I have some knowledge of how to get things ranked well in Google, I didn’t do anything particularly special to do this for Tate other then link to a couple of review sites. I don’t see what I did as any different then what non-SEO’s (i.e. human types) are doing on sites like Yelp, InsiderPages, RipOff Report, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    The big difference between what I did and what any other pissed off customer would do is that I have given the company in question ample opportunity to make things right – and they have not done a thing about it.

    If you don’t think that posts like these are worth subscribing to, then feel free to hit the unsubscribe button.

  • 58 AshleyK // Dec 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

    As I said, this has nothing to do with SEO and everything to do with a personal issue.

    Thank You I will Unsubscribe as I don’t care to receive future “rants” especially ones that are MONTHS old and gone in my inbox. It adds no value to my life what so ever.

    Bye Andrew, wish you a great life

  • 59 Andrew Shotland // Dec 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Au Revoir gopher.

  • 60 Adam Marsh // Jan 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for the great post. I’d like to chip in my two cents.

    This has nothing to do with a Soprano moment. There is no way in hell you can say that Andrew is misusing his SEO skills. It would be like saying a car salesman haggling down his fiancee’s engagement ring would be unethical.

    Furthermore, to suggest that you need to be a contractual customer to have an opinion about a business is just absurd. What if, for instance a industrial chemical company opens up next door to your house and pollutes the entire suburb around you? Does that mean you cannot complain about their actions because you’ve never purchased from them?

    If a company acts in a specific manner, then they’ve reaped what they sow. This is why sites like RipOffReport are the lesser of two evils. Sure there is a percentage of report fraud, but for the most part they keep businesses accountable. If customers and other people who have interacted with the company didn’t have a platform to voice their complaints with the community then businesses could sweep their fuck ups under the rug.

    My advice to any business owner -
    * be accountable for your business
    * have an online presence and be aware of it
    * open up the lines of communication to your interacters
    * don’t sweep comments under the rug, provide rebuttals and mediate.

    Sure it’s time consuming, but it will pay off. Otherwise if you continue to piss people off, then you don’t deserve to have a profitable business.

  • 61 Andrew Shotland // Jan 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    +1

    - Tony

  • 62 W. Joyce // Jan 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Andrew,
    Listen I just want to say what a great story, it’s both sad and true. Too many people out there run businesses without even having the basic skills.
    Some people were just born to change tires and some weren’t……

  • 63 Andrew Shotland // Jan 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Thanks W. Love your domain btw.

  • 64 Robert // Mar 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Drew,

    I wrote a comment on this forum back in June 2010. I’ve been back several times out of morbid curiosity to see how this has unfolded. I am very suprised that there is no reply from Tate. A simple I’m sorry and this goes away? Its a no brainer, there isn’t even the purpose of principle to
    stand behind. In these economic times, most businesses would do anything for a chance to win over a walk in (or a potential) customer, Must be nice, not to care about all the potential customers that have shunned this company as result of one bad encounter.

    Robert

  • 65 Andrew Shotland // Mar 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks Robert. I am in the middle of watching a shitty movie with my wife and your comment made me realize that life is still worth living.

    On your deathbed you will receive total consciousness.

  • 66 7 Local Web Marketing Infographics To Overload Your Brain | socialmediamarketingfl // Mar 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

    [...] a review has changed dramatically since the days of filling out paper Zagat surveys. We now write lengthy novellas about customer service experiences, hover over star rating icons, thumb up and down, tweet 140 characters of restaurant reviews and [...]

  • 67 Craig // Jun 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I was just in San Jose and walked by Tates!

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