marketing and sales executives from Silicon Valley

Friday, January 20, 2012

Where did my review go? Social Media Fail.

I believe in the power of social media and the power of crowds. Specifically, I rarely questioned if review systems were good things designed to help and inform consumers. I also believed that reviews were a way for product marketers to gain insight into the values and shortcomings of products.

Unfortunately, one of my favorite stores, Brookstone, has fallen short on providing reviews that would benefit customers, and especially myself.

The issue at hand is not one, but two disappearing reviews (out of 8 for the product) that I had submitted following two product returns and several calls to customer support.  The real problem is that the two reviews were posted months apart for a product that lacked a key feature that the retail store confirmed was not in the product. The product is linked at the end of this post, if you're interested.

So to sum it up - I paid $400+ for a product online with ship to store (Brookstone retail). I Tested it in store, where it was clear that the “Foot rollers” did not work, and I confirmed with customer support that the product was supposed to have the feature. I returned it and wrote a review about the product failure, but great in-store customer service. I read it on the site, thinking that I was helping them correct the product mis-listing or boost quality control. A few months later, after a hard day on my feet, I tried again. I looked for my older review, and it was missing, so I assumed that there was some system glitch, and/or that the product was somehow improved or different. So I ordered again.

As they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. I might have to check my mental reasoning skills, as the same thing and more happened. Not only did the product not have the feature, but service again claimed that it was supposed to have rollers. This time, however, the sales person confirmed that he had not seen the product EVER have working foot rollers. My new review included a suggestion that the customer service or marketing department verify the product features as it would help other customers make an informed decision and reduce return costs.

This time, my review was gone in less than a day.

6 months later, after another aching foot day, I went to check and the product that I wanted earlier. There the product was, claiming to have the missing, but key feature, -- but neither of my reviews were there.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me - but more than that, Brookstone. I can’t trust your online rating system, and will never order from you online again. This time, however, the review won’t be removed, and this note can hopefully serve to shine a light on customer service and review systems.

I have continued looking for a better foot massager (notice that it still claims to have foot rollers). If you know of a comparable one with foot rollers at the same price or better, let me know.

No comments :

Post a Comment