Website Woes

Nov. 1, 2016
Some good advice to conduct frequent Google searches for your business and monitor search engine results and online reviews on sites like Yelp

Ten years ago a huge problem arose as hordes of scammers suddenly invaded the locksmith industry.  One valuable lesson learned from scammers was how well they used the internet.  During this same period cell phones were becoming the go-to source for finding goods and services, slowly replacing Yellow Page books. 

Under these conditions it is extremely necessary to have an internet presence for your business. The problem is that anyone can be listed on the internet and customers have no clue as to which business is dependable and which business is not.  One way for consumers to determine acceptable companies is by looking at reviews and testimonials listed for each company before making their choice.

Reviews and testimonials are a good idea as long as honest people write of their positive or negative experiences.  Reviews can be problem if they are purposely dishonest or written in error about the wrong company.

Doug Kimzey is a locksmith in the state of Washington. A locksmith went into business in his area and used a business name similar to his own existing business name. Someone wrote a damaging review about a lockout experience and posted it on Mr. Kimzey's website.  According to Mr. Kimzey, that review is either completely bogus or the bad experience was with the new locksmith and not with Mr. Kimzey. 

Another internet situation involves Lang Locksmiths Ltd. in Edmonton, AB.  A customer called Mr. Lang asking if his business was really closed. The customer notified Mr. Lang that the Lang Locksmith website carried a notice stating that the company was "Permanently Closed".  Upon further checking, it was discovered that four other Edmonton locksmith websites carried the same Permanently Closed notice.  All of these locksmiths were definitely still in business.

The Lang statement was posted on Google. Problems began when these locksmiths tried to have their false statements removed from the internet.  Mr. Lang waited several weeks while Google decided what to do. During this time the permanently closed statement remained. Mr. Lang was finally given a code number which allows him to change any wording on his Google website. The question remains as to why it was so easy for someone to originally insert misleading information on several locksmith websites.

The damaging Kimzey review was posted on YELP.  Mr. Kimzey's recourse was to  file a lawsuit against YELP.   The lawsuit was a good learning experience but after three years of waiting for a decision the judge ruled that internet providers are not responsible for information posted by others.

Unfortunately there is no happy ending. Today we need bussiness websites in order to survive. The best advice is to check your business website frequently for errors and treat every customer with the dignity they deserve.