What would you do with this crazy vendor?

ShutterbugShutterbug Posts: 62 New bride
Hi ladies! I need your advice - last year, we hired a London videography company to film our wedding. The footage came back below expectations - key moments (eg. bride walking down the aisle) was entirely out of focus. There were other issues throughout (eg. super late delivery. We got the clips 8 months after the wedding even though it was represented to us it'd take 3-6 months). So I left an honest 2-star review for them on Google. They responded in the strangest way: whilst denying my review in public, calling it "false" and "not from a genuine client", they simultaneously emailed me multiple times, demanding that I take down the review. They threatened to leave a bad review for me on my employer's Google listing if I did not take the review down. 

At this point, I'm just thinking: What on earth does my employer have to do with you? I guess they just want to cause harm to my reputation and they think this is the best way to do it, but it's entirely uncalled for - especially since I have the footage to support my claims.

So they've actually gone and posted a malicious review for me via my employer's Google listing as they said, calling me a number of things that are so false it's bordering on hilarious. At this point, I'm tempted to post a screenshot of the emails they've sent in private on my Google review so people can compare their public response and private attacks.

But the company/the owner who's been corresponding with me on this does come across as a bit nutty. I mean, why would anyone claim one thing in public and then do the exact opposite in private, when I can so easily prove he is a liar?

I don't want to go the legal route - I just wanted to share my experience with others but no idea how it's turned into this vicious drama that involves my employers. I've already told them about this and they are supportive, but what would you do as a next step if you were me, having to deal with this nightmare company that's stuck a review for you on your employer's public page?

Posts

  • annipooannipoo Posts: 71 New bride
    Can you threaten them with legal action and see if that is enough to make them back off and take down the public attack on you? Maybe say that your employer isn't happy and they are considering legal action, the nutters might take it more seriously if they think there is a business after them.

    If the threat of legal action isn't enough and you don't follow it through then I think it might just need to be a case of ignoring them, forgetting about it and moving on (hopefully the review on you won't cause any issues). 
  • CoffeeDogAddictCoffeeDogAddict Posts: 1,028 New bride
    I'd draft out an email to the supplier asking them to take the defamatory review down. Make it clear your review was written on facts from their service to you, whilst their review of you is completely false as they have never hired you. 

    Personally..... i'd also post a very honest review on their facebook, including screenshots of everything. I suggest facebook because as far as i'm aware they cannot delete or edit reviews left in this manner. I would want to make it clear to anyone who may ever consider booking them, that in the event they have an issue like you did, that's how they handle it. 

    I don't think you need to go down the legal route but honestly i don't think it hurts to threaten it. 

    Also, name and shame on forums! its the best way for real brides to see and stay well clear!
  • ShutterbugShutterbug Posts: 62 New bride
    Thanks for the ideas! All helpful :) I'm personally not sure if I want to name and shame on the forums though, just because we've all seen how insane/vicious this vendor can get when he gets negative feedback (even when it's based on facts). The fact that he's gone and googled me (+hubby) and launched personal attacks on me by dragging my employer into this is already beyond me (or any reasonable person). There're actually more instances of him being very unprofessional but no shaming here on forums I think.

    HOWEVER, CoffeeDogAddict's right that real brides should be aware of vicious videographers. So if anyone out there is thinking of hiring a London-based videographer/film company, feel free to DM me to ask if it's the crazy company in question here. Happy to speak privately and show evidence of their approach (ie. deny publicly, threaten privately).

    Incidentally, my wedding photographer (who did an amazing job) told me that amongst the community of professional wedding photographers that he's in contact with, some have outright blacklisted this videography company and refuse to work with them again based on past experiences with them. Their reason is unrelated to mine and has to do with their uncollaborative approach when working with photographers. But somehow, I'm not surprised.

    So anyway, to the real brides: if you are thinking of a London videographer, I'd be happy to provide more details/answer any questions in a private message.


  • Naming and shaming is never a good idea. It can get you in trouble if this goes further.

    I would just like to point out it's not us. I say that as we come up quite high in the london videographer searches and I would hate for anyone to think it's us.
    Chief user of crayons at the fabulous Minty Slippers Wedding Films
  • ShutterbugShutterbug Posts: 62 New bride
    edited 4 July
    And for the benefit of others who might come across such awful business tactics, I did more research into this and this is in clear breach of the law and GDPR. It is gross misuse of personal data and there are authorities looking after these things, so bear that in mind the next time someone tries to blackmail you in this way.
  • ShutterbugShutterbug Posts: 62 New bride
    The only problem I have with just dropping the matter and forgetting about it is that I would become an enabler for this sort of behaviour. If everyone stays quiet and condones this, there will be other couples/victims who are lured in by the company's seemingly good reviews, and they wouldn't know that it's not that they're "good" per se, but that they had blackmailed all the other honest but negative reviews out of existence. That's the part that doesn't sit well with me. 
  • eventsevents Posts: 1 New bride
    Hi. So sorry to hear that you're going through something like this. It's absolutely inexcusable for them to provide a sub-par service, much less treat you this way. To me this is the sign of a very insecure business owner who is struggling to keep their business running (and yes that can make some people nutty :) ). Or otherwise he's just a really bad person, which unfortunately is true about people in all industries.

    First of all, for the attack on your employer's Google listing you could actually consider reporting them to the ICO - if they find he is in breach of GDPR they can give a warning or even fine them, depending on how serious they consider it. But that should make him stop.

    You can also talk to a solicitor to see if they can word a cease & desist letter. This is meant to  just let him know that if they continue with this behaviour you will take legal action. A solicitor will know exactly how to word this and it should stop him from causing any more problems. 

    If you haven't done so yet, you should email him with a clearly detailed list of points why you left the review  and how you can provide proof and even edit the review to be even more specific and mention his latest behaviour as well, if he doesn't stop. It's better to at least give him a heads up before going ahead with this. And you could also suggest that if he can provide a better quality video, you will consider taking it down.

    Naming and shaming does feel entitled in this situation, but I don't think it's necessarily the best approach. I think adding a clear and detailed review of how he failed to deliver on your video, posted on all the channels where he has a presence and where couples considering his services would look anyway, is far better than naming and shaming on some forum. 

    Hope this turns out ok for you.

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