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Leaving a Bad Vendor Review | Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

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Bad vendor reviews happen.  I’ve read them.  They literally make me shudder.  While I run my business with complete honesty, integrity, and heart, others may not.  But even if they do, and the delivery isn’t what was expected or anticipated, a bad chain of events can follow.  If this has happened to you, or if it happens to you in the future, take a minute, take a breath, and put some thought behind your words before you put them out there.  Because once they are out there, there’s no turning back.

You spend so much of your initial time planning the wedding weeding through different online stores, fishing for referrals, and checking out Facebook and Instagram for that absolutely perfect vendor crew for your wedding day.  Your day, the balance of it, and all of the nitty-gritty details rely on that particular team.  You need to trust them, have faith in them, and rely on their expertise and guidance throughout the process.  Well, at least that is how I look at a vendor team – and it’s especially how I treat and work with my own personal clients.

WHEN ‘IT’ HAPPENS

And so here we are.  The big day is here.  That team you have put your trust (and your bank account) into is hard at work.  But then it happens.  That vendor you put your trust into has let you down.  He/she did not live up to the expectations set.  You are upset, frustrated, and go on with your day.   In the back of your mind, you think to yourself, ‘ohhhhhhhhhh I’m going to rip them apart on social media.’

So let’s stop right there.  Yep, you are so flipping angry you could scream.  You likely have cried over this.  I get it.  I understand you and feel your pain.  However, what you are feeling and expel out into the social media atmosphere can really hurt someone.  I’m going to walk you through writing that review.  Here’s the thing, crappy things happen, and it really sucks when it happens to you.  What you CAN do, however, is really help someone else that comes next.  The best way to do that is to leave an honest review – not an angry one.

TALK TO THEM FIRST

Collect your thoughts.  Write them all down.  Take a deep breath – and then maybe another one.  Reach out to the vendor in question.  Place your concerns in writing and request that you set up a meeting to talk over the phone.  Do not be confrontational and demanding.  Simply state why you are feeling the way you are feeling.  Give examples and be as detailed as possible.  Give that vendor an opportunity to make things right.  Allow them to explain what possibly happened.  You’d be surprised, but there are many of us that would bend over backwards, would move mountains, would stand on our heads to make things right!

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START WITH THE POSITIVE

You hired that vendor for a reason.  Why did you like him/her?  What connected you to that person, to their vision, to their work?  Talk about that.  Tell other potential brides why you hired them.  If you reached out and they helped you after the issue, then you need to include that in the review.

WATCH YOUR MOUTH

Sorry, I had to.  It’s the mother in me.  But, honestly, when writing a review, you must watch your mouth.  No name calling (I mean, we ARE adults here), no bad mouthing, and absolutely do NOT use phrases like ‘they steal money from their clients.’  As a side, if you paid the vendor and they just vanished into thin air and you never heard from them or saw them again, I’ll give that one to you.  They stole your money.   But chances are, you paid them, they showed up for your wedding day, delivered the services rendered and called it a day.  That is not stealing.  They worked for you that day.  You might have not been happy with the work provided, but they worked nonetheless.  That is not stealing.  Additionally, smearing someone’s name, business name, etc. can get YOU into a whole mess of trouble.  Did you happen to see that couple who was ordered to pay their wedding photographer over 1 million dollars in damages because of the social media and online horror that they put her business name through?  Yes, don’t be that couple.  You aren’t helping anyone by bad mouthing or bashing.

REMOVE YOUR OPINION

I’m going to be really honest with you here.  Are you ready …. here it is …. Nobody cares about your opinion.  Your opinion on something isn’t going to help anyone.  I know, that is super harsh, but at the end of the day, it’s an opinion.  Everyone has a different opinion on things so giving yours in a vendor review is NOT helpful – AT ALL.  For example, you might absolutely LOVE my wedding photography.  The photos on my website and portfolio might just make your heart sing when you see my couples in love (mine does).  But the person next to you might hate them.  They might not like the poses, the editing, the over abundance of romance.  And guess what, that is OKAY!!  So leave your opinion to yourself and just state facts.  Speak to what happened, how events turned into what they did, but don’t say you didn’t like something.  That’s your opinion.  Opinions aren’t fact.

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MAKE IT ABOUT THE NEXT BRIDE

The purpose of a review – a good or bad review – is to help the next bride, client, etc.  Am I right?!  To reiterate, reviews are not a place for an opinion, emotion, telling someone what to do, etc.  They are a place to state facts and have a purpose – to help.  Now don’t get me wrong, when you want to write a raving review, jumping for joy about your vendor, then by all means, do it.  Positive emotions are fantastic, but be sure to back them up with facts.

While I did take time to write this, I hope you never have to use it.  I hope that every vendor you work with provides you with the upmost incredible service on your wedding day.

Are you recently engaged and planning YOUR Pittsburgh Wedding?!  I’d LOVE to hear from you!  Please feel free to contact me below or email me directly at AmandaBriscoPhotography@gmail.com.

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