Let’s Talk About Yelp!

I’ve been working in private practice medical offices since about 1997 and I have to say that the invention of Yelp! is the devil.  It just is.  Why, you may ask?  Because, people can go online and LIE about situations and get people to avoid going certain places just off their ONE bad experience.  My current practice has gotten about three bad reviews in the past month.  We, however, are smart and try to figure out who the patient is so that we can recall their experience to verify if they’re telling the truth or not.  We do this for our own peace of mind as we certainly CANNOT go ON Yelp! and correct the horrible review given.

Another issue that I have with Yelp! is the fact that most of the posters on there are punks.  Well, just for the negative reviews.  People tend to use their real name when they’re saying nice things.  But when people are giving negative ones….no….they won’t use their real names.  I wonder why.  Maybe it’s because they’re scared that they might have to ACTUALLY talk to the person that they gave a bad review on.  One girl had a bad experience with our office because she was a frequent No Show-er.  A No Show-er is a person that we confirm appointments with that will call us five minutes before their appointment and cancel.  NOW, in her case, we let her know that she would have to pay a same day cancellation fee which is a portion of our contract with the patient (that they sign).  This woman got mad because our office was consistent and we were hip to her game.  She wanted to talk to everyone she could and we ALL told her that she had to pay the same day cancellation fee as stated in her SIGNED policy.  Do you know she went on Yelp! and got mad at us about that?  Now how could we respond to something like that?  We really couldn’t without breaking patient confidentiality.  It would’ve been hilarious had we called her by her name and scolded her on Yelp, right?  But NOOOO you can’t do that.

I usually don’t have a problem with Yelp! reviews from our patients because they’re usually NOT about me but I had to step in when this lady claimed that she had been calling me for an extended period of time and I never returned her calls.  NOW, I and my employer KNOW that is a lie.  I take my position at my job VERY seriously.  So I was HIGHLY upset when she went on there and outright lied on me.  Of course she only used a part of her name. Cool, I found out who she was.  How?  Because she left a message (first message I had EVER received from her) stating that she had called me numerous times and I had never answered her.  She left this message on a Sunday….we’re not open on Sundays but I digress.  I called her back on Monday and left her a message letting her know that I had never received a call from her and that she could call me back.  I gave her my extension number as well.  She calls back and immediately starts apologizing.  I tell her that she doesn’t have to apologize and that I can help her with her concern.  I even joked with her.  Do you think she removed her scathing review of my practice….well…MY portion of her bad review? NOPE! Why would she?  Like you can’t update your review.  *lookin*

What I learned from working at small businesses is to give POSITIVE reviews of your experiences when you have them.  We have SO many patients that walk out of our office thoroughly pleased with their experiences but THOSE aren’t the ones that write reviews. So people read said reviews and get a half assed opinion of a practice that some people have been coming to for 20 years and love.  My response to people is DO BETTER!  Don’t let those negative people stop you from having a great experience.  Most of the times, the bad experience is due to their negative attitude in the first place.  A lot of those people come in the office throwing cards around, yelling about not following the rules of our practice, just being rude, and then get mad at us when we don’t respond the way the would like us to.  There are always two sides to a story BUT some people should be glad that businesses are NOT allowed to tell their side.  That might stop them from giving such horrible reviews.  So they continue to say what they want KNOWING that they won’t suffer in any way shape, or form for it. Good deal!

In summary, please praise the businesses out here when you have great experiences.  That could really help them.  No one is saying never to write a bad review but at least don’t be a jerk and play the victim. That’s not cool.  I made it a point to write like five reviews on different places that I had had good experiences with just because.  Let’s pass more positivity.  It might just make you feel good.

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