“Hi Matt, contacting you because recently I came across a negative Yelp review that was posted by you 7 years ago.”
I was in massive transition in my life 7 years ago, I had recently had an emergency kidney transplant, I was living in a new house that I was completely renovating, with a girl that I was considering marrying, and was just starting Final 5.
Around that time, my cousin and good friend was starting his own business, that of insurance agent. I called my current insurance agent’s assistant (the only person I’d ever dealt with) and asked her to transfer my coverage over to my cousin. She said, “hold on, I’ll let you talk to Mike (the owner of the office).”
Mike was having a bad day. A really bad day. He spent 5 minutes chewing me out for leaving his agency. I’d never been talked to like that. In a very aggressive manner, he asked me all sorts of questions that were really intrusive and none of his business, and he accused me and my cousin of unethical behavior, saying that he was stealing business from him. And, the best part, he refused to change over the coverage! I had to call his territory manager to get the damn thing switched over. I was so angry. In my older years (don’t say twilight years, you bastard) I’ve learned to handle issues like this much better. I don’t let other people’s actions upset me too much, and I actively work to realize that it is more of a reflection on them than it is me.
Back then? Not so much.
I took to the internets so fast. I couldn’t wait to scathe him with a 1 star Yelp review. THIS WILL TEACH HIM.
Well, I guess it did, maybe. The email he sent me last week said his daughter found the review online, and he was sorry for treating me like that. The big problem for him, and I only realized this after he mentioned it, is that if you Google his name, my review is the 3rd search result. 3rd! Right at the top of the page, “I had a really bad experience with this insurance agent.” After apologizing, he asked me would I be able to find it in my heart to take the review down? Dude… My heart is a thousand miles wide, I can find it in my heart to do anything if I feel it’s the right thing. But he did and said those things to me! His apology doesn’t take away how I was treated. What’s the right thing to do here in the world of harsh internet judgement? I decided to call him.
I was honest about how he made me feel that day. He was pretty cool and said that he generally makes it a point to get to know every client he has, and that he feels bad he didn’t do that with me.
So I got back to the office and deleted it. It had been 7 years and I was way past it, no point in holding onto that.
Of course, Google isn’t as quick to respond. It’s still a top 3 search result.
I’m not going to email him.