Recently, I decided I wanted to take a motorcycle maintenance class. Because Subterranean's class was the most conveniently located, because it was recommended by a friend (jedipussytricks), and because my previous issues (not being able to figure out my bike's problem, trying to sell me unnecessary upgrades) were irrelevant to teaching a class, I decided to give them yet another chance. I signed up last week.
Thursday I received a voicemail from them asking to call them back. Today I did, and they basically refuse to let me take the class based on my Yelp review. "Your review seemed pretty closed-minded and we'd rather have someone with a more open mind." was the bullshit excuse I got. You dont think paying $200 to give you another chance counts as an open mind?
Now, from a personal, emotional point of view, I understand this reaction. "You badmouthed us and now you want to take our class? Haha!" If my review had been in any way unjustified or untrue, I could understand their reaction. However, from a business point of view, they should have thought about it a bit more. I was basically willing to pay them $200 to change my mind about them. What did I get? A big "FUCK YOU!" If I had had a positive, or even neutral, experience with the class, I might've changed my review. I might've even become a regular customer. Or at least stop telling people about my negative experience with them a year ago.
I know a business who keeps track of Yelp reviews, and, when the manager sees a negative review, he contacts that person and offers incentives to come back and give them another chance (discounts, free stuff, etc). Now that's a smart way to handle something like this. Imagine if Subterranean had offered me a discount on the class instead of telling me to go fuck myself?
I'd also just like to make a note, that, if my name had been more like "John" or "Sarah", this would not have happened. They made a pretty safe bet that I'm the only "Serafina K" who rides motorcycles in San Francisco.