Marketing Moment: One Bad Review

A couple of weeks ago I was given the task of taking our family’s dog, Harlee, to the kennel as we were going out of town over the weekend. Usually we leave him at home for short trips like this – asking our neighbor to visit him a few times a day to feed and play with him. However, recently Harlee had been experiencing seizures (7 in one day!) and we decided that constant supervision/care would be a better plan.

I was already feeling apprehensive about dropping him off because of his recent health issues and the staff of the kennel did nothing to ease my worries. Upon entering the building – I was greeted immediately – but that is where the customer service stopped. Because of Harlee’s recent health issues, he was not healthy enough to be vaccinated. The man behind the counter began a conversation with his colleague – reprimanding the owners of Harlee, ignoring the fact that I was standing right in front of him. Once he finished complaining to his colleague about “the owners” of Harlee – he turned his attention back to me. He proceeded to tell me that I would have to sign a release form freeing him of any obligation/responsibility in terms of the health of my family dog and giving the kennel permission to quarantine Harlee for upwards of 23 hours a day; only letting him out to relieve himself a few times a day. He would basically be locked up in a small room, with no supervision – no one to monitor his health.

Now, I understand that there are rules and regulations, I understand that precautions need to be taken, and I also understand that my dog was not the only dog the kennel was boarding that weekend.  All of which could have been communicated to me in a more effective/friendly way. After our exchange I was obviously upset and the manager did nothing to try to make me feel better. Needless to say, I was quick to take Harlee home and will not be taking him back anytime soon if EVER.

Having worked in the service industry – retail and the restaurant business – I’ve learned that you never really know the type of person you’re dealing with and sometimes it only takes one bad review to tarnish your reputation. I left the kennel feeling infuriated and humiliated –  writing, in my mind, the bad Yelp review on the drive home. I’m not saying that my bad review will have a measurable, negative effect on the kennels’ business – but it could! That’s why it is so important to provide consistent, GOOD customer service – that kennel has lost my family’s business forever. All it takes is one bad review.

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About Mallory Bowers

Mallory joined the Swiftpage team in July 2012 as the Billing Specialist in the Finance Department. Recently, she became a member of the Marketing team. When Mallory is not in the office, you can find her exploring downtown Denver or at any local sporting event. You can reach Mallory at

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