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A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web

The New York Times–Busines Day

A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the web by David Segal

Published November 26, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/business/28borker.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

It’s about SEO and Negative feedback advertisement. The online eyeglass retailer “DecorMyEyes” is using negative feedback advertisement to get its “gold-metal” rank in search results.

New York Times interviewed a customer who left negative feedback to   “DecorMyEyes” and reported this scary case of online shopping. Ms. Rodriguez  is a loyal customer of “Lafont,” a French eyeglass frame company. When she googled “Lafont”, she found her ideal frame on a website called “DecorMyEyes” which displayed in the most relevant search engine results under the paid ads.

She then placed an order for a “Lafont” frame and “Ciba Vision” contact lenses and the total cost is $361.97. One day after she placed the order, the vendor called to her, saying the  Ciba Vision was sold out and asked her to choose another brand with a rude attitude. Ms. Rodriguez asked for a refund and the vendor  refused and forced her to choose another brand by saying ‘What’s the big deal? Choose another brand!”

Two days later, she received her eyeglasses and she found the frame is a fake one and even the eyegless case. Later on, she also found that she was charged not $ 361.97 but $487! She spoke to the vendor again about the overcharge and her decision to refund. The vendor shouted her “What the hell am I supposed to do with these glasses?” “I ordered them from France specifically for you!” Ms. Rodriguez replied back, saying she was going to contact the credit card compant and cancell the charge. The vendor fumed and saying “Listen, bitch,” …. “I know your address. I’m one bridge over.”

Ms. Rodriguez could not believe the misery happend on her and she tried to file the complaint to the Citibank and called the police, but the site is still at large.

Ms. Rodriguez searched the website and learned a lot of this site on Get Satisfaction.  She found that tons of people in the last three years encountered the nearly the same situations about DecorMyEyes: “a purchase gone wrong, followed by phone calls, e-mails and threats, sometimes lasting for months or years.

However, why this nortorious website still selling things online even though there are tons of negative feedback? Can’t the power of WOM deal with it?

According to the NY Times,  the owner of the site explained that when he got the first negative feedback, he found his website flow increased. From that day one, he started to use negative feedback marketing/advertisemen to make customers feel extremely unsatisfied/outrageous, and then complains online and paste the link or Keywords associated with his website. Thus, his website could rank higher and higher on google search, no matter how tons of terrible comments toward this website.

Issues about good SEO and credit card companys’ refund policies also been discussed. Google then announced thier adjustmemt and Google would also read customer review to consider the rank. If they found the retailer does not have good customer review, they will change its ranking to prevent the case as DecorMyEyes from keeping selling glasses to more customers.

Full text please visit : (http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Google-Tweaks-Search-to-Hamper-DecorMyEyes-Bad-Actors-647579/)

I doubt this kind of negative feedback advertisement will work. Today, marketing is everywhere and mobile phones have also became a popular tool for advertising and purchase channel. When enjoy the convenience of online shopping, customers must be more aware before placing an order online. Customer reviews and related reports can be good references before making a big decision online in addition to the rank of the site on Google.

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