Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Sliding Door Company's 5-Star Reviews?

I'll admit it - I've been guilty of ignoring The Sliding Door Company's glowing 5-Star reviews on this blog for the most part. There is some real comedy going on - sprinkled in with the fraud of course.  We saw on our Complaints page how Sheryl Hai-Ami gave 5 STARS to the company - her husband is CEO and she is PRESIDENT!  But hey - 5 Stars is 5 Stars right?  

It makes me wonder if all the 5-Star reviews are what they appear to be.  Let's have a look at a few shall we?

The first thing we can do when looking at the 5-Star reviews is eliminate any that were placed before the installation of the product.  These people have no idea what they are in for during the 12 weeks between the time they placed their order and the installation of their order, which may or may not arrive in the correct size and color and may or may not be complete.  Let's have a look at a couple of these:

There are many to choose from - but picking one page at random... from Costa Mesa  

  • Lynn O.
  • Corona, CA
  • 5.0 star rating4/6/2015
    I have not received my barn door yet, but the process so far has been fantastic. Mari  has provided excellent customer services.  She has gone above and beyond to answer my questions and help with designing my door. I look forward to my door arriving, I know it is going to be beautiful!
    The reviews below don't even mention actually buying anything.  The 5-Star reviews are helping The Sliding Door Company's rating on Yelp, however.  Notice how many of them sound like they are actually ADVERTISING for The Sliding Door Company?  What's going on here?  Are these actual customers or shills?

  • Grant K.
  • Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 star rating
    1 check-in
    The team at the sliding door company were very helpful and friendly! Definitely recommend checking this place out if you are looking to remodel or just add in sliding doors to your home and want to keep your door game strong.

  • K B.
  • Fullerton, CA
    5.0 star rating
    Visited the show room for the first time today.  The displays are awesome and Kym and Maria and very helpful and knowledgeable of the products!  Highly recommend The Sliding Door Company if you are looking for unique, good quality and fashionable sliding doors!!

  • L. E.
  • Laguna Beach, CA
    5.0 star rating
    The 5 Stars I have given are for Kym George, the account executive at The Sliding Door Company! Her customer service skills and knowledge of the product TOPS! If you want to understand the product, ask for Kym. She is the best!!!!!
  • Below, David B admits he's reviewing the product from the showroom.  He seems very concerned about the negative reviews.  Seriously?  He dropped into the showroom and can now cast all the negative reviews in a bad light, while giving the Sliding Door Company a 5-Star rating?  Yes, seriously!

    • Costa Mesa, CA
    5.0 star rating2/15/2013
    Nice clean lines, and the hardware seems to be of high quality.  This place is worth a look if you are going contemporary in your remodel or office.  I'm a little surprised by the few bad reviews here, as everything was well built in the showroom, and the Yelp reviews in other cities have them consistently at 4-5 stars.
    Another thing I notice when reading 5-Star reviews is the mention of the sales person by name.  Customers of TSDC products rely on their sales person heavily during the sale, but still... for many of these shady 5-Star reviews, I think it wouldn't be out of the question to suggest sales people are getting friends in to post positive reviews in order to boost their own sales and to direct customers to them.  

    The One-Star reviews are about the product, the installation and the service, not about the sales experience (with a few exceptions).  There's no "incentive" to post a negative review but there are certainly incentives to have shills post positive hollow reviews of a great sales experience or how much product knowledge a particular salesperson might have.

    UPDATE:  A reliable source has reported that TSDC has been offering some type of "coupon" to people who will post a positive review.

    Here's a fresh review describing how The Sliding Door Company works to remove negative reviews.

    Hanna Y.
    Midland Beach, Staten Island, United States
    1.0 star rating 6/9/2016
    Super shady company. Run for the hills!!! After a horrible experience with Joe the sleazy salesperson, Dahlia the "customer service manager" stepped in to assist. What a joke! She promised to assist; however, that never happened.  She was more concerned about me removing my negative Yelp review and offered assistance in exchange for the removal of the review. That was her main objective. Save yourself the headache. This company hires fly by night scammers whose only goal is to scam you out of money & it is evident that Ethics and integrity means nothing to this business. AVOID AVOID AVOID!

    I stumbled upon an article about "The Yelp Bill" - something in California that is intended to protect consumers from companies who have tried to intimidate their own customers over product reviews.

    "From time to time we hear about businesses that are so afraid of what their customers might say about them that they sneak clauses into consumer contracts designed to forbid their customers from saying anything bad about them on sites like Yelp. Some of these contracts even threaten fines or legal action. These types of non-disparagement contracts not only seek to intimidate potential reviewers away from sharing their honest experiences online, but also threaten to deprive the public of useful consumer information." 
    "A five-star rating for a business who had used one of these clauses to simply scare all negative reviewers into removing their comments wouldn’t really represent the experience a consumer could expect to have at that business in our opinion."   
    "AB 2365 makes it explicitly clear that non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts for goods or services in the state of California are void and unenforceable. What this means is that individuals writing online reviews in California are now further protected from those bad actors who hide jargon in consumer contracts in attempts to prohibit you from posting reviews — positive or negative — online."
    Notice that this only applies to California at the time of the article (September, 2014). 

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