A cautionary tale – read the reviews first!

by | Dec 1, 2022

If ever you needed to be reminded to read the reviews before taking on a business to do work for you, a recent story on www.stuff.co.nz puts it into full focus.

Christchurch business, Saxon Appliances is closing its doors after many years in business and Stuff highlighted the string of negative online reviews on a number of platforms- citing NoCowboys in the process. Saxon’s owner, Barbara Allen essentially ignores the concerns raised by a good number of customers and unfortunately the cautionary advantage of reviews and their importance is lost in the reporting but the point remains – read the reviews. When a lot of customers repeatedly say the same thing, they can’t be brushed aside or labelled as ‘difficult customers’. When business owners blame customers for valid concerns that they consistently make then there is something awry!

“Customer comments on three ratings websites included the company’s failure to fix things despite multiple visits and charging the full rate, complaints not being responded to, and staff being rude, accusing customers of lying, and hanging up on callers. A Facebook page was set up by disgruntled customers two years ago.

“Authenticated individual customer ratings for the company over the last three years on the NoCowboys website range from 0% to 13%. In the 12 years prior, ratings had been as high as 100%.

“One customer’s online comment said she took her microwave to Saxon with a broken latch, but it dropped and broke the appliance. She then spent several weeks trying to get a replacement or money back but there was ‘no communication whatsoever from them’.

“Another customer said ‘no refund, no fixed fridge, no joy’ after paying Saxon for repairs. A staff member was the rudest person they had ever encountered, they said.

“Allen acknowledged one staff member mentioned in several online comments had been ‘a problem’ but she had since left. ‘I don’t read those (review) websites. I am not into that. They are a load of rubbish. All our guys are fully qualified. I am astounded. I think I am being persecuted.’

“The owner of another appliance repair firm said businesses generally tried to satisfy unhappy customers, but some customers were unreasonable.” (Source: “Appliance repairer Saxon closing down after string of complaints,” by Liz McDonald, 26 November, 2022, www.stuff.co.nz).

Reviews are invaluable. They save you the nasty experiences of others and allow you to make the best informed choices. While it is doubtlessly sad that any business closes down, whatever the circumstances, it is also a wasted opportunity to fail to learn or remedy mistakes when valid customers make them.


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