SponsoredReviews: Turning Lemons into Lemondade
Well SponsoredReviews has gotten my attention a lot lately… unfortunately none of that attention has been for something positive… at least not initially. However, as has been said often in this space, what separates the good experiences, from the bad experiences, is how things are handled. Timely and honest responses can often turn mistakes or difficulties into positive experiences that actually ingratiate your company or site to your customers, users, or members.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I thought I had two more reviews to do already this month. Unfortunately, those reviews were purchased using a stolen credit card. SponsoredReviews(SR) promptly notified me and their other publishers of the problem and pulled the offending opportunities. SR’s email was very straightforward and in my opinion adequately addressed the situation.
Dear Blogger,It has come to our attention that fraudulent purchases have been made through our system. You were approached by an advertiser to write a review for one of the following Domains:
Unfortunately, these purchases were made with stolen credit cards and we have no choice but to return the money to the credit card holder and delete the order in our system. We hope that this email reaches you prior to you completing the review. If you have not completed the review, please disregard the order. We have removed it from our system. If you have already completed the review, we ask that you delete it and remove it from your site.
We apologize for this inconvenience and for any time you spent writing the review. We are taking measures to prevent this from happening in the future. This sort of fraud is rare and difficult to catch through standard fraud prevention schemes.
We appreciate your understanding and your continued support. Please submit a support ticket if you have any questions.
Some bloggers apparently not quite on my level in terms of procrastination and had already spent the time to write up their reviews. Understandably those bloggers were less than enthusiastic about the developments. However, SponsoredReviews took the time and effort to have an employee comment on blog posts discussing the issue.
While that certainly didn’t make up for the bloggers’ wasted time (see update at end of post), it did at least show that SR took the issue very seriously and was well aware of the inconvenience their publishers had experienced.
The response impressed me enough that I decided to begin crafting a post about it. As I was typing, I received another email from SponsoredReviews stating that they had updated my site’s ranking as well as released new banners to promote my reviews. Great news right? Not so much. The updated rankings had dropped the site from 4 out of 5 stars (or check marks actually) to 2 out of 5! I quickly logged in and saw that my Alexa ranking had dropped from a 5 to a 1. I shot out a frantic email to support in response (since I have a few review proposals pending) and considered holding off writing this post. In less than 5 minutes a member of their support team had corrected the problem (Alexa had timed out and failed to report our ranking) and had emailed me back explaining what had happened.
Needless to say, I’m impressed. This is in no way shape or form a paid review. SponsoredReviews simply took two potentially stressful and negative situations, and turned them into two examples of why I’m a huge fan of their service. No matter how much planning you do, no matter how much you test things, no matter how careful you are, there will be bumps in the road. You’ll mess up, your site will go down, an order will get lost, and any number of things could happen through no fault of your own. It bears repeating that it’s not that you keep these types of things from happening, it’s all about how you respond to them. Quick, personal, and honest responses can diffuse even the most tense situation. If you go the extra mile to help out your users, customers, clients or whatever, you might very well end up benefiting from situations you never thought possible.
UPDATE: SponsoredReviews has gone even FURTHER beyond the call of duty and has paid the price for the already written reviews out of their own pocket! This further cements my support for the company. Also, it appears I’m not the only one impressed by SR’s response to the issue. They’ve turned a bad situation into even happier clients and some decent press as well. Major Kudos to you and all the SponsoredReviews team, Jarrod.
This has NOT been a paid review. However, if youâ€™d like me to perform a paid review of your site, you can do so through SEO Refugeeâ€™s SponsoredReviews listing.
You may also like to know that all the bloggers that had completed the review for the fraudulent company received payment regardless.
Jarrod, thanks for the quick update. I’ve updated the post to reflect this. That’s even more impressive. Well done and again, thanks for stopping by!
i think it’s really important to just own up to any company mistakes. it reminds me of the recent jetblue fiasco earlier this year. can’t remember which holiday, but they sent out an email apologizing to ALL of their customers about the long lines, and delayed/canceled flights, emphasizing that they’d be working on a better way to accomodate their travelers during peak travel days. i was impressed and i hadn’t even flown during the mishap!
msdanielle, I agree. However, what impressed me about this situation so much was that SponsoredReviews wasn’t at fault in any way for this. They had been defrauded as well. But yes, in general, I think accountability as a company is a big issue.
Thanks for including the reference. Glad to know others feel the same way.
I’ll be sure to return to your blog as I’ve got a hankering for more SEO knowledge. ;)
No problem Mark. Feel free to read the blog or stop by our SEO Forums as well!
could not agree more, I was one of the affected doing the review for 9sem, actually i had written already a post in two of my blogs when the new came. Fortunately I got paid as you mention! :-)
Great service, I have always found Jarrod responsive.
Just gave it a Stumble
I saw this over on Green Llama’s blog and saw that they had reimbursed the money for reviews already written. Its nice to see that some companies “get it.”
Are you pretty happy with SponseredReviews so far?