Monday, October 16, 2017

Bad Business Reviews, Formal Complaints and Social Media

There was an article on Yahoo some time ago about a dentist who was considering a lawsuit against an elderly man who posted a bad review about her on an online review forum. Seriously? Apparently she had him sign a few papers prior to treatment (while he was in pain and on medication). Included in the paperwork was a waiver stating that he would not report his experience or write any negative reviews about her following his treatment! He says that he had problems dealing with her office for almost a year after his treatment, and, exasperated, finally felt that he needed to share his experience. There was most certainly a better way. Also, I once had a client file a formal complaint with the Board of Dental Examiners against a dentist because it was cold in his office and he didn't have a blanket for her to cover up with. It was frivolous, thoughtless and completely unnecessary. Personally, in my 25 years of working in this industry, I have never heard of such a thing. The dentist ended up losing time and money because he had to attend continuing education classes and pay a fine for the infraction.  Nonsense! 

There are many ways to resolve issues with your dentist, whether they are staff related, price discrepancies or quality of care issues. The key is communication. I certainly would not advise anyone to file a complaint with the board because a receptionist was rude, or post it on any review forum, ever! Only as a last resort would I suggest filing a board complaint for anything less than malpractice. 


This would be my suggestion instead: Consider a well written letter; certified, registered mail. Clearly state the problem (keeping opinions out), and state what you would consider to be a fair resolution. Send it directly to the dentist, return receipt. Allow him a reasonable amount of time to respond...10 days or so. Believe me, he will be much more receptive to a resolution than his receptionist or office manager because it is his license that is on the line!  Nine times out of ten the complaint will be resolved when it is approached this way. This method works! 

In this age of social media, bad news travels fast.  Faster than the speed of light, it seems.  One careless complaint can ruin a reputation, a practice or even a person.  Always try to keep that in mind when a problem arises and opt for civil communication, instead.  

Keep Smiling! 



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