It’s pretty amazing to think how powerful a few comments on Yelp can be. For years, I personally have used Yelp to find the highest rated establishments or see what others had to say about a particular venue. This post is an a real-life example of how social media plays a role in how we make decisions as consumers in an age of instant information. And as a result, poorly managed brands will be exposed.
Last week, I was driving home from work when my car died in the middle of traffic. Eventually, it powered back up on its own and I was able to drive home. The following day, my girlfriend dropped it off at a auto garage in proximity to where we live. She told them the back story of how we recently had a battery installed by AAA and the car has been “acting up” ever since. She asked them to diagnose the problem and get back to her immediately because we had to bolt out of town for a wedding the next day.
The garage contacted her a few hours later and said that we needed a new alternator and that he would happily have one installed for $600. We were in a hurry and they were adamant about having the car fixed there, but we decided to take it to an Acura dealer instead. There, we could get a second opinion (just in case) and make sure the part was a great fit for the car. I took it to the dealership and explained the situation. They tested the alternator and said there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. It was the battery, which had a bolt lodged underneath because it was improperly installed a few months back.
I’m not sure if the first garage we took it to was intentionally bamboozling us or if they simply had no clue what they were talking about, but nonetheless we nearly spent $600, whereas we spent $100 at the Acura dealership and the car has been running like new ever since. But what I am sure about is that both of these auto shops will be reviewed online. One will be negative and one will be extremely kind. And as these reviews build up over the years, users in need of this this type of service will see what kind of brand they are dealing with. In fact, many will filter their results for the highest rated businesses in the area. And who will be on top?