Small Businesses and YOU

Jeffreybomb

2004 Wrangler TJ X
Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2017
324
Chicago, IL, United States
In a couple other threads, a number of people have been pretty excited to see OR-Fab again offering their tire/jerry can carrier. I own one myself and I'm very happy with it.

On one distributor's website, someone who bought the carrier left it a three-of-five star review: four stars for "bang for your buck" and a paltry two stars for "fit". I found the two star rating to be ridiculous. What's worse: six people voted the review as "helpful".

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The reviewer's reasoning for leaving such a low review for fit is that the tire carrier's swing arm didn't align properly with the strike plate when the arm was loaded up with a tire and gear. What the reviewer failed to realize, however, is that the instructions very clearly indicate how to fix this issue. When I say "very clearly", I mean they have a big black framed box around the specific instruction, emphasizing it among the other instructions on the page.

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As a result of this customer's inability to read the directions thoroughly, the company suffers potential sales because of the poor review.

I have friends that own businesses. They often find themselves on the receiving end of unfair reviews, be it via Yelp, Google, Facebook, or some other means. A small business's reputation is everything. All it takes to dent that reputation is a whiny customer who couldn't be bothered to bring up their issue with the business. Instead, they head to the Almighty Internet and lambaste the company online.

I've seen it happen first-hand. It's unfair and 100% cowardly. I'm not being dramatic when I say that it carries the potential to be catastrophic to a business owner.

I'm not saying you should only leave positive reviews on websites. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What I'm asking is that you please go through the correct channels before you decide to crap on a business in a forum that is seen by the often-unforgiving and seemingly all-powerful public eye.

There are a lot of good people trying to make good products. A lot of them take a step that I'm sure very many of us have daydreamed about: they abandon the life of a steady job in favor of making their own way in the world. They have houses and families. They decided to take a chance on their big idea and want to do good work.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you're so frustrated that you're a moment away from unloading both barrels into a text box on the internet, please remember this entry.
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
36,262
Salem, Oregon
Couldn’t agree more.

This is one of those instances where some idiot was too stupid to read the instructions. The right thing to do would be for him to remove his negative review and own up to the mistake.
 
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Boinked

TJ Addict
Jul 7, 2018
2,303
Mesa,az
I have seen first hand the product that they are selling now. Its fit and finish is not the same as the old version.

I wish I had taken pictures (maybe I will have my friend swing by and get some) but it had problems.

While it is still structurally sound, i had to buy a threaded rod and extend the length of the latch. It was seated perfectly but the rod was not long enough to reach.

The Nutserts for securing gas cans were not installed correctly. Had to R2 them. Easy fix for me, But for the price you should not have to fix this.

I did not have to drill anything. To install it. But it was not the quality product that they used to build.
 
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Jeffreybomb

Jeffreybomb

2004 Wrangler TJ X
Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2017
324
Chicago, IL, United States
I have seen first hand the product that they are selling now. Its fit and finish is not the same as the old version.

I wish I had taken pictures (maybe I will have my friend swing by and get some) but it had problems.

While it is still structurally sound, i had to buy a threaded rod and extend the length of the latch. It was seated perfectly but the rod was not long enough to reach.

The Nutserts for securing gas cans were not installed correctly. Had to R2 them. Easy fix for me, But for the price you should not have to fix this.

I did not have to drill anything. To install it. But it was not the quality product that they used to build.
I don't think you have the OR-Fab carrier, then. You definitely have to drill into the tub to get it to fit.
 

Boinked

TJ Addict
Jul 7, 2018
2,303
Mesa,az
I don't think you have the OR-Fab carrier, then. You definitely have to drill into the tub to get it to fit.
Please allow me to rephrase. I didn't have to drill the carrier itself.

I must have read the review incorrectly. I thought he said the carrier had to be drilled.

It is most definitely the ORfab carrier. I did not purchase it but a friend of mine did. I just helped him install it.

I stand by my statement about the quality of the "newer" models.
This might have just been one of the first ones that were built after the long hiatus. Like i stated above it is structurally sound. Just a few issues that had to be reworked. But for the money that they ask for $500+ it should not have to be. I expect to have those issues with Chinese knockoffs.

When i have the time i will get pictures of the issues.
 
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Jeffreybomb

Jeffreybomb

2004 Wrangler TJ X
Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2017
324
Chicago, IL, United States
Did you contact extremeterrain and explain that the review was misleading?
I just did per your suggestion. Hopefully, they'll pay more attention to requests like that than Yelp does.

Yelp has a terrible system for challenging reviews. I'm pretty sure no request ever makes it to an actual human being.
 
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Boinked

TJ Addict
Jul 7, 2018
2,303
Mesa,az
Does he have a link to the page he ordered from?
He ordered it from extreme terrain. Link attached to the bottom.

As a caveat to this conversation. Neither him nor myself has posted a review for this product for the issues we had with it. As with any "new" product you are going to have a few issues with the first/second runs. Im sure they will work them out and fix them.

I call it "new" because they moved shops/states stoped production. They might not have the same person doing the work. They might have had to "Chinese Blueprint" from an old one to start production up. If i remember the old thread on this carrier.

I am not saying in any way shape or form that anyone should not buy this. Just posting personal perspectives on a install that was done less than 2 months ago.

 

Equilibrium31

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Apr 7, 2018
792
Burnsville, MN, USA
Yea, the way that reviews have become so important to businesses is a pretty shady area right now. Not only are small businesses very vulnerable to overly-entitled people throwing tantrums hurting their reputations, you also have a lot of bigger businesses and/or unethical businesses that have a ton of fake reviews to artificially inflate their review scores.

I mean, I have trouble trusting any reviews on Amazon nowadays because so many sellers hire people to give their products tons of glowing reviews.

You also have some extremes that companies will go to in order to get good reviews. An example was a window/roofing company that came to me last December offering to redo my roof at a lower rate since they were trying to market to my neighborhood and wanted to use finished pictures in their advertising. I agreed to meet with them and talk through details, but the day before they were supposed to stop by, they had to reschedule. And then it happened again, and again, until I told them they could just forget about it. I wasn't about to trust a company to do my roof if they couldn't maintain a basic consultation appointment. I let the guy in charge know and he tried arguing with me over how many times they rescheduled. So, I left them a bad review on Google. The same guy replied to that review and again tried to contradict me with how many times they rescheduled, so I didn't have much pity and left my review to sit there.

The company then sent me a godamn $50 gift card (one of those Visa gift cards that can be used anywhere) and while I appreciate the effort, it feels like some sort of bribe and I'm not going to lie about my experience with them just because they wanted to throw money at me.
 

danof76

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Nov 21, 2018
319
San Antonio, TX
I think as a business owner there's two things they can do to mitigate the problem of negative reviews:

1. Push people to review your products like your life depends on it. A huge number of positive reviews will drown out the bad ones and it raises people's confidence to know 200 people liked a product at 4 stars than 2 people that liked it at 5 stars. That and the truth eventually gets out. You can't fix stupid. Everyone screws up an install and some of us aren't smart or humble enough to own up to when we're the ones at fault so they blame the seller/manufacturer. But for everyone that has a bad experience, if you got a good product, with good instructions, the positive notes will rise to the top.

2. While also being as humble as possible and leaving personal feelings and pettiness away from work I appreciate when a manufacturer responds. Be proactive and communicative: tell me they installed it wrong, tell me you refunded them, tell me you replaced the product, tell me you helped them resolve it or just do a mea culpa and say you're in the wrong. Whichever the situation may be, because it'll be different from one to the next. But explain yourself when a negative review comes in without being too defensive (it's not easy and requires a bit of PR experience). People are reasonable, we're not all jerks looking to get some internet tough guy points. Maybe the reviewer is, but everyone else just wants to make an informed decision.

It pays to read reviews though. I hate when a product has low ratings because people used it wrong, expected something that it wasn't, or give a poor review for some unrelated reason like UPS delayed their shipment like it's the fault of the seller/manufacturer.
 
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LukesfirstJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Aug 2, 2018
248
Central PA
I like to research products and read reviews, but sometimes you have to read "between the lines". I usually search the bad reviews first. Based on what the reviewer wrote, I determine if the review is valid. If their only comment is "product s@#ks", I typically ignore. One many products, the good reviews outnumber the bad reviews 10:1 or even 100:1.

What's to prevent a competitor from posting a negative review?
 

tworley

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
May 23, 2018
1,895
Morrison, CO
The ones with bad reviews I feel like also list other multiple issues, which I'm assuming is them just trying to justify why they hate a product that they may or may not have actually researched enough