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I have a complaint...

...about people who complain on social media. I am the admin for several social media sites and travel sites, so I see a lot of posts; both for local places here on the Outer Banks and for companies I have nothing to do with. Most of them are good, nice posts...some are bad, some really horrible. Horrible in that the poster had ranted and raved about what is often something that could have been addressed, fixed, resolved if they had spoken to someone at the company first. It is almost as if the person posting wants to ruin the business. 

I have a saying that I go by when posting on Facebook, Google +, Yelp, or TripAdvisor..or any on-line site that will let you post. That is "Post No Evil". Just because a person CAN post something, does not mean they always should. I wish more people followed this. 

So OK, you have a bad experience at a restaurant. Maybe the food was not cooked properly, it was slow coming out, whatever. Tell your server, politely, what your concern is. Give the manger or chef or server a chance to make it right. No one who owns a business or runs a business or works for the business wants you to be unhappy or upset. They really do not. 

Speaking for Village Realty, speaking as a local of 40+ years who has worked in retail, restaurants, hotel, and vacation rentals...we are happy people come here. Happy to see them happy. We want visitors to come back. We depend on word of mouth as a great source of advertising.  So, we are going to try to please up and meet your expectations. 

Now, do vacation rental companies make mistakes? Oh, yes, we do...and some might be whoppers. But, we are human...we all make mistakes. And, I can assure you that just like every other vacation rental company here on the Outer Banks, we will try to make it right. So, tell us. Tell us right away. If it is something we can fix, we will do our best to make things right. 

Relay the issues politely and calmly...and give the rental manager or restaurant manager or store owner time to do some research, get all the facts and then get back to you. Keep in mind that yes, even on our OBX, refrigerators stop working, the AC freezes up, lights go out and sinks get stopped up. 

More advice, for everyone...not just our guests (who we appreciate!): read the property description, read your lease, ask questions when you book or when you check in. 

Ask us where you should eat dinner out....with 12 adults and 8 kids....and we will steer you to a place that can handle large groups and is very family friendly. It is always a good idea to call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know you are bringing in a large group. They can make sure they are staffed correctly. 

Bottom line...I would NEVER think of trashing any business online. No matter what. Everyone has a bad day...every place has days where a bunch of things are out of whack at the same time.  I am a firm believer that patience and kindness and a good dose of compassion and understanding go a long way...no matter which side of the counter you are on. Some posts I read are so vicious. My goodness, bless their heart...is it really that bad?  How does it make that person feel after they blast a company online? Satisfied, self-righteous?  I am not sure, and sometimes it is not what you say  or post but HOW you did it. 

Now rudeness, that is another matter. No one deserves to be treated rudely and especially when you are out spending hard earned money to eat a nice dinner, spend a week at the beach, shopping...wherever. And again, call me an optimist, but I do think that you get back what you send out. IF I have a problem with any place, I would first ask to speak to a manager and/or I would call them later. Now, I am speaking locally...since I rarely leave the island. And yes, I know a lot of people here and what I tell them on the few occasions (maybe two??) that I have called or emailed them to let them know what happened, I always tell them that "If it was MY business I would want to know this". 

What is especially frustrating is when I read a review that just says something like "Horrible company. Will not ever use them again and will tell my friends not to use them." First thing we do is try to figure out why the guest is so upset. Did they call us while here? Tell us when they checked out?  Email us?  Often, No, nothing, nada, zilch. So, how can we, or anyone, any business, try to please you if we do not know you are unhappy until you post a not very nice review somewhere where thousands of people can see it?  We can't.  

If I sound defensive, I do not mean to. Customer service is a top priority for Village Realty. We want you to be happy. We want you to come back. We want you to tell your family and friends you had a great vacation.  It is frustrating when the opportunity to make things right is gone...and that guest will remember their time at one of our homes negatively. I hate that. 

Every restaurant has an off day now and then...so give them another chance. Maybe that employee at the clothing shop was brand new and did not know the answer to your question. Patience is a virtue. 

One thing I always try to keep in mind...now that I am older, is how would I want my daughter or grandsons talked to in the workplace. Well, as everyone should be with respect and courtesy. 

I often feel that social media gives some people  a sense of entitlement to say whatever they want, whenever they want. And that is OK, as long as it is on YOUR page and you are not criticizing someone else. How would I want someone to tell me they had a problem with me or my work or my car or my children, anything? Certainly not online. If you cannot say something to my face, why would you put it online?

Now you must be thinking...Uh Oh....Village Realty just got a really bad review on Facebook or Yelp!  No, this is a post I have been meaning to write for a while and today is the day.

On the other side of the coin...when you have a great experience anywhere...good food, exceptional service, lovely home...etc....THAT is a post that everyone will love to read. 
Thanks for reading this...Until Next Time I am

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