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Downright Scary Review Responses

With Halloween week upon us, the WebPunch team dug up some frightening review responses spotted online that have kept our Review Response Team up at night. While we understand the plight of the businesses who responded in this nightmarish way, these responses fueled our team and are reminders of why we do what we do!

Our reaction to the review responses below was to slightly chuckle and then to gasp in horror. They might make you laugh, but this is not the way to present yourself to clients. It might appear that we’re picking on restaurants here, and we aren’t trying to, but there are just so many negative reviews on Yelp to choose from in this category. Our team has made suggestions that bring more professionalism and more empathy into the response.

Now, this response is honest, but there is no doubt about it that it is way too honest. We may throw our heads back with a sinister laugh about the line “if you ever came back, I’d kick you out again,” but that might be better off as an epitaph on a tombstone. We might elicit a blood-curdling scream at the thought of even considering typing this out for your potential customers to read. The horror! If only we could have saved this restaurant owner from themselves and recommended a version like this instead:

We’re sorry to read your review, Umberto. We understand that you were disappointed to find out that we don’t serve breakfast all day, and we certainly agree that when you have a craving for bacon, egg, and cheese, you just have to find one. We apologize that this wasn’t on our menu when you came in, and we hate to hear that you felt we were rude when you asked. We’d love to have you come back for breakfast (before 10 AM) and fulfill your craving, and we also believe we can change your mind about our service.

This is a much softer version that welcomes people to come into your establishment. We’re leaving out all evidence that you and your staff are quick to snap and might even ban a customer that requests breakfast past 10 AM! Here is another response that might make you run as if Michael Myers was chasing you:

The ending of this review response is really wonderful; they offer a complimentary soup if the customer comes in again, and they also seem to value the feedback they received. However, the opening of this response is simply not what we want to read right off the bat. While it could be true that bugs “find their way” into the jalapeno jar, this acknowledgment needs some serious reworking before adding it to a public space. In our opinion, the response below would represent the situation in a much more appetizing light:

Dear Evelynn, we’re so sorry that you had this experience! We’re horrified to learn that this happened at our restaurant. We assure you that cleanliness and serving the highest quality food are extremely important to us. Thank you for letting us know this happened; because of your feedback, we have taken new measures, and we can promise that this won’t happen again. It’s disappointing to learn that you weren’t pleased with the way your noodles were cooked as well. We are always glad to make a new dish if our diners aren’t satisfied and let us know. We would like to offer you a complimentary Pho if you’re willing to come back and give us another try. We’re grateful that you shared this with us. 

In this version, we’ve empathized with Evelynn and acknowledged her experience, but we’ve left the word “bug” out of our response. That is just too frightening a word to appear on a restaurant’s listings (and in the jalapeno jar)!

If you come across another example of a scary review response posted online by a business owner (you would never write one yourself!), please share it with us. We like to read them, it’s just fun to be scared sometimes!

Author Bio

Mahala Evans is proud to be part of WebPunch’s Content Team. She was raised in beautiful Boulder and then lived in Boston, where she learned about hardcore baseball fans and also went to college. Her professional background is in communications and fundraising for nonprofits. She now lives in Colorful Colorado with her husband and their two daughters, where the baseball energy is lacking but the sunshine is almost daily.