There’s a big difference between accidentally dropping the ball and being untrustworthy.
Alas, we are all human and occasionally make mistakes – what matters most is what we do about it when we fail.
As the business owner, any time a problem escalates to my attention, I first ask my staff if it’s our fault, and if it is, I always say, “If we screwed up, it’s 100% on us to make it right, every time, even if it hurts”. As far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t make us noble – it’s simply a no-brainer and anything less would be unethical. However, I’m surprised at how often I hear stories about businesses not following through with their responsibilities. Less often, but sometimes I also hear about clients intentionally being cheated, mistreated and/or taken advantage of by vendors.
Thank goodness, nowadays it’s harder to get away with running a dishonest business because the internet puts the power in the hands of the consumer. But it still happens. And sadly, it’s usually the most vulnerable and powerless people who end up being the victims. Salespeople themselves are usually nice enough folks, but that does not necessarily mean that the integrity and culture of the company they work for will be honourable after the sale is made.
The point here is, when reading reviews, look for signs of low integrity in a business. Although mistakes can be frustrating, sleazy business practices can hurt you more than innocent mistakes.
For bad reviews, carefully read the responses from the business, try to see things from their perspective, but then trust your gut if it doesn’t feel right.