Writing a scathing online review can be cathartic, but it can also have detrimental effects, especially when businesses overreact to the criticism and end up making things worse.
That’s exactly what happened to a company that creates smart garage door openers. Its owner decided to brick a customer’s device after he wrote a one-star review on Amazon. But SoftComplex owner Denis Grisak told the Daily Dot that it was the customer’s follow-up post on the community board of his product Garadget that made him react.
On April 1, user “rdmartin7” wrote an angry post that set the incident in motion.
Just installed and attempting to register a door when the app started doing this. Have uninstalled and reinstalled iphone app, powered phone off/on – wondering what kind of piece of s**t I just purchased here…
Grisak, having already seen Robert Martin’s one-star review on Amazon, lashed out by kicking Martin’s gadget from his servers. This made his device unusable (even more than before). He also gave him the ultimatum to return his device to Amazon, and then banned him from the community forum for two and a half years.
The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control. I’m happy to provide the technical support to the customers on my Saturday night but I’m not going to tolerate any tantrums.
At this time your only option is return Garadget to Amazon for refund. Your unit ID 2f0036… will be denied server connection.
Grisak says his actions aren’t illegal and that he didn’t brick the device because, “No changes are made to the hardware or the firmware of the device, just denied use of company servers.”
This is the Amazon review posted by Martin just before his post on the community board.
The owner admitted his mistake earlier today, while trying to get other users to “calm down.” He continued to go after his disgruntled customer.
Ok, calm down everybody. Save your pitchforks and torches for your elected representatives. This only lack the death treats now.
The firing of the customer was never about the Amazon review, just wanted to distance from the toxic individual ASAP. Admittedly not a slickest PR move on my part. Note taken.
The incident went viral after being posted on Y Combinator and the Twitter account @internetofshit.
HOW DARE YOU LEAVE A BAD REVIEW OF OUR GARAGE DOOR OPENER, SEND IT BACK pic.twitter.com/TUmm2EFZ66— Internet of Shit (@internetofshit) April 4, 2017
Grisak tells us the device’s connection has now been restored.
That was an overreaction on my part to customer’s rude behavior in the community board.
The connection is now restored, though I doubt customer will be interested in completing his installation.
But the damage is done.