I was hoping someone more knowledgeable would be able to help. I left a very honest three-star review online for the boarding facility where we have taken our dog several times.
It wasn't an overwhelmingly negative review being only three stars, but I did mention something that was very concerning to me. They keep forgetting to document our dog's rabies vaccination, which makes me wonder how well they are keeping vaccination records with all the other dogs that stay there. I simply made a note of it in the review, which again was just an honest summary of my experience.
Anyway, a mere few hours later, they call my husband regarding the online review. They asked him to ask me to update the review to five stars and basically retract everything I said. In exchange, they would offer us two free nights of boarding.
There's no way this is legal, right? I can't seem to find a lot on the internet in regards to a business actually asking you to update a review in exchange for goods. I've had businesses offer an incentive for leaving a review, but in those situations they did not specify whether the review needed to be positive or negative. I was also aware of the incentive prior to writing.
In this case, I am being offered free services that are contingent upon me changing (read: lying) and updating my review. Not only does that feel gravely wrong to me, but it really sounds alarms in regards to their boarding practices. I think they are concerned that I brought up their lack of vaccination record keeping. I don't know the legalities surrounding boarding facilities and what they are required to have, but their reaction to my review makes me think they are NOT engaging in legal business practice, and perhaps it is worse than I thought.
Does anyone have any more information on businesses soliciting customers to not only leave reviews, but to update negative reviews to positive reviews in exchange for goods or services?
Additionally, does anyone have any suggestions on taking further action? I am now genuinely worried that they are letting dogs stay there with zero vaccination records which is obviously a huge liability. I feel like I am in a position where I should do the right thing and pursue this further. I would want to know about this if I was any other customer here.
It's also important to note that the conversation regarding the exchange of goods was over the phone, so unfortunately I do not have written proof of this conversation.
Thanks in advance for your help!