November 28, 2010

"I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement."

Cheating and enraging customers so they denounce you on the web... as a business model, thanks to Google.
Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales....

[T]he owner of DecorMyEyes might be more than just a combustible bully with a mean streak and a potty mouth. He might also be a pioneer of a new brand of anti-salesmanship — utterly noxious retail — that is facilitated by the quirks and shortcomings of Internet commerce and that tramples long-cherished traditions of customer service, like deference and charm.
The linked NYT article begins with a story about a businessman who sounds like has crossed the line into making frauds and threats. The scheme fails if you get arrested! So strain out the vivid example that bulks up the article and imagine a business that just has crappy products and nasty customer service. Would that play Google so well? Should Google be saving these eyeglass customers from their own failure to check out the business before they order? They'd easily find the complaints.

Now, one reason the eyeglass business is playing this negative game so well is that people are Googling the brand names of eyeglass frames, and the negative comments against the company talk about how they believe they didn't get the brand they ordered. They say they got fakes. Let's think about what's going on here. Who buys expensive brand-name eyeglasses without trying them on? I bet most of these customers have tried them on — in local eyeglass stores. Then, instead of paying the price the shopkeeper wants, they go to the web to find a better deal. At that point, they are doing a search for a particular brand name. They see the price and jump at the notion that the local shopkeeper is cheating them. Aha! They think they're being smart when they are being very dumb.

If you read far enough into the (long) article, you get to the part where the reporter — David Segal — interviews the businessman — a guy named Vitaly Borker:
“Look,” he says, grabbing an iPad off a small table. He types “Christian Audigier,” the name of a French designer, and “glasses” into Google. DecorMyEyes pops up high on the first page.

“Why am I there?” he asks, sounding both peeved and amazed. “I don’t belong there. I actually outrank the designer’s own Web site.”...

Despite the fear he has inspired, Mr. Borker doesn’t regard himself as a terror. He prefers to think of himself as the Howard Stern of online commerce — an outsize character prone to shocking utterances....

“People overreact,” he pshaws, often because they’re unaccustomed to plain speaking, New York-style. Anyway, he adds, if somebody messes with you, and you mess back, “how is that a threat?”...

“The customer is always right — not here, you understand?” he says, raising his voice. “I hate that phrase — the customer is always right. Why is the merchant always wrong? Can the customer ever be wrong? Is that not possible?”

9 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Based only on what you've written, I love this guy.

shoutingthomas said...

The guy's Russian.

What can you expect?

ironrailsironweights said...

One company, Luxottica, makes almost all eyeglass frames no matter what the brand names may be.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

Vitaly Borker needs a good thorough beating. He'd probably lose a fistfight to a 15-year-old ghetto gangbanger or 16-year-old schizophrenic.

Peter

shoutingthomas said...

Vitaly Borker needs a good thorough beating. He'd probably lose a fistfight to a 15-year-old ghetto gangbanger or 16-year-old schizophrenic.

Did you read the article, Peter.

He needs a beating, for sure.

Problem is, he'd undoubtedly enjoy it. And he wouldn't stop his shenanigans either.

edutcher said...

It sounds like Borker is playing the Alinsky game - your opponents will always play by the rules.

One day, somebody will show up with a baseball bat - or a .45 (we are talking Gotham, after all) and Borker will get his.

It also proves that the Google business needs some fine tuning.

Does Bing operate the same way?

PS This is a great advertisement for shopping face-to-face, rather than over the Net.

Mary Beth said...

I think the site places high for "Christian Audigier glasses" because the words "Christian Audigier" are repeated on the page, not because of backlinks.

The #1 listing for that phrase now is this post.

Why would anyone buy from a business that used a proxy registration for their website?

Mumpsimus said...

“People overreact,” he pshaws . . .

"'Pshaw' is not a verb," I balderdashed. "Don't you people have editors?"

Belkys said...

ad Don quixote said : people want to be talked about , for bad o good but talked about.
Eso me parece, Sancho —dijo don Quijote—, a lo que sucedió a un famoso poeta destos tiempos, el cual, habiendo hecho una maliciosa sátira contra todas las damas cortesanas, no puso ni nombró en ella a una dama que se podía dudar si lo era o no; la cual, viendo que no estaba en la lista de las demás, se quejó al poeta diciéndole que qué había visto en ella para no ponerla en el número de las otras, y que alargase la sátira y la pusiese en el ensanche : si no, que mirase para lo que había nacido Hízolo así el poeta, y púsola cual no digan dueñas , y ella quedó satisfecha, por verse con fama, aunque infame.