Feeling pressured to write a review…and not liking it one bit.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided it was finally time to buy a new car.  For a long time, we had loved our reliable 2007 Corolla, which had served us well up to 120,000+ miles.  But, as a 1-car family that does a lot of commuting, we felt it was time to get a car that was newer and that would last us for another 7 or 8 years.  So we found a nearby dealership with an excellent inventory of “previously owned vehicles” (love that euphemism!).

Do you remember how, back in the day, shopping for cars used to be one of the most stressful experiences ever?  All that haggling, and feeling like you were totally at the mercy of the dealer in negotiating price and financing, and all that?  Today, it is completely different, with so much car information available online…you can even get detailed info about THE SPECIFIC car that you plan to buy! This really helps put the consumer in the “driver’s seat” (so to speak) where price negotiations are concerned.

Which is why we were absolutely delighted that, this time around, buying a car was a pretty positive experience. We felt well-informed, confident, and in control of the process.  Even our salesman was low-key and pleasant.

With one exception.  Although our salesman did not try to get us to consider an upgraded model, or even push the extended warranty issue too much…he DID (very oddly, in my opinion) “hard sell” us on posting a favorable review of him online.  Or several, to be more accurate.

For over 2 hours, he had been modest, down-to-earth, and completely likeable.   But suddenly, all that shifted, as he began to inform us that he was the most highly-rated and reviewed salesman at the dealership.  And then he brought out this big white binder filled with printouts of dozens of reviews written about him.  He told us to go ahead and browse through them, so that we could use them as models for how to write our own glowing review for him.  He then navigated to the dealership’s webpage with links to several auto dealer review sites, and he told us that (once we got home) we could write our review based on what we had learned from the examples in the binder, adding that we could of course just “copy + paste” that same review text into multiple sites. Uh-huh.

I found this super annoying.  I mean, of all people, *I totally get it* that reviews impact sales.  But perhaps a more low-key suggestion like “If, after a couple of days, you feel satisfied with the service you’ve received, it’d be great if you could go ahead and post a review on one of the sites linked to our dealer page”  would have been sufficient.  I don’t know what bugged me more… the hard-sell approach, or the feeling that I was having the whole online review process mansplained to me.

Fortunately for our salesdude, my husband is kindness incarnate, so a couple hours ago, he went ahead and posted a review  of our car-buying experience.   (I need to remember to ask him if he “copied + pasted” it into multiple review sites, as we had been coached to do, lol.)

What do you people think?  Have you ever felt super pressured to write a review?  If so, how did you react to it?

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