Monday, May 7, 2012

Rebecca’s Reads…

   …but apparently emails aren’t part of the plan. Rebecca’s Reads is a review and publicity website I found through another similar site. I had submitted “Sleeper’s Run” to be reviewed, and got interviewed and was supposed to go on a blog tour. The review was fine, sincere and unbiased. The interview was an adequate, two-stage written piece with the usual questions. The blog tour? Well, that’s when things started to go awry.

    Back then, RR offered blog tours of 15 to 20 sites. Now it has shrunk down to 5. They told me they had 15 lined up, I sent copies of my book and waited. And as I write this blog, I’m still waiting. Mind you, I hired their services last December. Sure, December and early January are not the most productive month for services. They warned me about this and I had no problem with that, but 5 months? Only 6 bloggers submitted reviews in that timeframe. I’ve done blog tours with 30 bloggers involved that were fulfilled within two months. Of course, anyone can have a bad day. Things happen and the bloggers are a third
party, independent from RR. That’s why I’ve been waiting for so long to post this service review. I kept hoping RR would turn the corner and come through for me, but sadly, that’s not the case. 

    Lack of professionalism aside, my biggest gripe with RR is their total lack of communication, and the poor tone and lame excuses used when they finally did make contact. I don’t mind if there was a problem or a slip-up, but their practice of keeping me in the dark and only responding to one in every 3-4 emails I sent them, is more than enough for me to never consider using them again in the future. 

    Let’s go back to the beginning: After purchasing their services, I followed the instructions on their website and waited for them to send me a receipt and payment choices. The email never arrived. When I contacted them about it, I got a fairly dismissive and somewhat rude email that amounted to “I guess what you want is a free Review.” There was no “Dear Mr. Mosquera, Thank for choosing Rebecca’s Reads…” or something resembling the minimum decorum of a professional message from a serious business. In my reply, I invited this gentleman to slightly scroll down my original message, in which he would see the services I was purchasing. I guess, when he saw the amount of money we were talking about, he changed his tone rather quickly. The following emails were more of the same; I would ask a question and would get a very informal answer that sometimes would not even address the question. A good example of this was when I voiced a concern about the bloggers being appropriate for my work. I already ran into a couple of bloggers that started their reviews with “I’m not a fan of this genre…” and a lukewarm critique ensued. If a critic doesn’t like the genre or understands/cares for the themes presented in the book, how is that an unbiased review? My RR contact shot back that they had no control over the content of the reviews, as if I was hinting foul play. I don’t mind bad reviews, as long as the critic knows what he’s talking about. 

    To make a long story short, all my inquiries about what was going on with the bloggers suddenly went unanswered; the few that were, offered no real answers.  Curiously enough, mine wasn't in any of the programs mentioned. RR never produced a list of the websites involved, blaming a third party company for the problem. Months later, I found out that they had handed the bloggers issue to another service. The reason I know this is because I’ve worked with the person now in charge to fix the issue, and she contacted me to let me know what was going on. This gives me hope that the problem will be resolved, since the new person has proven nothing but competent and professional in my dealings with her.
   As you read this, RR has me featured in their homepage again. It has been up for a week, as far as I know. My guess is this is their way of doing something nice for me after the debacle. But that’s exactly the problem, I don’t know, because they don’t communicate. Believe me, I appreciate the gesture, but keeping your clients in the dark is a terrible business  practice, and having poor communication skills when addressing them, is inexcusable. Whether I’ll finish this blog tour or get a refund remains to be seen. I hope you  find this review helpful.

Keep on running!

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