I found a post online stating that we "threaten to sue for bad reviews."  This is patently false. A customer sent me a message accusing me of leaving dogs in kennels for 20 hours at a time & threatened to post that information all over the internet. She stated that she felt she didn't get her "money's worth" & essentially threatened to post this false information unless I refunded her money. I clearly informed her that those claims were absolutely untrue, & that we have Day Care video to prove that, if need be. Moreover, I reminded her that now that she has been officially informed that a post with that information would be completely false, if she continued to post it anyway (i.e., that we leave dogs in kennels for 20 hours) & claim that it's true, we do indeed have a legal right to sue her for intentionally & publicly defaming my business & interfering with my right to run my business & form business relations. I also told her she is more than welcome to leave a bad review about us -- as long as she only posted her "opnion." To intentionally post completey false information & claim they are true & factual?? That is a whole 'nother story, because it is an intentional, and malicious attempt to ruin my business JUST TO OBTAIN A REFUND??  Yes, I told her that I had a legal remedy against ANYONE who lied about my business, published those lies & represented they were true, especially if those lies were intended to, and did, hurt my business. Any business owner would do the same!!  HOWEVER, I DO NOT & NEVER HAVE THREATENED TO SUE FOR BAD REVIEWS (OPINIONS). For Pete's sake . . .  I can live with a bad review -- I can't please everyone, all the time. BUT LIES?? Those are a serious problem, especially considering that our policy is that NO DOG is EVER to be left in a kennel or run all day.

This customer, by the way, left her 2 dogs at BYK for 23-1/2 hours. She paid us to Board them, that's all. BUT . . . we put them in Day Care because it is good for her dogs, and because we believe kenneling them for long periods is unhealthy. So, not only did her dogs receive well over 5 hours of FREE day care during their stay (1.25 hrs on Friday, since they checked in late in the day -- 3:20pm) and 4-1/2 hours on Saturday (they checked the dogs out before day care ended on Saturday), but they also received potty walks at the beginning & end of the day (we don't charge for those, either). I actually gave this customer an almost minute-by-minute description of where her dogs were, at what time, how they behaved, when they were fed, when they slept, when they pooped, etc. Apparently, this customer wanted more for her $25. We do NOT charge for Day Care while dogs are boarding with us -- it's FREE!!  We are not required to provide Day Care, but we do it anyway. Yes, on weekends we have shorter hours than on weekdays -- we post that information EVERYWHERE. If she believed she was getting 10 hours per day of day care, that is truly unfortunate -- we have never represented to our customers that we provide that much day care. Our day care runs from 9am to 4:15pm on weekdays (sometimes a little later). Day Care is 9am-3pm on Saturdays and 10am-2pm on Sundays. I pay at least 3 people per day to play with dogs -- the customers don't pay me a penny, unless they drop their dogs off for "drop-in day care."  On weekends, we only charge "drop in" customers for 1/2 day of day care.

The customer who made these threats was upset because when she signed on to look at our day care cameras, here dogs were not within the view of whatever camera she was watching. (She actually claimed to have been watching ALL of them, at the same time. However, that is impossible, since I have it set up so that customers can NOT watch all cameras under a single log-in -- this is why I know for a fact that she is not being truthful. This is also why she had nothing to say in response when I pointed that fact out to her.) My manager moved the dogs in front of the camera, so the customer could see them, but could only get them to stay in one place for 8 minutes (hence, she accused us of giving them 8 minutes of day care!!). After 8 minutes, the dogs chose (on their own) to run off to another play area. So, based on this "perceived injustice," the customer claimed we "cheated" her (out of Day Care that she didn't pay for in the first place). I pointed out to her that we have 6 play areas for dogs. Only 4 of those areas are monitored by cameras. Even in the 4 camera-equipped areas, dogs cannot always be where a camera is pointed. She's never going to be able to watch the other 2 areas on camera -- especially if she continues to try to ruin my business (I'll never be able to afford to buy the extra cameras).

In a nutshell, I work SO hard to ensure all dogs are treated well here, no matter how long their stay with us is going to be. I am constantly striving to ensure that the animals' parents are also as satisfied as they can be. But this experience -- Honestly, I have NEVER been so upset & offended by anyone in my life, as I was when this person threatened to ruin my business if I did not give her a refund. Could I have avoided all of this by giving this customer her money back? YES!!  And when BYK makes a mistake, & a customer does not get what they pay for, I offer a refund or a partial credit, immediately. Nevertheless, that is not what happened here. The customer paid the very minimum amount of money for her dogs' stay -- she paid for no frills; no off-the-floor beds; no purified water; no groom or bath. Nothing "extra" whatsoever. She wanted only the very least we offered. That said, we gave her day care, anyway.

The amount we charge each boarding customer for a single night's stay is not sufficient to make us a profit -- we make a small amount of money only when an animal is with us for more than 3 days, and when we have at least 30 dogs boarding with us at one time. Otherwise, we don't even cover payroll. I can't give a refund to customers when they already received MORE than what they paid for??  No business can sustain itself that way.  If I gave that customer a refund, then I am in essence paying her to give me a good review!!  That's just as bad as threatening to give me a bad review if I don't give her money!!  It's wrong. I won't do it. I have far more integrity than that. 

My employees, many of whom are single parents, rely on their BYK wages to support their families. I cannot pay them if someone intentionally tries to ruin my business because of some "perceived injustice," or even when they only "threaten" to ruin my business if I refuse them a refund. This customer is welcome to post a bad review on the internet (for what, I cannot imagine); she is, in the alternative, welcome back to BYK any time, but she is NEVER welcome to publish lies about BYK. Shame on her for even threatening to do so. I feel quite badly for her, & for whatever it was in her life that caused her to get to the point where she thinks this is acceptable human behavior.  .

-MW