How NOT to be Known as a Scammy Business

Having a good reputation in the Kona, Hawaii, community is essential for the growth and sustainability of our business. Other businesses do what we do, so if we became known as a company that took advantage of customers, we would be in business for only a short time.

There are, of course, what I call “scammy business practices” all around. For some, it’s just part of their business model, and for others it’s just poor management.

As a consumer and a business owner in Kailua-Kona, I encounter good, great, and horrible and scammy other businesses. Here’s my list of things that, in my opinion, work against the long-term reputation of a business.

Recommend Services Not Needed

A few weeks ago, I went to a well-known tire company to get new tires on my truck. The tires and installation went fine, and I was happy with that. When I went to pay, the clerk had a list of “recommended services.” One was an oil change, which made me smile, as I had gotten an oil change a week earlier, and a sticker on my window indicated that I wasn’t due for 5,000 miles.

Unfortunately, this is a common practice with some vehicle-related sales and services.

Outright Lies

When a business outright lies to me, I remember that and try to avoid that business again in the future.

Several years ago, I had to take a vehicle in for a recall. When I picked up the truck, the guy at the desk told me the brake pads were at 2 mm (on a scale from 1-10) and needed replacing. He also said the rotors need resurfacing, so we’d be looking at several hundred dollars. I said I’ll have my regular mechanic do the work.

When I had my next oil change, I asked my regular mechanic about the brakes. He’s always been wonderfully honest with me–I trust him. Turns out my brakes were at a 7mm and did not need replacing for another two years!

I have not walked back into that dealership, and when it came time to buy a new vehicle, I did not consider anything they sold. In the meantime, I have heard about many bad service experiences from others.

scammy businesses

Not Honoring Price Quotes

Last year, we reached out to a supplier for a price quote that was part of a sign for which we provided a price quote to one of our clients. We got the cost, and we reached out to order the next day, as we won the bid.

To our surprise, the “manager” doubled our cost and was unwilling to honor the price quote his employee gave the day before. 

As a result, we found another supplier lower than the first price quote we received (so we knew at least the first supplier would still make money on the first price quote). We haven’t been back, as our new supplier served us well.

At Kona Impact, our employees are trained to give price quotes, and we stand behind what we say.

What Do We Do with Scammy Businesses?

We don’t rush to outrage and write bad reviews online. If I don’t have the courtesy to register my complaints with the site manager and let them address the issues, it seems unfair to trash them online. That’s just not us.

We do, however, vote with our wallets and seek other suppliers. We also tell others, especially when asked, about our experiences.

We do make mistakes at Kona Impact. Our policy is always to make sure mistakes on our part do not affect our clients negatively, even if we lose money on a project. We also encourage our customers to let us know if anything is unsatisfactory to them, as we want to make it right and will do our best to fix the issue.`