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UPDATE (12-21-2012) TO OUR ORIGINAL POST
On Friday, December 14, 2012, Shelle Turf presented her case in
court before an impartial arbitrator of fact. The judge, after
fully evaluating and weighing all the evidence presented, including
personally examining the tote, awarded Shelle Turf NOTHING. Case
On Friday, December 21, 3 months after posting her malicious,
ul, defamatory reviews, Shelle Turf suddenly deleted her Yelp and
Citi Search reviews, leaving similar Google, Yellow Pages and
Pissed Consumer reviews in place.
(ORIGINAL POST (10-20-2012)
When you read an online negative review, it's human nature to
look at the "facts" provided by the reviewer and then to
immediately draw a conclusion about the merits of that review.
This post addresses such negative reviews and discusses the
dilemma faced by long-established businesses that have been
subjected to a coordinated attack of serial negative reviews by a
single reviewer operating under their own name as well as
Unfortunately, many negative reviews lack
context. This is particularly the case where reviewers
have only provided "facts" that support their position, have
selectively omitted "facts" that are non-supportive and even
contradictory, have distorted or even falsified the "facts", and
have substituted opinion for "facts."
This post addresses such negative reviews and discusses the
dilemma faced by long-established businesses that have been
subjected to a coordinated attack of serial negative
reviews by a single reviewer operating under their own name as well
The best way to respond to such anonymous and quasi-anonymous
reviewers is to connect all the dots for you and to expose
their objectives, words and actions to the disinfectant of bright
sunlight. And the best way to illustrate this problem is to examine
an actual case.
On August 16, 2012, Shelle Turf of Scottsdale, Arizona brought
in a 6 year old, soiled, oil-stained, scratched, scuffed, torn, ink
stained, musty Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed coated canvas
Battignoles Horizontal Tote with natural cowhide leather trim. She
asked us to clean the tote (inside and outside) and to repair a
small tear in the brown monogrammed coated canvas (to the extent
that a tear in a coated canvas handbag can be "repaired").
Our discussion of Shelle Turf's tote is organized as
1. Shelle Turf's multiple negative reviews
2. The condition of Shelle Turf's Louis Vuitton tote before and
3. Shelle Turf's lack of credibility
a. False embellishment of her Yelp
b. Calculated decision to first
clean before considering replacing the leather
c. Full knowledge of the likely
cleaning results prior to dropping off her tote
d. False representation of the value
of her tote
e. Other false negative "reviews"
f. Anonymous dissemination of false
information to our high-end clients
4. The reasons why we retained Shelle Turf's tote
SHELLE TURF'S MULTIPLE NEGATIVE REVIEWS
In order to put Shelle Turf's objectives, words and actions into
their correct context, it's important to understand the time lines
Drop off of tote: August 16, 2012
On August 16, 2012, Shelle Turf brought in a 6 year old Louis
Vuitton tote with natural cowhide leather trim. She asked us to
clean the tote (inside and outside) and to "repair" a small tear in
the brown monogrammed coated canvas.
Return visit #1: August 30, 2012
Shelle Turf returned on Thursday, August 30, 2012 to pick up her
tote (return visit #1). We had not completed all the work because
the tote was, at that time, still in the final stages of
deodorization to remove the musty smell.
Return visit #2: September 6, 2012
Shelle Turf returned a second time to pick up her tote on
Thursday, September 6, 2012 at about 3:30 p.m., camera phone in
hand, accompanied by her daughter as a witness (return visit
As I was not present on 9/6/2012 (I'm constantly in and out of
our facility on Mondays and Thursdays servicing our retail store
clients), she requested that I call her on Friday, 9/7/2012. I
called at about noon on 9/7/2012.
Return visit #3: September 7, 2012
Shelle Turf returned a third time to pick up her tote on Friday,
September 7, 2012 at about 4:30 p.m., camera phone in hand,
accompanied by her husband as witness.
Within a few hours of leaving our facility on
September 7, 2012, Shelle Turf had posted 4 online reviews
(reproduced below - word for word) ...
1. REVIEW ON YELP BY "SHELLE T"
Worst work ever (Posted
Brought LV purse in to be cleaned
and repaired. Purse not ready when promised and was told another
week. When I went to pick it up it was
in horrible condition and the repair was NOT
completed and owner Stuart Bloom totally denied that he knew of any
repair. Funny on my ticket they wrote up it clearly states to do a
repair on a small cut. He is not to be trusted and he even got so
mad used f word. I'm not done with this guy yet. Hope he likes
publicity ... Plus he has my bag, would not give it to me unless I
signed paper saying work was completed and satisfied. NOT! He even
was going to give me the bag back if signed paper and not charge
me. I refused to sign his note.
If you are thinking of bringing your
expensive purses in here to be cleaned or repaired, ask him to see
the Turf Louis VuittonVertical Battignoles bag that he would not
return to me unless I signed a form stating it was completed and
repaired and are satisfied with results. Of course I refused (plus
was giving to me if I signed a form stating at NO CHARGE). You will
change your mind unless you want a crap job like he did on mine. I
saw a lady walking there last week carrying at least 3 lv bags and
1 channel and another one and she asked me if they do good work.
She changed her mind fast and turned around.
2. REVIEW ON GOOGLE BY "SHELLE T"
Quality poor to fair (no specific
date other than "reviewed a month ago")
Went to pick up LV bag that was to
be cleaned inside and leather cleaned and repair. Totally freaked
out when saw the condition of the bag. It now needs to be
re-leather and LV charges over $900 and plus the bag was just
recently discontinued. What a crappyjob. I
wouldn't give this bag away free to anyone, they wouldn't want it
3. REVIEW ON CITI SEARCH BY "SHELLE
Would not ever recommend this place
to anyone. The man Stu totally made my daughters LV purse
in awful condition. It was brought in to be
cleaned and repaired and when we saw it, refused to pay and take
it. Off to small claims court on Monday and contacting my friend at
channel 12 news to do a little segment on this business owner who
also lied to me. BBB, FTC and Az General Attorney. The bag was just
recently discontinued and cannot even be replaced. Louis Vuitton
said they can re-leather the bag for over $900. It didn't need re
leathering when brought it in to him and now it looks like total
crap. I wouldn't be caught dead carrying it in the condition it is
now. Thanks Stuie.
4. REVIEW ON YELLOW PAGES BY
Think twice before getting your ...
Think twice before getting your
expensive LV. Gucci and Channel bags cleaned or repaired. My bag is
now in such bad shape I wouldn't even be able
to give it away. Stay tuned for further action on Mr. Stuie!
In addition, Shelle Turf posted another "review" one week
5. REVIEW ON PISSED CONSUMER BY
October 2, 2012
Oh my gosh, I am in process of small
claims with this little man, Stu. I brought in an LV bag to be
repaired and cleaned. I went back 2 weeks later to pick up as
stated on receipt to be ready. Stu told me that it was in some
stage of getting their fumes out. Told me to come back in a week.
Went back in a week and Stu saw me walking in and flew out as
quickly as possible to avoid me. Girl told me that bag not ready
and showed me it and I freaked out. Looked worse than brought it in
and still were not repaired. He even told me that in order to
repair would have to un stitch the stitching inside the bag and put
a patch on slit and glue it. Girl tells me the glue in on order.
BS. I called him and freaked out and he told me he knew nothing
about ANY repair and it clearly states repair slit on receipt. He
lied several times to me. He still has bag and would only give it
to me if I signed paper saying I was ok with it and he
was NOT going to charge me the 92 bucks. Said
no way, why would I pay for purse he wrecked.
So I will be taking him to small claims court. Check out court
sites online to see ALL the complaints. (Note to reader: Shelle
Turf links the word "complaints" to a list of suits
filed BY RAVE FabriCARE AGAINST other parties
over a period of 24 years.)
In order to understand the NATURE of
Shelle Turf's complaint and the ROLE played
by these "reviews" in a larger scheme to coerce the funds necessary
to replace all the leather trim on her Louis Vuitton coated canvas
handbag, consider this simple analogy...
If this was your dress, would you thank the cleaner for their
efforts to achieve the best results that were technologically
achievable, or would you
If your answer is 8, welcome to the world of Shelle and Richard
Turf of Scottsdale, Arizona.
THE CONDITION OF SHELLE TURF'S LOUIS VUITTON TOTE BEFORE
AND AFTER CLEANING
When you cut through all the he-said-she-said allegations made
by Shelle Turf and personal opinion smoke screens offered by Shelle
Turf in all her reviews, her only serious claim was that her Louis
Vuitton brown monogrammed coated canvas tote was in alternatively
"horrible", "crappy", "awful", "bad" or "wrecked" condition when
she came to pick it up (return visit #2 on 9/6/2012).
Yet, she provides no specifics or definition of the term
"horrible", "crappy", "awful", "bad" or "wrecked"
If this was your tote, and you believed that a cleaner had
transformed the condition of your tote from "excellent" or "good"
(I assume) to "horrible", "crappy", "awful", "bad" or "wrecked"
condition, wouldn't you know EXACTLY what the
specific issues were?
In separate filings with the Better Business Bureau, the Arizona
Attorney General's Office and the Maricopa County Small Claims
Court, and in a series of bizarre rants in emails and spams to our
blog, Shelle Turf does not use the term "horrible", "crappy",
"awful", "bad" or "wrecked" condition. Instead, she claims
that we "damaged" her 6 year old tote.
At RAVE FabriCARE, we take before and after photos
of EVERY handbag, purse, wallet and backpack
brought in to our facility, picked up by our drivers, or sent in to
us through the mail so as to document their condition when received
and when returned.
You can view 28 before photos and 16 after photos of this tote
and read my accompanying commentary by clicking on this link
After you review the photos and read the commentary, ask
yourself these 4 questions:
You can post your answers to these questions in the comments
section of the post linked to above.
SHELLE TURF'S LACK OF CREDIBILITY
A. FALSE EMBELLISHMENT OF HER YELP
Shelle Turf wrote a one paragraph "review" on Yelp on 9/7/2012.
She doubled down on that "review" by adding a second paragraph on
In para 2 of her "review" (posted on 9/9/2012), she tells you
that when she left our facility "last week" (the
"last week" could only mean on 8/30/2012) and she was, presumably,
still in our parking lot, she was approached - out of the blue - by
a complete stranger carrying at least 5 Louis Vuitton and Chanel
handbags who just happened to ask her if RAVE FabriCARE did "good
work". She implies that she answered "no", whereupon the stranger
"changed her mind fast and turned around."
This story is, of course, PURE FICTION.
When Shelle Turf came to pick up her tote (return visit #1 on
8/30/2012), she did NOT see or examine the
tote. I merely told her that we needed more time to complete the
deodorization process necessary to neutralize the musty smell. Yet,
despite the fact that she NEVER saw or
examined the tote on 8/30/2012, she was nonetheless able to tell
the mysterious stranger -MINUTES LATER - that we
do "horrible", "crappy", "awful", "bad" or "wrecked" work.
I have 4 questions for Shelle Turf:
1. How could you have possibly formed a negative opinion
about our handbag cleaning services if you
did NOT see or examine your tote on
2. How come the parking lot surveillance video
showed NO such encounter between you and any
other person, either on 8/30/2012 (return visit #1), 9/6/2012
(return visit #2) or 9/7/2012 (return visit #3)?
3. If the evidence that we returned your tote in "horrible
, "crappy", "awful", "bad" or "wrecked" condition" or that we
"damaged" your tote is so convincing, why did you feel there was a
need to blatantly lie in your review?
4. How could you have possibly formed a negative opinion
about our handbag cleaning services as of 8/30/2012 when, just 3
weeks before you dropped off your Louis Vuitton tote, you picked up
a Gucci GG fabric handbag perfectly cleaned inside and out?
And, as for the allegation that I used the F-word in any
conversation with her, well, you can draw your own conclusions. To
help you assess who the guttermouth is, may I suggest that you
re-read all of Shelle Turf's "reviews".
In summary: Is Shelle Turf posting an honest
assessment of our handbag cleaning services or is she distorting or
even falsifying her claim that we returned her tote in "horrible ,
"crappy", "awful", "bad" or "wrecked" condition or that we
"damaged" her tote?
You be the judge.
B. CALCULATED DECISION TO FIRST CLEAN BEFORE
CONSIDERING REPLACING THE LEATHER
According to her "review" on CitiSearch (see above), Shelle Turf
tells you that "Louis Vuitton said that they can 'releather' the
bag for over $900. It didn't need releathering when I brought it
into them and now it looks like total crap."
Call any Louis Vuitton store in the USA and they'll tell you
that they CANNOT provide an estimate for the
cost of "releathering" a handbag WITHOUT THEIR REPAIR
SPECIALIST FIRST EXAMINING THE HANDBAG.
That's the Louis Vuitton policy. Every Louis Vuitton employee
knows that and will tell you that.
So, I have one question for Shelle Turf: How could you have
possibly known - on September 7, 2012 - that it would cost over
$900 to replace all the leather trim on your handbag?
After all, you left RAVE FabriCARE at about 5:00 p.m. on
September 7, 2012 WITHOUT YOUR TOTE IN HAND
(see section below titled "Retention of Shelle Turf's Tote"). And
yet, just a few hours later, you had already posted a review on
CitiSearch stating that it would cost over $900 to "releather" your
The answer, of course, is quite simple: You could only have
known that it would cost over $900 to "releather" your
tote IF you had received an estimate from
Louis Vuitton PRIOR to bringing it to RAVE
FabriCARE for cleaning.
Based on all the before photos, it is clear that the most
important issue affecting the value of the tote was the fact that
the leather trim was soiled, oil stained, scratched and scuffed.
The small half inch tear in the brown monogrammed coated canvas,
the ink stain on the lining and the musty smell in the interior
were secondary issues.
This begs the question: Why didn't you take it straight to Louis
Vuitton to replace the leather trim? Why did you, instead, decide
to take it first to RAVE FabriCARE for cleaning?
I'd suggest that there are only two possible reasons:
First, if RAVE FabriCARE was unable to return the leather trim
to near-perfect condition (cost about $100), you could always ask
Louis Vuitton to replace all the leather (cost about $900).
Alternatively, if you could allege that RAVE FabriCARE "damaged"
your tote during the course of the cleaning process, you could
refuse to pay for the cleaning ("saving" you $100) and mount a
campaign of negative publicity in an attempt to coerce RAVE
FabriCARE into paying for the cost of replacing the leather trim
(costing you $100 for court-related fees). Net cost to you would be
zero ($100 "saved" and $100 spent).
In summary: Is it a sheer coincidence that
Shelle Turf decided to have the tote cleaned first and was the
decision to clean first part of a scheme to coerce RAVE FabriCARE
into funding the replacement on the leather trim on her tote?
You make the call.
C. FULL KNOWLEDGE OF LIKELY CLEANING RESULTS PRIOR
TO DROPPING OFF HER TOTE
Before dropping off her Louis Vuitton tote for cleaning on
August 16, 2012, Shelle Turf had fullfull knowledge of the likely
results she could expect from our handbag cleaning
First, Shelle Turf dropped off a Gucci GG fabric handbag on July
23, 2012. The handbag was lightly soiled and stained with red dye
on the exterior and lightly soiled and stained with ink on the
She picked up her Gucci handbag on August 3, 2012. Apparently,
she was pleased with the results. So much so that she returned to
RAVE FabriCARE on August 16, 2012 - less than 3 weeks later - with
her Louis Vuitton tote.
You can view 22 before and 15 after photos of that red
dye-stained Gucci handbag by clicking on this link...
Second, at the time she picked up her Gucci handbag and at the
time she dropped off her Louis Vuitton tote at RAVE FabriCARE for
cleaning, Shelle Turf ...
In other words, based on her personal viewing actual Louis
Vuitton handbags that had been completed and her personal viewing
of before and after photos of Louis Vuitton handbags in our photo
book, Shelle Turf WAS FULLY AWARE OF THE LIKELY
RESULTS SHE COULD AND COULD NOT EXPECT FROM THE CLEANING OF HER
LOUIS VUITTON TOTE PRIOR TO LEAVING HER LOUIS VUITTON TOTE WITH
In summary: Is there any truth to Shelle Turf's
claim that she had no idea of the likely results that could and
could not be expected from the cleaning of her Louis Vuitton tote?
And, consequently, can there be any truth to her claim that
we"damaged" her tote?
D. FALSE REPRESENTATION OF THE VALUE OF HER
Through all her "reviews", Shelle Turf is attempting to convince
you that her reviews are based on principle, and not on the money.
But you know, as well as I do, that when someone tries to convince
you that it's NOT ABOUT THE MONEY, IT USUALLY IS ABOUT
In her small claims court filing, Shelle Turf is asking for
$1030 plus tax to compensate her for the "damage" to her tote: "The
bag would sell for $1030 plus tax if they could releather it."
Fact is, the tote was in relatively poor condition when she
first brought it in for cleaning. You can purchase identical Louis
Vuitton totes for anywhere from $350 to $550 online. And those
totes are IN FAR BETTER CONDITION THAN SHELLE TURF'S
TOTE WAS IN WHEN SHE BROUGHT IT IN FOR CLEANING.
In an attempt to determine the value of Shelle Turf's tote, I
sent 28 "before" photos of the tote to three of the largest online
resellers of Louis Vuitton accessories.
I informed each one that I was considering selling the tote and
asked for their best offer. Alternatively, if they were not
interested in an outright purchase, I asked each one whether they
would consider taking the tote on consignment.
Verdict? Not one would make a purchase offer and not one was
interested in taking the tote on consignment.
For all practical purposes, the tote was worthless when Shelle
Turf brought it in for cleaning.
So I called an independent insurance adjuster and posed this
hypothetical question: If an insured owned a 6 year old, soiled,
oil-stained, musty Louis Vuitton tote and that tote was damaged by
fire or flood, what would the payout be under a typical homeowners
or renters policy?
Answer: About zero. The tote had almost no value, so the payout
would be zero.
Clearly, Shelle Turf believes that if you take a 6 year old,
scratched and dented car to a car wash and if you can allege that
the car wash damaged your car during the wash process, you are
entitled to sue the car wash company for the price that the car
would sell for on the open market IF the car
was completely restored to like-new condition.
In summary: Shelle Turf asks for $1030 plus tax
as compensation for returning her tote in "horrible", "crappy",
"awful", "bad" or "wrecked" condition. Yet, her tote was in
relatively poor condition when she first brought it in
- VERY REASON SHE BROUGHT IT IN FOR CLEANING IN THE
Is it reasonable to claim $1030 plus tax when identical totes
- IN FAR BETTER CONDITION THAN SHELLE TURF'S TOTE WAS
IN WHEN SHE FIRST BROUGHT IT IN - sell for
a THIRD or HALF THE PRICE on-line? And when
independent third parties believe that the tote was, for all
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