Clarabelle Rodriguez has been overcharged, cussed out, called names, harassed with late-night phone calls, and threatened with sexual violence—yet the eyewear company that allegedly subjected her to all this, over a disputed order, continues to thrive—thanks to the customers that find it sitting at the top of their Google search results. Negative publicity doesn’t hurt DecorMyEyes.com—in fact, it helps. The owner himself explained, in a comment on a consumer advocacy site where dozens of customers had complained: “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”
Turns out even negative online talk about a company apparently pushes it higher in Google search results, and Vitaly Borker tells the New York Times that the hundreds of complaints posted about his site online have only succeeded in getting him more sales. “I’ve exploited this opportunity because it works,” he says. “No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?” He calls the more than 300 customers who have reported him to the Better Business Bureau “psychos” and insists they deserved the poor customer service they got. Click here for the extensive—and infuriating—article, which examines why exactly Borker wasn’t shut down long ago.