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Birdeye Asked We Take Down Our Article on Them, Here’s What We Did Instead

Birdeye Shocked

Birdeye Asked We Take Down Our Article on Them, Here’s What We Did Instead

A Brief History

I don’t like to write. It takes nothing short of an act of Congress to get me to write. When I do write, I have a couple rules: be thorough, be fair, and be helpful. It’s simple. Last November, I wrote about a problem Birdeye had with it’s platform.

For those who didn’t read, a massive amount of Google reviews went missing from Birdeye customer’s Google My Business profiles. A lot of small businesses were affected.

I wrote the article for those affected. I was trying to provide direction to people, like a customer of mine, who had lost reviews and didn’t know why it happened, how it happened, or what to do about it.

People wanted answers.

I researched the issue, wrote several drafts, had the article peer-reviewed, and published it to an underwhelming 1,032 views as of February 25th. 



BirdEye Post Analytics

Birdeye Joins the Party… After Everyone Left

I hadn’t thought much about the article after publishing it. Not many people read it, it didn’t bring in links. As you can tell from above, the post flatlined.

It definitely mattered to someone though. On Saturday, Feb. 24th, I received several calls from a number I didn’t recognize. Somebody seemed pretty adamant about getting ahold of me. At the time, I was at a middle-school basketball game for my little brother; I ignored the calls.

Then I receive an urgent text message from the same number, the person identified themselves as being from Birdeye. I looked at the LinkedIn profile of the person and found out it wasn’t just anyone, it was a Vice President.

He really wanted to talk. The following conversation ensued.

Text from Birdeye

Text #1


Text from Birdeye #2

Text #2


Text from Birdeye #3

Text #3


Things Get Weird

This is where it got interesting. Turns out Birdeye wasn’t interested in “filling in the blanks”/editing the original article at all. They wanted the whole thing taken down. Not only that, they said if it wasn’t taken down they would consider involving lawyers.

Most interestingly, there was some pretty colorful language used to describe how the CEO felt about people like me who wrote “negatively” about Birdeye.


Here are the full call notes:

“Google & Yelp are trying to define what review solicitation is. It’s not fair.”

“We don’t call it review solicitation here. We call it experience management.”

“Your blog post ‘hit a nerve’.”

“Google review deletion did happen. Can’t talk about it publicly because it’s confidential information.”

“A lot of internal work went into fixing that issue. We have 25,000 customers & sometimes these things will happen.”

“The important thing is that they [Birdeye’s engineers] fixed it. They worked with Google to fix the problem.”

“Algorithm changes caused the issue. It was a humongous issue for us.”  <—This is what we want details on.

“Difference between us and other companies—we worked with Google to fix it.”

“There is a blog post from (an employee), explaining how they will make it not happen again.”

“CEO was agitated about post, says it undermines engineers. It’s fake news.”

“CEO is actually really pissed about post, wants to work with them [people who wrote negatively about Birdeye] to clear this up or ‘shoot them’.”

“If this works the way we want, we’ll avoid lawyers getting involved.”


To be candid, I was pretty rattled by the situation. While I was pretty sure “shoot them” was meant to be a colorful metaphor. I wasn’t interested in figuring out what that meant literally.

I took the article down. One reason was fear, the other was I was told I could potentially get a link from the website the following Monday if I cooperated. I’d at least get something out of a bad situation.  

Spoiler: the link never happened and I haven’t heard from Birdeye since. 

After some thought, conversations with people smarter than me, and a lot of stress eating, I decided to follow the advice someone from the The Hustle gave me: “🦆duck it.”

I put it back up.

Also, I wanted to write about how I felt like the situation should have panned out.


Here’s What I Decided to Do About Birdeye’s Response

I’d like to address the CEO directly. Hi. I’m Craig (not scary), the guy who wrote the post who is also pointing at a T-Rex (very scary) in the photo below.

Craig T-Rex

If you had an issue with my post, I was willing to work with you on it. I would have been happy to take your insight, edit the post, and work with you to paint a better picture. Look at the texts, that’s what I offered. It was reasonable. That’s not the direction you guys chose to take though.

Instead you tried to pressure me into taking it down. You were worried about your image, and you know what? I get it.

I’m sorry the post struck a nerve. I wasn’t trying to hurt you. I was trying to help your customers. They were confused and frustrated. Some needed direction, and we as a community didn’t know how to respond. We had little direction to follow. In the case of my customer, who called your company and spoke to one of your representatives over the phone, he was told you guys were working on getting the reviews back.

It didn’t happen.

You know the first person a small business calls when reviews go missing? People like me. I got the call. The small business owner who was my customer wanted answers. I wasn’t alone in having to find them. We (the community) needed a solution.

So we dug around and felt like we found a working explanation—Birdeye was auto-filling star ratings on Google and breaking Google’s “Impersonation” Guideline.

It wasn’t a direct move against you. We weren’t out to get you. Further, I don’t need to be “shot” for coming to this conclusion. It’s a reasonable conclusion. You guys had an “auto-fill” feature in your review emails, then you removed it, and then the reviews stopped disappearing.

To your credit, I will admit I could have reached out to you guys. I didn’t. I’m sorry about that.

Remember the vast majority of digital marketers want to work with you to fix these problems. You guys are a big company. You’ve done a great job building your company. You have 25,000+ customers. When something like this affects a community though—we need to know how to respond to the calls we get. You need to understand when you make a mistake like this it’s not a tiny splash, it’s a cannonball.

And forgive me for sticking with the metaphor—your response was a bellyflop.

So if you’d like some direction, be more transparent, accept the problem, tell the community what happened, absorb the damage, and move on. Don’t waste your time with lawyer talk and “shooting” nonsense on little guys like me.

Remember, T-Rex = should be shot because scary. Craig = not.

Help us help you.

Final Note- This post is also a direct warning to any time-traveling T-Rexes. You know where I stand.

  • Andy Kuiper
    February 28, 2018 at 7:11 am

    All things considered, you may want to stand ‘behind the scary T-Rex’… getting shot would not be cool 😉

  • Henry Coleman
    March 7, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Nice work on standing your ground. This company is supposed to be in the business of “information transparency” and they are trying to get honest commentary suppressed.

  • Jennifer L Metro
    March 7, 2018 at 1:44 pm


  • Andrea Lynn Drake
    May 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Proud of you!
    You were thoughtful and mature and you were only out to protect the general public.
    You handled this very well.

  • Tim Colling
    June 15, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I just learned about this series of events. Well done. Birdeye is definitely not on the “my hero” list with of their former customers that *I* now work with.

  • Brendan Hufford
    September 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Kinda silly that you’d be willing to take it down in exchange for a backlink. Appreciate the honesty, though.

  • Jamey Robson
    November 1, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Good article Craig, we all feel similar pain points!

  • Jana H
    January 12, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I am glad you posted it back. We have to stand up to bullies..

  • Larry Kessler
    March 7, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    I think they are taking a new attack and posting 1 star reviews to pages like mine and then soliciting me for help in turning that negative review into a positive. I have record of every customer that I do business with and when a person leaves a 1 star review that has not done business with me and within minutes I am getting an email from Birdseye saying “Ouch” it is very fishy. Not sure how to approach this situation.

  • Jenny Weidner
    May 2, 2019 at 6:02 am

    I’m a customer of Birdeye and for me, they’ve been awful to deal with. Somehow got access to my Facebook and started posting pics- without even getting permission. Very creepy. Forget firing them tho, because- u guessed it- lawyers, contracts etc. I think they’re a scam.

  • Jayson A
    May 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Love this post! Birdeye sucks. Took a lot of courage to not be bullied by crap organizations.

  • Jonathan
    May 23, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    After reading both articles, it definitely seems strange that BirdEye would come after you. Your first article was nothing that they should have feared or attacked. It was fair. Good for you for posting it back up again.

  • Jennifer Bassi
    August 13, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Great article. Thank you.
    I was just doing research before deciding if I wanted to do business with BirdEye.

    .Yelp puts many of my positive reviews under their “Not recommended” and it’s so frustrating because I know these clients are truly happy with my services! Then Yelp contacts me to try to do advertising with them. I’m like, “Are you kidding? You hide my reviews!” Their response, “Oh I can get those to show up.” Feels so dishonest as I give everything I have to each client to make sure their procedures are to the best of my ability and their excitement is to want to share with others!

    I haven’t had any problems when they post on google.

  • Kurt Gomes
    September 4, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I had received a call yesterday from birds I want me to Add my business advertise with them after reading this review I’m not really sure on what to do I would like to get an opinion on how well my advertising would do or what damage it may cause thank you

  • Adele Lafever
    January 7, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Craig, I laughed out loud at the end of this article and my 12yo demanded an explanation. I gave a truly dazzling summary of the weird adult problem discussed and then read the last few lines. The reaction was so intense I have to shout out to let you know, the difficult calling of writing preteen humor is open to you.

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