Word choice lemon: Awww … Rev.com, why so harsh? - The Write Idea

Word choice lemon: Awww … Rev.com, why so harsh?

By Renae Gregoire

Word choice lemon: Just because we're customers doesn't mean you can be harsh!

This morning, a word choice lemon at Rev.com took me aback, making me wonder why their content is so mean.

To give you some context, I was selected several months ago to become an editor for a company called Book in a Box. Their schtick is that business owners and executives with books inside them can get on the phone with an "editor," who gently teases out their story based on a pre-approved outline. The editor then has the calls transcribed, and uses the transcripts from those calls to "write" the book.

It's a great concept. I never did work on a book, though, because right as I was coming on management was in the process of splitting the function of "editor." One person would handle the interviews; another would write the book from the transcripts. That would have been great for me, but they also "split" the fee -- 15% would now go to the "editor" (the writer), while the other 85% would go to the person who handled the calls. That split felt way unfair to me from a writer's perspective, so I just drifted away; I never accepted an assignment.

The point of that story is to introduce the point of THIS story. 

My one-date wonder with Rev.com

When I joined the Book in a Box team, they set me up with an account at Rev.com, a site where you can upload recordings and have them transcribed for a flat fee and in an amazingly short time. Because I never took on a book, I never used the account other than for training purposes.

Then, one day after I had drifted away, I received an email from Rev telling me that my account had been REVOKED.

Ouch. Pretty harsh there, huh?


At the time, I thought, "Hey, I should blog about this," but other things got in the way. 

Until it happened again. Until now.

Today, a client sent me a recording I wanted to have transcribed. Since I had already been introduced to Rev, and liked their pricing and turnaround, I figured I'd log back in, enter my payment information, and then upload the audio file.

Ho Ho Ho -- Rev.com said NO.

And they said it in the same mean way. 

Word choice matters: REVOKED!

I can't help but to wonder: why "revoked?" Why not "closed," or "de-activated?"

Try as I might, I simply cannot think of a positive way to use REVOKE in a sentence.

"Honey, they revoked our credit card today."

"Mom, the university revoked my acceptance."

"Dude, your parole has just been revoked."

Things get revoked when you do something bad:

  • You drive with a suspended license -- driver's license, REVOKED!
  • You make poor choices about how you treat patients--medical license, REVOKED!
  • You skipped out on bail before--passport, REVOKED!
  • You part ways with a firm that invited you to create an account--account, REVOKED!

That's just not cool.

How to use Rev's word choice lemon to make lemonade

You can use this lemon to make sweet lemonade by paying attention to word choice throughout the marketing and customer experience.

  • Prospects are won, not conquered.
  • A repeated support issue is investigated, not rehashed.
  • Tell an upset customer, "I see why you're upset, not "calm down." 

Prospects and customers will notice and appreciate it when you use words that show your softer, more human, understanding side.

Join my tribe?

Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you want your online presence to inspire trust and confidence? Do you grit your teeth when others don't care enough about YOUR web experience? Are you all about creating an excellent website and excellent content that makes it easy for people to get to know, like, and trust you and buy your stuff?

I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.

When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.


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About the Author

Hi! I'm Renae Gregoire, a digital conversion expert improving the performance of digital marketing content, including websites, landing pages, sales pages, online courses, blogs, and email sequences. If you're a coach, consultant, or other expert having trouble getting people to click, sign up, subscribe, or buy, I can help. My work typically involves a blend of strategy, design guidance, and wordsmithing, with a heavy focus on how your materials look, sound, feel, and function—all from your reader's perspective. Contact me to see how I might be able to help improve your conversions.