Saturday, November 26, 2011

Writing Negative Reviews

So I have question for everyone out there: When faced with unpleasant consumer experiences, do you write negative reviews online?

I hate doing it, but I also feel a sense of duty to warn others when something goes awry and management doesn't try to assuage my concerns and/or problems with a business. Anyway, you can probably guess what I just got done doing. It sucks, yeah, but I asked for help from the entity that let me down and was refused. Upon receiving that refusal, I wrote back to warn them I'd be making my disappointment public, then waited a day to make good on my promise (hoping they'd offer better customer service).

With books, I tend to keep my opinions to myself if I don't like a title, since taste is subjective, but I know others feel differently. That said, what's your policy on reviewing?


Cat Winters said...

I'm like you: I'll write negative online reviews for horrendous service, but I keep the book opinions to myself. We've also done our share of reporting places that have treated us terribly to the BBB.

Dana Elmendorf said...

I'm a writer not a professional book reviewer. Writing a bad review, no matter how polite, could come back and hurt my career later. If you feel you MUST write a review on a book, I suggest creating a bogus account with bogus email and spill your heart but always be polite. There is a nice way of saying you did not like a book without bashing the author.

Ara Burklund said...

Cathy~Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

Dana~Agreed! I'd rather abstain from saying anything than give someone a bad book review.

Gail Shepherd said...

I never write bad book reviews (on consumer websites, I'll sometimes do a meh-review on my blog, with the caveat that my opinions are subjective). But boy, if I get a cruddy product that breaks or doesn't work as advertised, oh yes I will! I'd like to save my fellow buyers some heartache. Badly made products are one of my serious pet peeves. I also will put negative reviews of hotels and restaurants on sites like Travelocity if the place is especially awful, for the same reason. And conversely, I always read reviews of products before I buy.

Ara Burklund said...

Thanks, Gail! I'm probably one of the ones reading your Travelocity reviews. I love hearing about people's specific experiences--makes me feel so much better informed about places/products/services!