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 If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

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Treetop Tom

  • Total Posts: 321
  • Joined: 7/20/2005
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 10:22 AM (permalink)
 
A post on another thread brought up the subject of negative reviews.  In this case, it was disagreeing with someone for posting a less than glowing review for a restaurant run by a person who used to post on these boards.  I’ve seen similar comments elsewhere, on this board and others.  It got me thinking – Do you subscribe to the “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all (as advised by your Mom, all your life)” maxim or are you more from the “(Don’t be) afraid to tell a man he's no good.  A man can't get good if he doesn't know he's bad (as postulated by Homer H. Hickam of his coal miners in the book Rocket Boys)” school of thought? More importantly, if you are willing to post a negative review for a business operated by a stranger, is it hypocritical not to post one for a business operated by an acquaintance?
<message edited by Treetop Tom on Wed, 09/4/13 10:53 AM>
 
#1
    felix4067

    • Total Posts: 3289
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    Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 10:57 AM (permalink)
    I am absolutely willing to post a negative review whether I know the person or not, if it is deserved. Not only does the business owner need to know what was wrong, but I have more than once been the unfortunate victim of going somewhere with only rave reviews and being horribly disappointed. Had there been negative reviews, I would have been more well-informed and possibly chosen elsewhere for dinner.
     
    In my opinion, it is absolutely hypocritical to not post a negative review when one is deserved purely because you know the owner of a business. Unless you say something to them personally, and they remedy what caused it. But then the same holds true of a business where you know no one...if they fix it, then good for them. I'll probably even mention that there was a problem and they fixed it in my review, because that shows excellent customer service. But to not say something is to do no one any favours, including your friend who runs the business. If they don't know there is a problem, they can't fix it. And you can't count on anyone else to say something, because it's a very real possibility that everyone will assume someone did with the end result being no one does.
     
    That said, there is a huge difference between writing a negative review and being a snarky jerk. Negative reviews are helpful. Nasty, rude comments in the guise of negative reviews only show that you are the one who needs to make some changes, even when your point, if phrased differently, was a valid one.
     
    #2
      mayor al

      • Total Posts: 15058
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      • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
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      Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 11:54 AM (permalink)
      A negative review from me will probably not go into a lot of detail (likes or dfislikes of the menu items) but it might voice opinions of service or cleanliness. Most likely it would make a general reference saying I would not go back to the establishment.
        Personal relationships should not...or rather have not  been an influence on any of my reviews, so far.  However it should be noted that for some reason , never explained to me, my several reviews on this site have been edited out of 'print'.  You won't find any MayorAl submissions in the restaurant listings, but it wasn't always that way.
       
      #3
        Tony Bad

        Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 12:16 PM (permalink)
        felix4067

        That said, there is a huge difference between writing a negative review and being a snarky jerk. Negative reviews are helpful. Nasty, rude comments in the guise of negative reviews only show that you are the one who needs to make some changes, even when your point, if phrased differently, was a valid one.

         
        This is a point lost on too many.
         
        The internet has become a haven for people trying too hard to be clever and caring too little about the content of what they write and the weight those words can carry. In a big city useless reviews will get buried by quality ones, but in smaller towns, where a restaurant may only have a handful of reviews, a bad review can be very damaging. 
         
        #4
          Treetop Tom

          • Total Posts: 321
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          • Location: Baltimore, MD
          Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 12:34 PM (permalink)
          Tony Bad

          felix4067

          That said, there is a huge difference between writing a negative review and being a snarky jerk. Negative reviews are helpful. Nasty, rude comments in the guise of negative reviews only show that you are the one who needs to make some changes, even when your point, if phrased differently, was a valid one.

          This is a point lost on too many.

          The internet has become a haven for people trying too hard to be clever and caring too little about the content of what they write and the weight those words can carry. In a big city useless reviews will get buried by quality ones, but in smaller towns, where a restaurant may only have a handful of reviews, a bad review can be very damaging. 

           
          I've always figured the insincere snarky reviews and the insincere shill reviews probably cancel each other out at a 1:1 ratio.

          <message edited by Treetop Tom on Wed, 09/4/13 1:10 PM>
           
          #5
            wanderingjew

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            Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 1:13 PM (permalink)
            Although I've unfortunately  been   accused of it in the past,  I've never had an axe to grind and all of my reviews have probably been as objective as could possibly be. I've only posted positive reviews in the restaurant section. If there was a place I visited that I didn't care for (ie customer service or quality of food) it is usually reflected in my trip reports... What I don't understand is why is it when I comment on an occasional Sterns reviewed restaurant(excluding roadfood restaurants that others love to hate ie  Durgin Park or Buckhorn Exchange)where I didn't care for the quality of the food I literally get the feeling that I could hear a pin drop...a gasp and the sound of an old fashioned turntable that suddenly stopped dead in it's tracks??
            <message edited by wanderingjew on Wed, 09/4/13 1:43 PM>
             
            #6
              tiki

              • Total Posts: 4135
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              • Location: Rentiesville, OK
              Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 2:32 PM (permalink)
              A while back--long while actually--i was doing rest. reviews for a weekly in Santa Cruz Ca---the owners would never print anything negative----since most of the places they sent me off to were advertisers--so any review of a place that was sub par  was never printed--so i stopped writing about them if they sucked!--but there were plenty of good places so there was always a review,---after a while locals knew about the publishers policy and often would ask me--"You ever eaten at "So and So's?---if i said yes--they would ask if the review was printed--when i said "No" --with a smile, they knew not to eat there!
               
              #7
                Tony Bad

                Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 3:28 PM (permalink)
                Treetop Tom

                I've always figured the insincere snarky reviews and the insincere shill reviews probably cancel each other out at a 1:1 ratio.

                 
                You may be right there, but the down side of a fake GOOD review is a customer gets suckered into a bad meal, whereas the downside of an unfair BAD review could be someone loses their business. 
                 
                #8
                  MetroplexJim

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                  Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 4:20 PM (permalink)
                  Tony Bad


                  Treetop Tom

                  I've always figured the insincere snarky reviews and the insincere shill reviews probably cancel each other out at a 1:1 ratio.


                  You may be right there, but the down side of a fake GOOD review is a customer gets suckered into a bad meal, whereas the downside of an unfair BAD review could be someone loses their business. 


                  And the proliferation of bad reviews driven by personal emnity or hidden agendas have created yet another niche business on the internet:  firms that "preserve your online reputation".
                   
                  #9
                    wanderingjew

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                    Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 4:32 PM (permalink)
                    MetroplexJim


                    firms that "preserve your online reputation".

                    Can you elaborate- are these firms that are in the business of doing "shill reviews"?
                     
                    #10
                      The Travelin Man

                      • Total Posts: 3698
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                      Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 5:05 PM (permalink)
                      I would think that it is more akin to those firms that offer "credit repair." It would seem to me that there is really only one way to repair your credit - pay your bills. In the same sense, it would seem like there is only way to "repair" your reputation...
                       
                      #11
                        MetroplexJim

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                        Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 5:40 PM (permalink)
                        wanderingjew


                        MetroplexJim


                        firms that "preserve your online reputation".

                        Can you elaborate- are these firms that are in the business of doing "shill reviews"?


                        No.  They are hired by businesses a) to monitor all online reviews pertaining to them and b) to get rid of "bad reveiws" on, e.g., Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.
                         
                        #12
                          Glenn1234

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                          Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Wed, 09/4/13 11:14 PM (permalink)
                           
                          <<<...."They are hired by businesses a) to monitor all online reviews pertaining to them and b) to get rid of "bad reveiws" on, e.g., Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc."....>>>
                           
                           
                          How do these internet reputation preservation/restoration companies "get rid of" bad reviews?  They can't really send over Moose, Rocco, and Vinny with some baseball bats to the Google and Yelp headquarters. 
                           
                           
                          Glenn
                           
                           
                           
                          #13
                            Scorereader

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                            Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Thu, 09/5/13 2:55 PM (permalink)
                            If it's truly a friend, then I might let the friend know of my less than stellar experience and see if (s)he has any comments. (S)he may try to remedy my concerns before I "go to print" which, if I'm notified could either make me go back for a second chance, or include in my reivew that ownership was responsive to my criticism and made subsequent changes.
                             
                            A bad review could damage a friendship. If I care about the friendship, I would do what a friend would do. give him/her a heads up and see if (s)he would like to work through it, before my review gets posted/printed.
                             
                            That's being a friend, and a fair reviewer.
                             
                             
                             
                            #14
                              Treetop Tom

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                              Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Fri, 09/27/13 12:37 PM (permalink)
                              Scorereader


                              A bad review could damage a friendship. If I care about the friendship, I would do what a friend would do. give him/her a heads up and see if (s)he would like to work through it, before my review gets posted/printed.

                              That's being a friend, and a fair reviewer.



                              But must a "fair reviewer" also extend that same opportunity to a stranger?  Have you?
                               
                              #15
                                MetroplexJim

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                                Re:If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Fri, 09/27/13 7:46 PM (permalink)
                                Glenn1234


                                 
                                <<<...."They are hired by businesses a) to monitor all online reviews pertaining to them and b) to get rid of "bad reveiws" on, e.g., Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc."....>>>


                                How do these internet reputation preservation/restoration companies "get rid of" bad reviews?  They can't really send over Moose, Rocco, and Vinny with some baseball bats to the Google and Yelp headquarters. 
                                Glenn


                                I believe they send lawyers threatening suit for publishing libel/slander in interference with commerce.
                                 
                                Many who post negative reviews for non-objective reasons or who have "hidden agendas" simply cannot resist "going over the top".  This makes it easy for the reputation defender firm to convince a site, e.g., Google or Urbanspoon, to pull the offending post.
                                 
                                #16
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