I just read a post from a friend that said she was offered $50 to take down a not-glowing review of a product. She ignored it. Then they tried to bribe her with $500! The review was not even scathing, just a leaning towards negative observation about her feelings while using the product. And to give you some idea of the scope, it was a dog collar for crying out loud!
This got me to thinking. I bet there are a lot of people out there making a business out of this review thing. I mean, I know some companies pay for reviews, and of course if you are getting something for “free” you feel somewhat obligated to give a positive review, no? Even if they are not paying you, lots of places “incentivize” you to write a review, share photos, join or like their social media…well, I understand it’s all part of marketing. But where do they cross the line?
I am all about consumer rights and advocacy. People take me with them when they want to return a faulty item to a store. They know with me, they are not walking out of that store without a refund and then some. Don’t mess with The Carmella. Now let’s be fair. I am not talking about consumer error, or preference, I am speaking on spending your hard-earned $$ on something only to have it break or fail within a few weeks. That’s bogus. And any company that doesn’t apologize profusely offering to replace or refund you, is a scam. Except for the Dollar Store. But that’s a whole other rant all together.
I use Yelp and review sites a lot. I rely on my fellow citizen for their honest and thoughtful opinions on things. I expect people to adhere to the review Code of Honor. That means when you’ve been wronged, speak it! When you’ve been treated to a real customer service treat, speak that too! But if you are just mad the server was dating your ex, or the company offered you double your $ back if you would take down the review, you are not doing anyone any favors. In fact, I believe Critique Karma will bite you in the butt one day.
Try to be as fair and honest and unbiased as you can be when writing a review or spreading good or bad news about a thing. It can really make or break someone. Your vote may be the tipping point. Make sure you mean it.
Today I am grateful for integrity, hive mind, customer service, social cred and being accountable.