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does anyone feel bad leaving a bad review?

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    i write a lot of reviews, but most of them good. yesterday ileft a bad review on a review website for a restaurant i ate at on holiday. i was more annoyed at the fact it was given 4 and a half stars out of 5 for what i thought was very mediocre. looking at previous reviews, many were written by people who only have this one review under their belt, gushing in praise. often they would be 'liked' by at least 10 other people.

    i wrote what i thought of the restaurant and got an angry message back from the restaurant today, challenging everything i wrote, then ending with something like 'think about consequences the families that work for this restaurant' and how selfish i was to not have thought about them.

    i feel bad, but also angry too!!

    i'm in one mind to write back and justify what i wrote further, but in another mind just to leave it...
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    At the end of the day they're providing a service and you're paying for it. If it isn't up to scratch then you have every right to let them know.

    The good reviews are probably written by the restaurant anyway. The 1 review thing makes me suspicious.

    Which restaurant was it by the way?
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    They will not and cannot improve if everyone is claiming they're already perfect.
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    Nope, the truth must be told
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    How very British of you.
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    don't feel bad. They should feel bad for trying to emotionally challenge you (and its worked).
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    The only thing I feel bad about is that I leave more bad reviews than good 'uns.

    We went to a chinese restaurant partly based on the fact that it had loads of rave reviews yet the food was **** and my girlfriend threw up and I felt sick. I felt I needed to balance the reviews out. It would stop them getting complacent at least.
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    Don't feel guilty, how are they meant to improve if you don't tell them the problem?

    I don't write reviews unless they are bad ones to be honest, if a place is half decent it will have plenty of good reviews anyway.
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    I only ever write reviews if A) it was absolutely fantastic, way better than anything else or B) it sucked.

    Don't feel bad.
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    (Original post by fairycakes)
    i write a lot of reviews, but most of them good. yesterday ileft a bad review on a review website for a restaurant i ate at on holiday. i was more annoyed at the fact it was given 4 and a half stars out of 5 for what i thought was very mediocre. looking at previous reviews, many were written by people who only have this one review under their belt, gushing in praise. often they would be 'liked' by at least 10 other people.
    As was mentioned by TheWalkinDude above, odds are that a lot (if not all) of those reviews were written by staff at the restaurant to try and artificially inflate its rating and make it look better than it really is, and they've probably used their multiple accounts to 'like' each of their reviews to make these reviews appear more credible (or if the site has a system for sorting reviews by 'most helpful' then the ones that have the most thumbs up will appear first so that's incentive for them to try and cheat the system as well)

    i wrote what i thought of the restaurant and got an angry message back from the restaurant today, challenging everything i wrote, then ending with something like 'think about consequences the families that work for this restaurant' and how selfish i was to not have thought about them.

    i feel bad, but also angry too!!
    Don't feel bad, if you were justified in what you wrote then that was your opinion of how service was on that night and you shouldn't feel bad for voicing your opinion. Their message to you is out of order, though. If they aren't prepared to accept criticism and take it on board then they're going to go down the toilet. There was an episode of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares or The F-Word or something like that and he asked for customers to rate and review their experience. At the end of the night he sorted the reviews into a big pile of positive reviews and a little pile of negative reviews. He then chucked the pile of positive reviews in the bin, and said that the guys should read the negative ones and learn from what customers didn't like so that they can improve the service in future...and that's how it should be, really.
    Were I in your position, to be honest, there's a part of me that'd be inclined to send a message back to them. Though quite how I'd reply, I suppose would depend on just how arsey their original message was. The defensive side of me would be tempted to tell them something like "You shouldn't bully customers who are simply giving their honest opinions, and trying to lay blame on the potential demise of the restaurant (and the knock-on effect that'd have on the employees and their families) at the hands of a single customer who gave a negative review on the internet is a despicable act that you should be utterly ashamed for. Rather than blaming the customers you should perhaps take a look at yourself and your employees who are failing to meet the expectations that these customers have (and I don't think it's unreasonable to have fairly high expectations when you are eating in a "four and a half star" restaurant and paying £XX for a meal) and seek to make improvements to your service so that other customers don't feel the same way in future."...but then, if the red mist hadn't descended then the slightly more arsey side of me might be inclined to instead reply with something like "I'm sorry you feel that way about what I have written regarding my experience at the restaurant. I don't particularly fancy having another restaurant owner with a stick rammed up their ass trying to emotionally blackmail me [Perhaps I'm going a bit far there :p:], so I'll be more generous with reviews when I visit other restaurants in the surrounding area just to avoid getting into a situation like this with anyone else. However, I will not remove the review that I have written about your restaurant or alter it to paint you in a more positive light [Assuming either of these is a possibility on the review website], and because of my experience in the restaurant and my encounter with you on here, I have no intention of visiting your establishment again and lining your pockets with any more of my hard-earned money and thus will never be writing a more positive review should you actually learn from your mistakes and make improvements when customers like myself make perfectly valid complaints"
    But then, that's me. If I gave my honest opinion of an experience and got a load of abuse from the owner or whoever then I sure as hell wouldn't stand for that, and (as much as it kills me in AAM on here :p:) there are times where I just cannot resist the need to have to get the last word in an argument.
    If the message you got is particularly aggressive then perhaps also look to see if the website has any way for you to report the person (whether that's done on-site like it is on here or via email) for the way in which they have been treating you and the website may decide to look into the person's correspondences with yourself and other customers on the site, and (particularly if you mention it) they may also look into the questionable positive reviews to make sure that they are legitimate reviews by actual customers; for obvious reasons, if you choose to report them and you're intending to reply to them as well, best to keep any offensive or overly inflammatory comments out of the messages you send them
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    I would edit my review to include the comments made by the restaurant at the end, helpfully labelled as the restaurant's response to my critique.
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    As long as you were professional in your review, I don't see anything wrong with it. There was a Japanese restaurant I used to patronise in the city; it was an amazing place- the decor, food, cocktails, atmosphere, and generally quite a relaxed place.

    It must have been the sixth or seventh time I visited the place with a friend, that the image previously created was completely destroyed. The food was undercooked, the service bad, the bar staff (both of them) were very cold and unwelcoming, and we were left waiting unnecessarily throughout our meal.

    I didn't leave a review, as I couldn't be arsed, quite frankly. To be sure though, that if I did, it would have been quite defamatory. Never mind this 'thing of the families who work there' cobblers; if you want to be seen as the archetypal restaurant of whatever theme it is, then you better keep up the service.
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    i wouldnt feel bad at all. it gives the restaurant advice on how to improve and stops future customers wasting their money if it was that bad.

    the restaurant shouldnt have messaged you personally. i agree with the comment above to edit your review to include what the restaurant said to you, even more reason for people not to go there
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    wow, i'm shocked that they sent you a message like that! if anything they should have been apologetic? you shouldn't feel bad at all, if i'm going to a restaurant i haven't been to before i'll always look at reviews to see peoples honest experiences, not something sugar coated (no pun intended :rolleyes:).
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    If what you wrote is true then you shouldn't feel guilty. Your the customer, they took your money. As for the angry message back from the restaurant thats a classic example of poor customer service. That in itself would put people off going if they read it! (it would for me anyway).
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    I don't leave "bad" reviews, I leave "honest" reviews. Tell the truth, and make sure you make it clear which bits are fact and which are opinion. For example don't let a rude waitress cloud your judgement on the food, as that is reflecting on the chef, not the person who served it. A review is about people telling others about their personal dealings with a company/restaurant, so never feel bad for being truthful.

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Updated: July 1, 2012
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