NROP: Rate me!

Recently, I moved out of my old apartment complex. They have been emailing me ever since, asking me to rate them and leave a review. Stop emailing me! We are no longer in a relationship, and I don’t feel like helping you find my replacement, nor do I want to stoop down and drag you through the mud. Find your self-worth on your own instead of from online reviews.

A few years ago, when I was playing with various options on my blog, I added the possibility for people to either up or downvote other people’s comments. While I was aware that it might create drama, all I was trying to do was ensure engagement. I figured the up/down votes would make people want to get to know one another better.

None of it happened. No one rated the post or up/down voted the comments. Maybe my blog was too fresh, and people were not really comfortable with that then. In a way, I am glad it did not work out. Now, I understand (more than before) how reacting to someone else’s comment can create a whole bunch of off-topic drama that spirals out of control.

There was also an option to be enabled that allowed people to rate my post. It was easy for me to pass up on, as the stars are often allocated very subjectively and serve as terrible feedback (vague) without a review/ comment explaining it.

Back in the day, I used to work in a customer-facing position, and one of my tasks was to obtain satisfaction ratings. It was then that I saw firsthand how much of a lie this thing is. First of all, there were ways to keep the unhappy customer from doing the survey. Secondly, some of those who were happy with their experience did not even read the questions. They just asked me to point where the highest rating was for them to select. Totally meaningless, but it made us ‘look good’ and kept us on the payroll.

During a work evaluation, we were told that the top mark isn’t really used. The lowest wasn’t either. Then, why not get rid of 1 and 5 and just leave 2, 3, and 4? I guess in a world where everyone’s special but no one really is, all that is left is the middle…

I don’t do much rating myself.

I don’t travel by Uber.

I rarely order food online.

My old apartment complex would give new people $5 off on monthly rent if they agreed to post a positive review and field questions from potential residents in an inviting manner. (Isn’t that slave labor for the leasing office?)

I don’t feel the need to post reviews of things or places online. While I have done a couple of those in the past, things have to be either REALLY good or TERRIBLY bad for me to go through the hassle of logging in to whatever website (because I am just dying to have to remember another username and password) and leaving a review.

A year or so ago, I decided to rate the books I borrow from the library so that – if one day I want to re-read something – I have an easier time choosing it. (This will probably never happen as there are just SO many new books out there.) More so, I did it so that – if someone asks me for a recommendation – I am able to actually tell them what I enjoyed. (Most books are average and below average, so there are not very many recommendations here.) I quickly discovered that I rate things in the heat of the moment and that I don’t stop to think about comparing one book to another with the same rating (not that I think I should). What does that mean? It means that I might give 3 stars to two different books and like one more than the other. I.E. the rating method is not very objective. Some bloggers that I follow specialize in reviews (of books, movies, restaurants, etc.), and they use a five-star rating. They often tell me that the review holds the real rating, not the stars, and I agree.

We’ve all seen 1-star reviews with no explanation. It always made me wonder if the product/ place was really that bad or if there was more to it than meets the eye. Apparently, some 1-star reviews are not honest. (And you bet that some of the 5-stars aren’t either!)

Last week, I stumbled upon an article in which I read about rating scammers. People from foreign countries (although I would not be surprised if there were some US citizens that played this dirty game, too) blackmail US restaurants. They spam Google with 1-star reviews of a specific restaurant and then reach out to said restaurant with an apology. In that communication, they express their regret (We don’t want to do it, but we have to survive somehow.) and ask for gift cards in exchange for taking down the reviews.

Some restaurants were successful in asking Google to remove those reviews (term violation since the reviews are ‘not real’), but not all. This opens up a whole other can of worms. I’ve written a 1-star review before, and within hours, it disappeared. Why? Because I don’t post enough reviews, and Google thought that it wasn’t ‘real…’ How does Google figure that out? You can argue that a person a million miles away did not visit a restaurant in the US, but why? What if they did? Will you ask people for receipts when posting a review? I don’t see another way of verifying whether a restaurant review is real. But then, what if you go out to dinner with someone and you don’t get the receipt because they pay the bill?

So, if you have not known that already – don’t 100% trust the reviews you see on the Internet. Some of them might have been written by people who have never tried the product/ been to the place they are reviewing. Additionally, most reviews are not complete – what matters to the reviewer might not to me and vice versa. Heck, we might even have completely opposite opinions on the same thing. People disagree on everything these days. What makes you think that they do on products and places?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you are not sure what to write about, here are some questions that might spark an idea.

  • Do you do a lot of rating? If so, on what?
  • Do you pay attention to reviews of a product/ place when making a purchasing decision?

Stay golden,

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44 thoughts on “NROP: Rate me!

Add yours

  1. I find reviews helpful when they are specific, such as more than one person had the same problem or success. More weight is given when the reviewer has a name, even better if they have social media. If I take the time to review something, I can take one more minute to sign my name to it. Anonymous reviews can be spam or a rival competitor.
    This post gets a golden thumbs up.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t do on-line reviews and rating mostly for the reasons you listed but if we are making a large purchase we usually look for reviews. I do look for reviews with substance, listing the reasons they liked or didn’t like the product.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I definitely pay more attention to reviews when more money is involved.

      While I don’t care for reviews most of the time, I appreciate the reviewers every now and again because if everyone was like me or you (didn’t write them), then we might have made some wrong purchasing decisions…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone who’s learning the ropes of writing and marketing (fledgling author, hehe), I’m slowly beginning to review/rate things. It’s an interesting process…
    I don’t like rating without a review because it looks fishy and doesn’t help the next guy very much. I also try to look coherent in said review because if you can’t or don’t spell things well and use poor grammar left and right, you look like one of those scammers, or a drunk who’s posting without thought. On the flip side, if you get too rambly, nobody wants to read your epoch on why the book was awesome/terrible… XD
    Guess I still need to figure out the magic formula!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I absolutely hate promoting myself (I use it as an explanation for why I’m not world famous just yet. Hahahahah)

      You make a good point regarding spelling and general coherence.

      I find myself either being too superficial/ vague or going into too much detail. Magic formula yet to be found.

      Thanks for stopping by and stay golden!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ratings are a hot topic for me.
    I’ve posted many articles on the subject.
    Basically, all social voting is pointless because it’s free. It costs nothing to click a button.
    That and the fact that a “3” in a 1-5 rating provides ZERO information. Paraphrasing Rush: If you choose not to pick a side, you fail to influence anyone, so why bother?
    Search Rating on my site…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One of the few times I posted a review was for a restaurant that had very reasonable prices for everything on the menu – almost. We asked about the stone crab claws that the owner had just caught that day, and he highly recommended them, so we ordered some for an appetizer – four little claws on a plate, which we ate in a bite or two. When the bill came, we discovered we had been charged over $60 for the appetizer – more than the rest of the dinner for 3 put together. I felt I needed to warn people to ask the price before ordering anything “special.” In fact, we were warning people in the restaurant on our way out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s possible to be too preoccupied (obsessed?) with the opinions of others. We can’t write for everyone, so we each need to prayerfully pick our target audience and prayerfully write what we believe God wants us to say. (His opinion is the only one that matters.) Then pray some more. 😉 We aren’t called to be popular, we’re called to be faithful. If your blog reaches one person with something good the Lord wants to convey, it was successful.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. As an author reviews of my work are precious (ratings are much less so). It’s very rare to get feedback from someone that I don’t know and might be compelled to distort their feedback to manage my feelings. I’ve gotten both “five star” review/ratings and “one star” review/ratings for the same work so their is diversity of perspectives out there. All valid (although the one star hurt…I’m not going to hide it).

    As for giving reviews I tend to only do highly personal reviews such as recommendations for people related to employment opportunities and such. Something that will actually be (potentially) useful and not just a marketing gimmick.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Diversity of perspective’ – well put. Yes, less than perfect rating can sting.

      I can definitely understand your reason behind writing reviews and I fully agree. If it’s not gonna do anything, why bother to just tick someone’s box. And if it’s going to get lost in a sea of reviews – same as above.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Goodness, I hadn’t realized what a terrible cycle you could get thrown into with rating systems, or that they were being used by scammers in this way. Thank you for the warnings. In most cases, it really feels that if someone reviews something, it should be because they personally want to do so–not because someone told them that they needed to do it. And it is often too difficult to judge something by ratings alone. So sad.

    Liked by 3 people

          1. Sometimes, yes. I do have faith that there are more good people than bad. The bad ones can just be the loudest at times, or have the most publicity because of their disastrous actions. Compassion and love are oftentimes quieter, but they do make a huge difference and are contagious in their own ways. ^_^

            Liked by 1 person

  8. The murky world of reviews…. There’s a Black Mirror episode on the pursuit of reviews and ratings I think it’s called Nose Dive…

    Anyhoo there’s this service I’m subscribed to, ostensibly it list services and softwares and asks if there’s any I use and in exchange for an “honest” rating I get a gift card 💳… After discovering that, I don’t hold much stock on some ratings but seems like big business.. But hey it keeps the spotify subscribed 🙈

    As you know I occasionally post reviews on my blog; I once wanted to come up with a fancy rating system like in coffee cups or something…. but those things are like apples and oranges so I opted for just breaking down into good and bad then leaving others to make their own conclusion


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried that in the past but after answering a bunch of questions they would tell me that I did not qualify. Quite a scam, so I gave up. Good for you that you are actually able to get something in return (as long as those reviews are true).

      I like your good/bad/ugly rating. Apples and oranges indeed. However, I also think coffee cups would be fun.


  9. The murky world of ratings…. There’s a Black Mirror episode on the pursuit of reviews and ratings I think it’s called Nose Dive…

    Anyhoo there’s this service I’m subscribed to, ostensibly it list services and softwares and asks if there’s any I use and in exchange for an “honest” ratings I get a gift card 💳… Apparently it’s a legit marketing enterprise.
    After discovering that, I don’t hold much stock on some ratings but seems like big business.. But hey it keeps the spotify subscribed 🙈

    As you know I occasionally post reviews on my blog; I once wanted to come up with a fancy rating system like in coffee cups or something…. but those things are like apples and oranges so I opted for just breaking down into good and bad then leaving others to make their own conclusion


    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such an interesting and valid post, Sam. I’m sorry I’m so late getting to read it. It’s chaos here, getting ready for my son and grandchildren to move in! Reviews – I hate rating companies with whom I’ve done some sort of business. Every time I interact online with an organisation, I receive a customer services survey which I get so fed up with. Only if someone has provided me with top-quality service will I bother to leave a review. Ratings alone don’t mean that the honest picture about said company is real. The same goes for if I’ve received appalling customer care or service.

    As for looking at reviews before I purchase something, it depends on how big a purchase I’m about to make. I do read the reviews but feel the 5-star rating is unnecessary and not always an accurate picture. I trust some companies more than others. I think places like Argos (not sure if you have that in the US), Tesco’s and other well-known stores are more reliable. Although I shop quite a bit on Amazon because of my inability to get ‘stuff’ back from town in a wheelchair, I don’t trust the reviews as I feel so many of them aren’t genuine. X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope things will calm down for you somewhat soon enough.

      Absolutely! I also noticed on Amazon that for some reason not everyone seems to get the same product. I see some people say they got a knock-off. It makes me wonder if every now and again a lemon is sent on purpose to try to save money.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. -Do you do a lot of rating? If so, on what? I used to when Yelp was mew. Every restaurant we ate at, we’d review, but I only did that for a couple years, then stopped, unless it was really horrible or really terrific. I sporadically post reviews on Amazon, Google, FB, and the like for the same reasons. I regularly review Avon products, particularly jewelrt, fashion, and makeup, but I do not use a rating system.

    -Do you pay attention to reviews of a product/ place when making a purchasing decision? Yes. I usually read a few 1s, a few 5s, and several of the in betweens to get a more realistic overall picture of the pros and cons. It nearly always works out as anticipated.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I rate the delivery service on my pizza. You can tell the drivers are doing their best, but sometimes the store is very slow in getting my order started. I give bad reviews by just not patronizing the business anymore. I don’t rate restaurants because I used to be on the management and crew side of the business and how I would do business is not how they do business. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s not. Rating someone’s opinion (liking or whatever) I may do on Facebook, but not often. Your stuff is amazing and mind bending. I jump out of my seat when I see you’ve posted something. Weeeee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Before I moved, I had this place that I would frequent and their pizzas were always done ahead of time. So, I kept going back. Just before I moved, I ordered and it was late by like 40 minutes. Not sure what happened there (worker shortage? new management?). Have not gone back since.

      Awwww, I appreciate your kind words! Stay golden!


    2. P.S. I meant to mention it a few days ago – I noticed you linked your business website to this account, which I think is a great idea, but then I find it harder to get to your personal blog. I wonder if it’s possible to have multiple pages linked?


  13. Fully with you on the annoyance of being asked to rate everything you ever buy! Although I can see the marketing purpose behind it, it is usually just that… for marketing purposes. It’s not usually because the organization truly wants to change something if they made you unhappy.

    Having also worked on the customer-facing side at one point, however, I remember really trying to drive our reviews campaign to increase the company’s Google ranking. Usually this meant only our happiest customers would agree to leave a review– and the folks who posted unhappy reviews were typically the kind of people who just liked to vent rather than customers who truly wanted to see a company procedure change.

    To your point about star-ratings… yes, those are very difficult to validate. Comments leave more room for genuine, qualitative feedback– or they can also be the stage on which customers who missed their theatrical calling get to exercise their dramatic talents. So what you get can either be useful or just… amusing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fished this out of Spam. Ugh. But I’m glad because I was wondering why you didn’t stop by to say ‘hi.’ (Semi-serious only. I know you’re busy conquering the world!)

      “It’s not usually because the organization truly wants to change something if they made you unhappy.” Precisely.
      Useful is good. Amusing can be good at times, too. But not all reviews fall into those two categories, unfortunately.

      Stay golden!


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