Have you ever read a customer review of a product or service and that made up your mind to purchase it? Share your story!
I was on the fence about going to a workshop/seminar last weekend. It was a big investment of time and money. It sounded interesting, but I was leaning towards no. I decided to Google the event to see if anyone had anything to say about it.
I found one really lengthy review. It went on for page after page, detailing every step of the reviewer’s vain efforts to extract a refund from this horrible rip-off of a company. The more I read, the more my opinion of the reviewer lowered. It was almost like “They sold me the car, and now they expect me to DRIVE it?” He e-mails and calls them every day to get a refund, and now they won’t even return his calls.
And according to him, the president of the local chapter is a Godless Liberal Democrat.
I was looking for a birthday present for my best friend, an aspiring conductor. In a music shop, I saw a music trivia board game called “Classico” and, not finding any sample questions on the box, thought they would be along the lines of “Who composed ‘The Magic Flute’?” I went on amazon, and about 10 reviews said it was impossible to play because it was too difficult and the questions too obscure.
That’s what made me buy it - we are going to try the game out next week.
I won’t go into details about what the workshop was, but basically it was a large meditation group. The reviewer was pissed that they wouldn’t let him bring his cell phone into the meditation room. What calls was he planning to make?
“Hello, Frank? Yeah, I’m here! I’m meditating right now! What? Yeah, meditating! No, it’s not really doing anything for me. This enlightenment stuff is BULLSHIT!”
Back in college, I attended the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit after the sheriff threatened to arrest the museum director on obscenity charges. (In retrospect, that was an eye-opening experience for me, and not necessarily in a good way.)
Also in college, a friend dragged me to see John Derek’s film “Bolero” because protestors didn’t want it to be shown in Cincinnati. (The producer, when faced with an “X” rating, chose to release it as not rated.) While I was glad to stand up against censorship, and still am, the movie itself was just awful.
I would have bought Ben & Jerry’s new ice cream flavor “Schweddy Balls” had I been able to find them.
I love reading “TripAdvisor” reviews to find the one prick who lowers a star count for bizarre reasons. Like the reviewer who lowers a hotel’s star count because the hotel is not convenient to the event he’s attending…as if the hotel could just pick up and move its location on the reviewer’s whim. Or the person who complains about their crappy view, when they didn’t pay for an upgraded view.
Budget permitting (which is rare), I will check out restaurants that my boss – my evil, inexplicably successful, horrifically self-centered boss – badmouths. I figure that because she is so wrong so frequently on day-to-day business items, she probably is wrong in restaurant evaluations… and so far this has borne out.
I’m not sure, though, that this truly is in the spirit of the OP, since in my case I am acting counter to the **reviewer **rather than the review proper.
I felt I had found the right “Birds and Bees” book for my four year old when Amazon had a few one-star reviews from homophobic jackasses and Christian ultra-prudes decrying that it had actual facts about sexuality and reproduction in it. Why, there’s even a drawing of a couple in a bed together! Clutches pearls
I got the game Phantom Brave because of complaints that the stats system was just insane and it must have been created for OCD peeps who love fucking around with character building. It did not dissapoint.
Not exactly a negative review, but when the Miata first came out the original Consumer Reports review was mixed and complained about things like the fact that you can’t fit a wheel chair in the trunk. I decided that at that point in my life I wanted the type of car that Consumer Reports would hate and bought one.
I was very happy with it for 10 years until I had kids and needed a back seat and the sort of car where you could fit a wheelchair (or other large, bulky objects) in the trunk.
I look at negative reviews on Amazon for the same sort of thing, in parenting books. If the super-crunchy types or the ones who read James Dobson don’t like a parenting book, I figure there’s a chance I might. I’m trying to avoid either extreme.
Having a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire cured me of any desire to ignore or rebel against Consumer Reports’ car reviews. They said that car sucked, and it did.
I went to see ‘Kingpin’ following a scathing–but deadly accurate–review. The critic had detailed its numerous examples of lowbrow humor, fully expecting the reader to find them uninspired and unfunny. I laughed so hard at the descriptions that I HAD to see the movie.
I bought a new Toyota when they were getting all the bad publicity about runaway acceleration in the media. I knew most of the stories were wrong and I didn’t like the injustice even to a huge company. Old people and people of all types have reported runaway vehicles across all many models since cars were invented and it is usually their own fault. The media and mass hysteria makes new cases come out of the woodwork. It helped that Toyota was offering 0% financing and good prices because lots of people weren’t buying them at the time but I wanted to buy one just to give imbeciles the finger.
I do this, in a sense. If I’m looking to buy an item (say, a cell phone), I look mostly at the negative reviews. If the only negative things people have to say about the product are minor (“The indicator light on the rear is hard to see when I’m running in bright sunlight”) or off-topic (“Verizon ripped me off”), then I see it as a sign that I won’t have problems with it.
When visiting a friend of mine in a small town I noticed a newish pizza place on their downtown Main street. I asked if he had tried it yet.
He said he didn’t try it since he went in to get a large cheese and pepperoni to take home and all they had were gourmet individual pizzas that cost a fortune.
“Why go there when I can get Little Cesars for $5?”
I seriously can not wait to try this place out.
When shopping at Amazon I almost always base my decisions on the “most helpful” negative review. I find most of the positive reviews usually are "I just bought this and it’s awesome! While a well written negative review (for a good product) will say that the product is good but it wasn’t well suited to the reviewer for X Y and Z. I can then decide if X Y or Z matter to me.