Kids have you ever wondered to yourself ‘if only I could just coerce the hotel or restaurant to give me preferential treatment or else?’
Well now you’re wet dream has finally arrived….
uproxx: Let’s say you’re a douchebag, one of staggering proportions, the type of guy who goes around threatening to write bad reviews of businesses on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor if you don’t get exactly what you want. What do you do to take your douchiness to the next level?
Well, you pay $100 to a fellow staggering douchebag like Brad Newman — who noticed that making threats to trash establishments online got him preferential treatment in some places — for the “ReviewerCard.” It’s a surefire way to let everyone know you’re a repugnant prick who’d like to be treated “like Brad Pitt” the second you enter a bar or restaurant or hotel.
Kids tell me you’re not frothing at the gills and reaching out for that shiny $100 bill right now.
Then again what”s wrong with letting an establishment know that you’re watching them like a hawk and holding them accountable to the highest standard possible?
jezebel: Brad Newman (unfortunate last name), the 35-year-old founder of ReviewerCard, says the impetus for the business came when he received poor service in a French restaurant. Newman claims when he verbalized his plans to leave a negative review on TripAdvisor to the restaurant staff, he was immediately treated like a king. That sounds fair — you mention your spotty service and the restaurant tries to come correct (even though I kinda love that French restaurants have different service standards than do American ones. It’s a big, big world; customs are different all over!)
However, that small taste of power set wheels spinning in Newman’s scheming head.
“Why can’t waiters, hotel workers, concierges know that people are reviewers?” He asked. “If that French waiter had known at the beginning that I write a lot of reviews, he’d have treated me like Brad Pitt.”
And such is the birth story (sorry) of ReviewerCard, an ID given to prolific online reviewers to flash at bars, restaurants, wherever, to ensure best quality service from the scared shitless staff.
Scared shitless staff? Didn’t it use to be the other way round? Scared shitless diners fearing bad service and less than stellar amenities or food?
And what does this mean to those of us who go about blogging about such stuff without the pretense of exacting freebies?
This man is receiving free stuff, and it’s because of his clout and review power — shouldn’t he be held to the same standards as bloggers? I want to know if a review on TripAdvisor was influenced by the fact that the reviewer got a huge discount and a free bump of coke. Not revealing the entire truth of your visit decreases the value of having sites with “real reviews, real people”. We expect the “real people” on these sites would have an experience on par with what we could expect.
Isn’t it time you threatened to blackmail establishments into giving you what you naturally deserve, even if now they are just giving it to you for free just to get you off their backs?
And then there was these reflections that caught my attention as well:
In any case, I can imagine a high profile place doing everything in their power to get good reviews in the mag, which probably includes kissing up to the critic and eating up the paper bill themselves after (s)he is done eating. Not saying that it is justified here just cos it is practiced elsewhere and is accepted practice, but those food critics aren’t going to say, “Hey, there might be a conflict of interest here because Free Food!”
This is, of course, wrong on many levels and is an example of how the culture of amateurism that was once one of the Internet’s more endearing qualities has become a free-for-all unburdened by any thought of ethics or moral integrity.