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The www is being overwhelmed by marketers

Until somewhat recently there were a great many www sites to post negative criticism of companies and products but all such sites have been bought out or overwhelmed by the companies that wish to avoid being criticized. Several years ago I went to a travel advisory web site and posted a negative comment about a particular motel where I had stopped for the night while traveling. Today, that site remains but negative remarks are not allowed. Any posting there is sent through a reviewer and negative remarks are supposedly forwarded to the target of the remark while positive comments are posted. A similar situation seems to be occurring in all areas. Pollyanna and the three monkeys have taken over the web. IF YOU DON’T HAVE SOMETHING GOOD TO SAY, JUST KEEP QUIET. A good reputation is now a marketable commodity.

It always was. And it has calculable monetary value to a business.
And negative remarks can now have calculable litigous value…called “DAMAGES”!

Let us not forget that many of the positive reviews posted on the web are planted there by small companies that are paid to do so by the manufacturers of a product, or the owners of a hotel, or whoever is going to benefit from the sale of the product.

The old Roman warning, Caveat Emptor, was never more accurate!

This negative criticism factor has also begun to creep in to many online newspapers as well. Most comments sections about a certain story will allow you to “thumbs-up” a story until the moon is blue. If you want to make a “thumbs-down” vote then it will only allow you to do so once you have joined their group and have identified yourself. That way…you only get to add a negative comment once.

Just emailed to VP of a company (just promoted) to get out of his office and listen to the customer service reps and his customers, especially to his customers who are switching. I’d email the CEO/COO to give my opinion but he gets paid too much and probably gets a big parachute for driving the company into oblivion

I used the ‘‘contact us’’ selection on a restaurant site and got a personal phone call the very next day !
I was appologeticaly comped two free meals with salad bars and the store manager was corrected about policy.

We DO go back to that restaurant after such a positive response to a complaint.

When complaints come in to our car dealership there are meetings and reviews with any relative personel. They are not swept under the rug or ignored nor is there any way to pretend they don’t exist.

I DID notice that my negative complaint about a Christmas TV purchase just somehow didn’t seem to get posted.

I continue to see negative reviews on travel and dining web sites. Lots of them.

EBay started a policy of everything is rosy a few years back. It doesn’t matter how big or how bad a buyer perpetrated scam is, the seller cannot leave a negative feedback in the ratings.
However, the buyer can refuse to pay, switch a product or parts, etc and get an eBay mandated refund while bad mouthing the seller’s feedback.

Some buyers have been known to keep a product and return a brick for a refund while accusing the seller of fraud with the seller being unable to return the negative feedback favor.
In a nutshell, no buyer would ever try to pull anything in eBay’s world.

A few years back there was an anti-Wal Mart site and WM managed to take them down legally.

My pet peeve is when searching for ANYTHING on the web, especially information of a technical nature, that you have to wade through the slush of dozens of worthless ads that are robot-generated. Example: If I search for “iguana lifespan”, I’m likely to get 5 or more ads offering me “Get the best price on iguana lifespan!!” before I get to the useful part of the search results.

I would take perverse pleasure at seeing the marketing dweebs that so pollute the web get a public pelting with rotten vegetables.

The WWW is still the wild west, which is what makes it both great and scary.

I agree with @oblivion. I also hate some search engine “auto complete” features. There is nothing like typing away for a few seconds and they stop any input you are making and go off somewhere with what they think you intended to type. It’s never right.

We seem to be overwhelmed with a carnival midway of electronic shuck and jive barkers. They often wear me down and I give up my search. Out of curiosity I recently entered the firing order of most GM V-8s, 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2, on the google search line and sure enough, there were “sources for the best prices on 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2” “find the best inventories…” Find the latest version of …" etc. And for a short time afterward a pop up would appear with “Todays best deals on 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2” Someone suggested bing and I did but found that website had its own gauntlet.

Many many years ago the founder of Wendys tasked one of his VP’s to reduce the number of complaints they were getting in his district. So he removed the Complaint boxes. He was fired the following day.

Companies that truly care about their customers WANT criticism. That’s the ONLY way they’ll get better. Any company that actively seeks out ways to stop criticism is a company you DON’T want to deal with.

NBC news said Internet is rife with bogus sweepstakes crap. I got an email from visa 2 yrs ago and it said I won a $500 gift card for promo. I called visa customer service since I have visa card and YES, I did win. Now, that is cool.

“Many many years ago the founder of Wendys…”

Good Ole Dave. A real American hero.

I really don’t put much faith in any of the consumer comments-good or bad. I just don’t think they are particularly reliable and current.

I have to have a little sympathy for the Wendy’s VP. We had an employee suggestion box for a while and I finally just took it out. Trying to respond to some of the absurd suggestions just took too much staff time. People just didn’t have sufficient information to make an educated suggestion on business matters anyway. I found it far better to just move around and talk to people or get small groups to interact on discussion of issues. If you are out there talking to people, you’ll get ideas. The Wendy’s folks should have just had their managers out there talking to their customers instead of a suggestion box IMHO anyway. And, I’ve always felt that its not my responsibility as a customer to tell the business what’s wrong-that’s their job not mine.

Speaking of Wendys though, man they have some work cut out for them. Some of those places are really dumps, staffed by idiots. The designs should have been modernized years ago.

“Some of those places are really dumps, staffed by idiots.”

That can be said for a lot of fast food places, not just Wendy’s.

I despise the direction the web has went,when you are trying to find something you have to look at the web address to see if its Bona Fida.I remember a few years back on a commercial ,they had this retro airhead saying bravely ,something about keeping the internet free.Its never been free in my experience.I’ve always had to pay for the service and buy the computers and modems and what have you,its time we had an advocate to help us out a little bit,Now they want to erase any advantage we had in commerce on the internrt by taxes and what have you-I always take the user reviews with a grain of salt now,got a lot of bad advice that way(everybody has an opinion)-Kevin

One recent development on the Web (actually it’s been around for a while…but it’s getting to be huge)…are when you try to download and install a free piece of software. So some new web-sites have popped up that will let you download this FREE software. And it is free…they aren’t charging you anything for it. HOWEVER…what they are doing is forcing you to INSTALL their INSTALLER. This is NOT as simple as it seems…some of these installers won’t let you install ANY software unless you now install it through THEIR installer. And every time you install something they send it out to their clients telling them what you are installing so you can be targeted for emails. I had to install a simple product (Notepad++) on a new laptop. I went to 5 different web-sites before I found one that didn’t require me to download their installer.

If you see these sites…stay away. They are NOT legitimate sites…