People tend to love their products, and they have opinions about their purchases. Here at Test Freaks we value the reader’s input, and have found that the reader’s reviews are invaluable in giving other readers a great insight on products they are researching.
However, sometimes those wonderful shared opinions can be rather strong. Wait, let me rephrase that – they can border on hate spewing. But in reading the “hate”, we have found a pattern to it. There tends to be four general types of hate review writers. So, we thought it would be interesting to explore these four types, along with some memorable examples:
The “Misguided” reviewer is the one that simply has it wrong, and they trash the product in the process. These are the folks that speak before they think, and obviously do the same when they buy. Often the misguided reviewer has unrealistic expectations of the product, and they do not mind sharing their ignorance.
Take for example this review of a Cuisinart food processor:
“I have owned a large Cuisinart and tiny Black and Decker food processor in the past. I was looking for something to puree baby food with. This is an attractive product but when I got it home and tried pureeing some pot roast with cooked potatoes and cooked carrots, I could not believe the noise it made. Kind of a cross between a jet engine and a dentist’s drill. My kids (toddler twins) burst into tears and I was really appalled. I would never use something this loud near them or near my own ears. I am returning it tomorrow and will try buying another Black and Decker mini chopper.”
Now, I am not sure what she expects from a food processor. The action of grinding up raw materials into puree is simply not a quiet process. I am also not sure how close she had her ear (or the twins) to the device, but I think it was too close. I do love the scene she paints, though – it is like something straight out of Mommy Dearest with the kids screaming and the jet engines harmonizing with the drill – poetic.
Another misguided reviewer, who just bought Bioshock 2:
“This game is a total nightmare to install,which has been documented by so many others.
I’d like to add a couple of comments.
1. It requires 11 Gigs on your drive
2. It auto installs on your C drive and no way to install on a different drive.
My C drive is Raid 0 using two Intel X25 80 Gig SSD’s and I sure don’t want 11 GIGS installed on it.
I was never able to get into the game due to a “required” update that would not install and when the update does not install, your only option is quit to desktop. How stupid it that? “
Now, the first problem we have here is that the computer only has a total of 80g storage (configured as a raid setup). This is not a gamer’s machine. In today’s games it is not uncommon for many gigs of storage to be the norm. Add to that a required setup (Direct X or video driver, maybe?) that never finishes, and you have a user dead in the water. Again, this is not a gaming machine, and it probably does not have the needed video hardware.
Anyone that has spent any time on a newsgroup or a forum already knows what a troll is. When it comes to leaving reviews, the “troll” is simply there to bash and degrade others. Trolls will often attack highly rated items and its associated reviewers. You will rarely find much of value in a troll’s review, but they can be entertaining nonetheless.
Consider this review left for the game Okami:
“The only way I can explain all the good reviews for this game is that clearly all the people who hate it are trying to forget that they dropped a chunk of change on it and it’s absolutely awful. … Although there’s a certain amount of (enjoyable) discovery required for other games, Okami takes this to a rather unenjoyable level. … We’ll be selling Okami on craigslist the first chance we get. The up-side to all of these misleading good reviews is that we shouldn’t have any trouble unloading it!”
Obviously the reviewer did not care much for what they “discovered” on the game, and they think it’s awful. However, I bet they were all smiles when they sold the game.
The “Unhappy” Customer wants to tell you about an experience, not necessarily about the product itself. They want to share their grief and tragic story, so that it may save others. It is posted as a cautionary tale, otherwise you too may suffer the same fate. At least that seems to be their intentions.
Consider this review for a GPS from an obviously unhappy customer:
“This GPS unit is not as shown in the pictures. The pictures show topo maps, which are not included. … I called Garmin to ask if I could download a topo map, being as the picture description lead the buyer to believe it was included. However, after a long wait, the guy was very unhelpful and unfriendly…. Another thing I don’t like about this unit, is that the bright screen goes dark a couple seconds after you hit the button, therefore causing you to continually refresh the bright screen to use it. I haven’t taken the time to see if I can change settings and lengthen the bright screen, as I’m taking it back anyway.”
So, they bought the GPS, and the picture showed it loaded up with a topo map that is not included. Since the topo maps cover very specific areas and the GPS can hold only a limited amount of these, I do not know how Garmin could think ahead to load the exact maps the end customer needed. On top of that, the reviewer spent more time writing about the backlight timeout than it would have taken to change the setting. Again, maybe Garmin should have read the customer’s mind and preset it accordingly.
Another Unhappy reviewer, this time for a blender:
“This product has been a nightmare experience. The blade attachment falls out each time I try to make a blended drink. Liquids end up all over floors and counter tops, and pricy beverage ingredients are wasted.”
Wasted pricey beverages – no wonder the user is upset. But as to how it ends up all over the floors and counter tops is a mystery. Were they trying to fix the blades while it was on? Maybe they were imbibing on those pricy beverage ingredients during the preparation?
The “Rager” will rant, rage, and joke about a product in an approach that borders on the obscene if not possessed. But when the smoke clears and hearing returns, it is an almost satirical review that can be fun to share. It is no wonder that this is the most popular type of hate review.
Here we have a full on Rager that is simply not happy about their computer:
“this computer sucks! I can not stress that enough. I have had this dog now for 3 years and it is awful. … Also, they have these keys around the mouse for retriving your mail and for shopping–very easy to hit these key by accident–only if you use companies associated with them, well if you hit these keys your stuck and you can’t get out of the set up form without setting up an account and it is a major problem, if you have a dead line to meet and this computer won’t let you out. … But this dog is a machine I will have it’s memory wiped out and then I will smash it with a sledge hammer! Best to put it out of it’s misery.”
Apparently they keep hitting the function keys and setting up new accounts… which makes them late for their “dead lines”. After 3 years I bet they have hundreds of accounts and growing… At least they know how to use a sledgehammer. And all of this for a computer that has given three years of great service, even it was time spent mostly on filling out unwanted forms.
Another Rager has found that the game Agent Under Fire was not up to their expectations:
“This game [is bad]. I think that this was not a good idea. The graphics [are bad], the gameplay [is bad], and the multiplayer is even worst. Hopefully the next Bond game will kick this ones fat … back to the industry to teach the makers a lesson!!!”
This one is funny, and I love the way they emphasized the bad with brackets. The reviewer is so creative that they are even going to teach the makers a thing or two. Wow, we are honored to have his review.
Another Rager apparently does not like their Nokia phone:
“Pros: There are honestly no pros on this phone except for the fact i can call people with it.
Cons: The keys are too small to be able to text.
It has no other options for ring tones.
Confusing main menu set up.
Summary: Bottom line is i am returning the phone today and i just got it last night. This phone was the worst experience i have had with any cell phone.”
Well, luckily they can call people with the phone, even if they can’t change their ring tones. It sounds like it is a low end cell phone that mostly lets you make and receive calls. If this is the case, I can hardly see how this could be the worst experience they have had with a cell phone.
And another Rager with a disappointing Avatar video game:
“This game was complete garbage, The game was so talked up as being something of a bright future in gaming. The graphics were support to be ground breaking. — They are not, they are ok, but they drive the game down for being laggy. The controls are awful and the gameplay is pretty boring. The environments are large and interesting.( that is the only good I can say about the game). I can’t believe that this game was created as such garbage. DO NOT BUY!”
The only good thing is apparently a large and interesting environment. Well, if you really expected the game to be “a bright future in gaming”, then you are going to be disappointed. And so they were.
So there you have it… a quick rundown (with examples) of some of the hate reviews we get and the kind folks who leave it. While it is best to leave a well thought out, accurate review there is occasionally information to be learned from even these kinds of reviews. So, in a nutshell, if we want to have the most information, we might as well get used to seeing these types of reviews. Maybe by learning to categorize them it will be easy to see the humor and, in the end, appreciate them for the works they are.