Thursday, February 13, 2014

Revenge Rating for fun and profit...

I have been writing on for almost 11 years.  I have many reviews there and generally try to follow the rules.  It took awhile to get the hang of writing there, but it's mostly been worth it.  A lot of the people who write on Epinions are pretty cool folks.  I have made a lot of real friends there and made some money.

However, every once in awhile, you run into someone who is a bit "odd"… The truly psycho people usually end up leaving or getting kicked off the site.  But those who are just a little odd often end up sticking around and even gain some clout on the site.  They are usually minor annoyances that flare up occasionally, much like a hemorrhoid or a cracked molar (which is also troubling me this morning).  

Yesterday, I wrote a review of Preparation H with Hydrocortisone.  It was a simple review, less than 500 words.  I've started using this product because I've been experiencing some itching where the sun doesn't shine.  I bought it for the itching, not because I think I have varicose veins in my ass (though for all I know, I might have them).  I wanted something that wasn't going to irritate my skin.

Because it's a review of an embarrassing product, I injected a little humor in my review.  Well, this morning I got  a rating and this comment from this rather odd Epinions member who, over the years, had left me weird comments and the occasional lowball rating.  She wrote that she can't use steroidal products and has to treat her itches homeopathically.  She suggests that I use apple cider vinegar, adding that she "say[s] it works better" than the product I reviewed.

I will admit, this is the first thing I read this morning as I was just opening my eyes and her comment annoyed me.  If you can't use a product because of your own idiosyncratic body issues, how do you know how it works for other people?  I can use steroidal products if I want to.  If you can't, because you have sensitivities, does that mean that I should automatically do what you do?  The person also said that apple cider vinegar burns, even if it is effective.  I prefer not to apply something that burns to my asshole.  I'm not into that kind of thing.  I left a polite response indicating that I prefer to use something that doesn't burn and I was glad she'd found a solution for her issues.

But then I go to another review, which this person rated "helpful".  In the past, I would have been annoyed by a "helpful" rating; but before the standards changed at Epinions, "helpful" was still considered a good rating.  I probably would have just let it go.  Since the dumbing down of the Epinions rating system, the "helpful" rating is now considered akin to what used to be a "somewhat helpful" rating.  And this person who left me this shitty rating did not leave a comment indicating why, so now I'm left guessing why she apparently didn't find my review acceptable.

Under normal circumstances, I usually ignore people like her.  I make a point of not engaging and won't read or rate their reviews.  But this morning, because I was so irritated, I did go to her page.  I read her latest review, which happens to be a music review.  She had a string of inflated ratings, some of which I personally didn't think she deserved.  I noticed her review was kind of hard to read, with no spacing between paragraphs and too much bolding.  She writes that it's because she's typing on a word pad instead of her computer.  That's an explanation, but it doesn't change my reading experience.  Besides, if she has her standards, then I must be entitled to mine.  

Anyway… I'm ashamed to say, I left her a "helpful" rating with no comment.  I was going to leave a comment because I think people should when they rate against the crowd.  But, I figure what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  If she asks, I'll tell her why I rated the way I did.  Thanks to the new rating system, it's hard to be offended… or is it?

I know this is childish behavior and maybe I should be ashamed of myself.  This person is a minor irritant in the grand scheme of things.  Honestly, I don't remember ever "revenge rating" in my many years on Epinions, despite being very tempted.  But Epinions is less satisfying than it once was.  The money is not as good anymore and frankly, my interactions with most of these idiosyncratic types are probably more trouble than they're worth.

Perhaps this is yet another sign I should write a book.


  1. You should write a book, but meanwhile, go ahead and leave ratings that make you feel better. People who apply caustic solutions to their nether regions and then have the gall to attempt get the rest of it to do the same are fair game.

    1. Yes, this was one situation in which I didn't feel the need to succumb to peer pressure.


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