I have honestly never understood how that “Angie’s List” website has stayed in business. Angie, who looks like a mini-van driving soccer mom, promises she can “put the power of the review right at your fingertips.” But just who are these reviewers? And why should I trust their opinions? I can ask my friends on Facebook and for the most part know who is a lunatic whose opinion I would never trust and who probably has a good recommendation.
While I do see the “power” in some reviews, I also see the pain.
We have a family vacation coming up and my husband has been reading every single TripAdvisor/Yelp/website review on every aspect of our trip from the airport transport services, to the resort to the nearby grocery stores and restaurants to the boating rentals and area parks, ferry and bus services, children’s activities, and on and on. You name it, he’s read it.
Frank just doesn’t want us to have any surprises. He likes being our over-prepared tour guide. And I do love knowing all the intel, but I also kind of hate it too.
As we were eating dinner one night and chatting excitedly about our trip, he said something like, “Overall the reviews on the resort were very positive, but one lady did say she found a woman’s long hair on her sheets and housekeeping refused to come change them. Oh, and they don’t provide shampoo and dish soap.”
Gasp! No shampoo and dish soap! These people must be barbarians. I told Frank not to worry, I’m always packing Prell and Palmolive when we are traveling (actually it’s Lanza hair products and Dawn dish detergent, but that just didn’t have the same ring to it), but we’re all good there.
But oh this woman who I don’t know who was complaining about the hair! I just immediately started to hate her and picture what she was like. She probably looks like Angie of Angie’s List fame, as she clearly had something against it being a woman’s “long hair” and how does she even know it was a woman’s long hair, it could have been a man’s. And I think we can all agree it’s better to find the long hair than the short one on your sheets, if you know what I mean.
But I find it hard to believe they “refused” to change her bedding. I bet even the Bates Motel would have taken care of that, as Mother wouldn’t have approved of bad customer service.
No, I’m sure she was just some neurotic clean freak who goes into a room looking for something to complain about or someone trying to play the system looking for upgrades or something for free. I would bet, if this “hairstory” is even true, they probably changed her sheets, but just not in the very nanosecond she wanted it to happen. And so she got her panties in a twist and let her fingertips start revenge reviewing. Oh the power!
But now, even though the resort had 98 percent positive reviews and our friends have said it was great and I really hate this lady, I still have it in my head that we may encounter hairy sheets. Damn her!
And our pain may not stop there.
My poor husband has read so many charter boat reviews, he actually said he was considering creating a spreadsheet because many of the services use the same boats and some are charging different prices for the exact same vessels and they all have different reviews on such things, such as if the AC worked well, if the engines were in good shape, what the crew was like or how the food and beverages stacked up.
Frank just wants to make sure we have a good time and spend our money wisely, but when we have to involve Excel, are things just getting out of hand? I am sort of longing for the days of my childhood, where every part of your vacation was an unreviewed adventure and at least if you went to a restaurant with sucky crab claws, you could just listen to your grandfather complain about it the rest of the week.
“They were clearly fried in old grease and they had the nerve to charge us that ‘market price’ BS! We will never go there again!”
I know PaPa, I know.
But now I’m so paranoid, I want Frank’s boat spreadsheet because I certainly don’t want to end up on an S.S. Minnow whose engine always seems to go out or the one that smells like mold or God forbid we get the boat that had six guests and those SOBs only provided five bottles of water. We can bring our own cooler, so I can live with the stingy water captain, but I can’t repair a boat engine, so that one is pretty important.
And it’s like this with absolutely everything now from restaurants to clothing.
I have read some absolutely horrible Yelp reviews on restaurants where I have never had anything but a fantastic experience. I honestly think some people are just never going to be satisfied and those are the people who comment the most and whose opinions I respect the least. It’s maddening.
But for some reason, I keep reading them.
When I was looking to buy a dress online recently, I read reviews on several of my top choices. One reviewer would say this is the best dress ever, it runs a little big and I would buy it in five colors if they offered it. The next would say the same dress was completely unflattering, runs small and was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!! (All caps and exclamation points, this woman wanted to murder this dress and tinkle on its grave. Poor little black dress.).
But then I asked myself, why the hell am I even reading reviews on clothing? We all have such different bodies. Two women who are the exact same height and weight (which many clothing sites require you to put on your review now) are still going to have different parts they want to highlight or hide, so it’s just so dumb.
I don’t know, Ang, I guess there is some power in your reviews and all the others, but I’m beginning to think it’s just the power to drive you insane. I may just start exercising the “power” to make up my own mind, even if I do end up with a long hair or two on my sheets.