Never Write a Bad Review for This Reason


If you are anything like me, you read a lot of reviews and specifically look for a bad review. Whenever I read a bad review, it may force me to think twice about that place, thing, or service. This is a good thing, of course, if the bad review justifiably details a fault, misinformation, or false advertising.

However, some bad reviews focus on an aspect that does not necessarily apply to a product or place. You might call this, “user error”. The person was upset by something within their own control and blamed the product or place. This is not a good reason to give a product or place a bad review. I will provide one example for both. Please, do not write a bad review based on user error.

A Bad Review Of A Place

I live in San Antonio, Texas, and visit a lot of places. My dog and I go on consistent adventures in order to find new dog friendly places and things to do. Many times I will look up a place prior to visiting it in order to ensure I know where I am going. Once in a while I read a few of the reviews. You probably do the same thing in order to decide whether or not to go to a specific place.

Most of the places we visit are dog parks, restaurants and parks with hiking trails. Most people provide one or two sentences about the place and give it a few stars based on what they thought. Once in a while I will notice a bad review (one star) and will view it out of curiosity. After reading the review I may notice that it had nothing to do with the place visited. Why write a bad review about a place when the offending aspect had nothing to do with it?

Think before writing a bad review based on one single instance.
Hey, there’s some washed up garbage over there. Should I drop four stars and tell people not to waste their time here?

Hemisfair Park In San Antonio

Recently I wrote an article about Hemisfair Park in downtown San Antonio. While obtaining specific details about Hemisfair, I noticed only a single bad review (one star) on a popular review site. Out of curiosity I read the review to find out what the person did not like about Hemisfair.

The reviewer stated that the major tourist attraction was not worth visiting because “there were many sketchy looking people roaming around” and “it did not feel like a very safe place” so it was “best to skip this area all together“.

You have got to be kidding me! You cannot blame a public place because of your insecurities about a group of people using it. If the “sketchy looking people” threatened you, or were working at the park and sought to cause you harm, that would be a different story. Please don’t write a bad review because you couldn’t deal with people using a very public space.

It has nothing to do with the park and could potentially deter people from a spectacular experience. Is the park a danger? Will the park cause harm to visitors? Does the appearance of the place match the description and other reviews?

These are reasons people will need to read a negative review. Writing a bad review about a park because you looked at someone and felt unsafe is similar to refusing to use your mouth ever again because you bit your own lip once while eating. It does not make sense!

Don't give a place a bad review when someone offended you.
That one dude was mean muggin people. Should I give this place one star and advise people not to bring their kids here?

A Review Of A Product

There is one similar instance pertaining to product reviews. We both probably read product reviews before deciding to make a purchase. Often times I will read a couple positive reviews and a couple of negative reviews prior to considering a product. Sometimes bad product reviews don’t have anything to do with the product. This is a problem.

Providing a bad review of a product when the product was not at fault, potentially deters people from using something that works well. The more bad product reviews you read, the more likely you are to run into one that qualifies as user error. One fabulous example is in the case where a reviewer did not read the description.

I see this type of review all the time, and I’m sure you’ve seen it as well. Some one purchases a product. The product is not what was expected because of the image. The purchaser writes a bad review about the product even though the description stated that the object in the image is not the item being purchased. First of all, who purchases an item without reading the description? Apparently a lot of people do this.

Does the reviewer go back and read the description to make sure they received an accurate product? Nope. They write a bad review which could have been avoided by reading a few simple sentences. Don’t be a victim of user error.

Writing a bad review because you didn’t read the description may deter others from purchasing a good product. At least state within the review that you received something you did not want because you did not read the description. Is anyone going to do that? Nah, it’s easier to blame someone else.

Don't give a bad review when you can do something about the situation.
There’s some litter on the ground. Should I pick it up, or give a bad review and tell others not to come because there was litter?

User Error

Before writing a review, consider whether or not it needs to be written. If a product does not work as described then, by all means, inform the general public so they can make a decision. The first backseat dog cover that I purchased did NOT perform at all as advertised. Consequently, I wrote “3 Reasons To Avoid This Backseat Dog Cover” to inform people that it does not measure up. On the other hand, if I find hiking gear that works really well, I may write about it so that more dogs can benefit.

If a product, place, or service are dangerous let us know! If something worked above expectations let us know. Are you a victim of false advertising? Let that be known, but don’t spread misinformation. That is worse than no information at all.

Think before you write. Writing a bad review because you did not want to blame yourself helps no one. It doesn’t even help you. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Learn from them and don’t repeat them.


I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.

We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.

Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly.  I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.

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David Earley

CPT, CES



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