Tuesday, May 2, 2017

One-Star * Reviews

I had recently posted my first ever one-star review.

My stance on reviews is to post them only when I want to endorse a product. I never post two or three star reviews. Fine for others to do so, but I don’t see the point of mentioning “meh” feedback. For one-star, I feel that no attention is the right course.
Books, specifically, die of no-reviews faster than of bad reviews.
When it comes to books, if the book was so-so and not to my taste, I can’t imagine why anyone else needs my feedback. If the book was Baaaad I wouldn’t have read it to the end. I don’t care to review something I haven’t read to the end.
When it comes to products, they either more-or-less deliver on their promises, or they don’t. (The only books I could judge by that criterion are the How-to books, and if I thought a book would solve my emotional angst or show me how to get rich quick, I deserve to have gotten a dud.)
So no one-two-three star reviews from me.
Except I did just do that. The one star review I gave was to a product that came with a five-rear warranty. It was from a nationally known manufacturer. The seller was our largest internet retailer.
And it failed after one week.
I looked at the warranty. It states clearly— do not return to place of purchase. It gives a toll-free number to call where their customer service will instruct you how to proceed.
So I called. A recording kept saying no one is there right now, and to call later.
So I called later. I called daily for a whole week. Same recording.
So I used their website to make contact and ask what to do.
I got an automated response via Email saying my query was very important to them, and someone will contact me shortly.
That was two months ago.
Hence my one-star review. On the same site I saw I was not alone. No kidding.


I feel better. I still have a defective product, but I had done my civic duty.

 What's your review policy?


  1. If it's a book that's not as good as I expected it to be, especially a book by a blogger, I keep my mouth shut. For a lousy product or bad service, I always try to solve the problem. If the company won't work with me, I will leave a one-star review and provide specifics about what is wrong. The public deserves to know what they're getting into if they buy from certain companies or go to a dentist whose billing office says after four years that they don't take my insurance and never did.


  2. I'm more likely to rate a book, say on Goodreads, if I really liked it. Otherwise, I don't bother. One thing I recently found out is that you can rate anybody's book on Amazon even if you didn't buy it on Amazon, so I immediately rated a few I'd read and enjoyed.

  3. Like you (until now) I never give anything less than 3 stars (out of 5) to a book. If I didn't like it, I don't take the time to write a review or give stars.

    Oh, I just remembered, I did once give a bad review on my blog to a horror movie I'd seen on tv. I explained why I didn't like it. But I did NOT name the movie.

  4. Okay, in a situation like that, the one-star review was definitely merited. You're helping other people from going through the same thing by reporting what happened to you.

    For books, I actually stopped reviewing because I'm an editor and author, and Amazon can be weird about me reviewing books for those reasons. I do promote books I love on social media, though. The ones I don't love aren't mentioned anywhere.

  5. I have the same review policy, but it's mostly because writing is a small world and it's most likely I know or will meet the authors of the books I review at some point. It's also because I know the hard work that goes into writing a book--and some books aren't bad, they are just not my taste.

    But you brought up a good point about how bad reviews can make a bad book live on, which of course, I wouldn't want to do either.

  6. I agree with your review policy including letting other buyers know about bad experiences with products/companies. I'm sorry you had such a frustrating time with that one product.

  7. Product, travel, and service reviews like your one-star can help others avoid being scammed.

  8. Mirka, I think your reviews are important, whether 1,2, or 5-star. Other consumers rely on genuine reviews. I know I do. Whenever I buy a product online, I always check for reviews. The more specific the better!

    As for books, I do post my genuine thoughts (1-5-star)* unless they are by new authors who don't have too many reviews yet. For those, if I'd liked their stories, I'd post. If I hadn't, and my reviews would have been a 1-3-star, like you, I wouldn't post them. But for experienced/seasoned authors, I feel they need (or at least wouldn't mind) genuine and fair feedback even if it isn't great.