Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >
May 7, 2009 12:50 PM

posters who only post to complain

I notice a few of these on my local board. These are posters who never seem to post any sort of positive tips but only post negative reviews or chime in to bash a place. I always find it curious that there are food lovers who take this approach, but I guess that's just the way life is generally. Just curious if anyone has any insight on this phenomenon.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. could the bashers actually be the competing establishments of the successful place, being negative and unprofessional, perhaps?

    4 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      If you suspect this is the case, please use 'report' to bring it to our attention. Much like shills, we remove people who are deliberately smearing a restaurant.

      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        And I should clarify that I'm not referring to posters who appear to have registered only to post one bashing review. I was more speaking of long-time posters that, for the most part, never have anything nice to say.

        1. re: mollyomormon

          ah! and there are some folks who are just *so* world weary and negative that their only satisfaction seems to be in dragging others down. they can't see a pretty punchbowl without dropping a turd in it :)

          ignore them. they will die eventually.

        2. re: The Chowhound Team

          Quite frankly, you are being untruthful about this. There is a post right now that I have complained about. The poster smears a restaurant that they have not even eaten at.
          It's on the Wasington, DC board right now. Under the Minibar thread. The post simply attacks other Chowhounds, not the Chow itself which the person has obviously never tasted.

      2. Molly, I had been considering posting something similar today, so we are like minded I guess. My first instinct is to be totally untrusting of those who almost never, ever find food they like - and to be equally untrusting of those who seem to like practically everything and everywhere they eat. To me these two groups are meeting back where the circle connects. Neither one leave me with much to go on as far as finding food I will probably enjoy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          Ha! I think you're exactly right. After reading the boards for a while, you find people whose taste you trust (I would consider you one of those people) and use their reviews as a guide. And for me, it's never posters with universally positive or negative reviews that I end up following because I never feel like I can never accurately gauge whether I we have similar palates.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            And then there are the ones that are from "somewhere else" and are now "stuck" wherever you live. They want food just like it was back home, and no matter what you recommend, it will never be good enough. Too bland, not fried right,, bread too tough, bread too soft, soup too salty, and on and on. I swear you could get a world famous chef to cook for them and they would turn their noses up because they weren't from back home. I have totally given up on posters like that.

            1. re: danhole

              oooooh, i hate that too, Dani! they stand outside one of the best vietnamese restaurants in the country, holding a chunk of the country's best cheese, as the local microgreens and raw milk go by on a bicycle. . . and what do they do? complain that they don't see any hot dog carts or thai restaurants ;-P


              1. re: danhole

                Wow- you got that right, danhole! My friend Dave complains that his mother 'doesn't like the burgers they get in Phoenix, they're not like the midwestern hamburgers she grew up with. Dave replies- "Mom, you've lived here for fifty-five years- GET OVER IT!"

                1. re: EWSflash

                  There's a lot of that in Phx and on the Phx board.

                  "Phoenix *insert food type here* is nowhere near the level of the *same type of food* in *insert locale of preference here*."

                  I wasn't born here either, but it's now my home, for better or for worse. I get tired of people constantly complaining about how inferior everything is here (except Mexican food, of course).

          2. Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself in this "negative rut". I think we all have our favorite "haunts" where we cannot spout enough praise. Then there are times, in my case, when I get on a jag of trying new places. On average, I probably eat at 10+ restaurants before finding something that works at all levels for me - taste, service, portions, etc.

            So, do I write about the ones I didn't care for? Why shouldn't I? And if I do.... and if they're back-to-back experiences, I can see where people may garner a certain (unintended - from my intent) negativity on my attitude.

            So, when I do opt to write about the "bad", I make an honest effort to state specifically "why" or "what" I didn't like" - not just make generalizations, ie - "it was awful". That way, I would hope that others can at least use my negativity and judge for themselves how my biases fit into their likes and dislikes.

            But still - negative is negative. And when multiples come in a row, I can see why you question that phenomenon (I like that word! Nice way to put it :) ) That's my 2 cents.

            1. jfood couldn't agree more.

              There was one on jfood's home board that he battled and reported for years, nothing pleased this poster and thankfully, poof, gone.

              Jfood actually errs on the side of not posting if there is a horrible experience, trying to abide by his Bad Karma syndrome. He always tries to point out items that were not to his satisfaction, but understands that others may like it.

              And w/rt shills versus competitors. In this economy jfood is not as concerned with the shills versus the dagger-throwers. Hey, anything that can keep restaurants open through this cycle works for him.

              And like may, there are those he trusts and those that make his head snap back. He hopes he has the restraint to stop him from his reversion to some of these, but as the Mods can attest to, he is not always successful.


              2 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                "Jfood actually errs on the side of not posting if there is a horrible experience, trying to abide by his Bad Karma syndrome. He always tries to point out items that were not to his satisfaction, but understands that others may like it."

                I try to do that as well. There are a couple of mexican restaurants in our neighborhood that we have tried more than 3 times. My DH always gets the same thing, but I have gotten different dishes each time, and haven't found anything that I truly was satisfied with. But I have friends that love these places and rave about them. So I keep my mouth shut. To each his own.

                I generally try to balance my reviews with what I liked and what was lacking, but if I think all in all it was just terrible I don't even post about it. If someone asks about the same place I might share that I really didn't care for it because of xyz, and then they can go from there, but I am to going to bash it. I have had too many people bash me for liking a place that they didn't, and I don't even know them!

                1. re: jfood

                  It's important to the general knowledge to hear both the good and the bad of a restaurant. If the meal was bad, then someone should report (especially if it's been sampled a number of times). My 'head snaps back' when I see really terrible restaurants being recommended to those coming to town. Often it's because there is some local historical tradition or personal past love with the restaurant that causes others to continue to list it. Or sometimes it makes the list because it's just received a good review or is trendy. For those looking for a really good meal, silence is not golden on this site. Given a tenancy not to report bad experiences, searchers will only hear the good and never the bad.

                  That's why I'll not recommend any restaurant (or will with a caveat) that I've not eaten in for a couple of months (or if the staff has changed). And I'll always try to report on the emperor's new clothes especially given their importance to this site.

                2. I'm sick and tired of us whiners being so persecuted here.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo

                    US whining is out of control and needs a little damping down... ;-D>

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Some people just aren't happy unless they aren't happy, my grandmother used to say. I always take the negative reviews I read with a grain of salt, depending on where I read them and who is writing. I trust the local fooderati to give me an accurate assessment of the Houston dining scene, but people who go into sites like Yelp and B4-u-eat and just rant and rant about trivial stuff don't merit much of my consideration. And if one more person complains in the local "Whine & Dine" column of the Chronicle about ordering the off-the-menu special and then being shocked by the price, or how the all-you-can-eat place wouldn't let them take home a doggie-bag, I just may cancel my subscription.

                      However, if you've had a truly horrific meal from beginning to end, I would be interested in hearing about it, especially if it happened at a restaurant I frequent. It won't keep me away, but I do find it entertaining to hear about different experiences from the same place.