HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >


What to do about perpetual posters who Eat/Once-& Bash/Post?


Hi- I'm coming from ( mostly) the greater Boston area board. Whew! A handful of prolific posters have a " habit" of visiting a place once and then posting a " bash" review. " I will never return" is a common quote. What do you suggest/ do on your own local boards. The frustration is palatable with quite a few of the other regular posters
Full disclosure; I have many friends in the industry, although I am not in the same business. We also dine out frequently. I am NOT a frequent poster( but daily reader) in fact, up intil yesterday, I hadn't posted since 2010.
Thank you

  1. Just like there are many people who enjoy reading someone ELSE getting trashed in print or on the Internet, there are also people who want to be the first to trash someone ELSE on the Internet. For a restaurant, I believe one needs to try it at least three times before making a serious conclusion. But then, like fans of pro wrestling, there are always those to want to do the bashing. I really understand what you are saying, Kewpie.
    (By the way, I really HATE Kewpie mayonnaise! But then, I hate all kinds of mayonnaise.)
    Thanks for pointing this out. I will be interested to read what other people think.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler

      Thanks- im so very interested in the responses as well.
      - it's in reference to the kewpie doll, !

    2. if an experience is REALLY terrible, i may not be willing to try someplace again and throw good money after bad. but i also don't run to ch about it.

      1 Reply
      1. I am from the same board. There are a couple of posters whose posts I simply do not read for exactly that reason, one in particular. I would welcome a more positive solution. It is particularly tough when the once and bash poster always starts a new thread so the bash gets extra prominence, even if there is an active thread going about the establishment in question.

        5 Replies
        1. re: GretchenS

          In those specific cases, if you report the thread and tell the moderators that it's basically a duplicate of an ongoing active thread, I think they will consider locking or removing it.

          In general, though, I don't think it would be right to introduce a rule against posting a review after just one visit (whether positive or negative). For example, people are always complaining about tourists that ask for lots of advice on some regional board and then never report back. If they do report back, which is what we want them to do, all of their reviews will normally be based on single visits.

          1. re: GretchenS

            On IMDB there is an optional feature that a poster can opt to have all posts by a certain poster- deleted/not visible to the offended poster. maybe you could write the mods and ask for such a feature on CH.

            I also find it helpful to validate/ check my response to a poster by clicking on their member page. What is the nature of most of their posts? Does the subject of the posts they initiate (and those they contribute to) prove my prejudice against them, or does it show a different picture?

            sometimes a poster has a moniker that just sets off some people too.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              have never been offended by a ch moniker. have yet to run into a "carlos danger" here. ;)

              also will admit to mostly being too lazy to click on profiles. i never even filled mine out.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Well, you should, you're very interesting.

                1. re: EWSflash

                  yes. and most importantly, your member page shows all your posts.

          2. I'll generally only post on a place if it's good. If I have a one off mediocre experience I don't bother.
            If there's somewhere with a lot of love on the board that I thought was underwhelming I will post. I went to one place twice as I assumed that my first time must have been a one off as it had so many good reviews from people on the board who knew their stuff.
            When I posted they asked what I ordered.Apparantely I'd orderedthe weak stuff from the menu so took their advice and went back ordering the good menu items and now it's one of my favourite places to eat

            1. A review based on a single visit is pretty useless and, quite frankly, when it's negative, bordering on reckless. Most of the time it seems that the posts are from folks who have perceived some service slight* and therefore have to have a horrible experience across the board. Others just like to bloat their self worth by putting other things and people down. Go into a situation expecting the worst and one is often rewarded with exactly that.

              The latter category of bitching is normally borne out of the fact that others have enjoyed the place first. The "superior" 'hound then goes looking for things to complain about thereby establishing his or her "preeminence". The most deluded of the prolific posters actually believe that by issuing their "rebuttal" to the positive reviews, they will shift the general opinion about the place.

              At bottom, it's going to take a lot of couch time in "fifty minute hour" increments to solve such problems - not much most of us can do. My normal response to such presentations basically boils down to: "I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your experience at X. It's difficult to truly judge an establishment in a single visit." The second sentence is designed to reinforce to other readers that the negativity is based upon limited experience and less than sound footing.

              *Not to be too existential about this, but have you ever noticed that bad service issues tend to plague some people way more than others? Could there be such a thing as a bad diner pheromone that some exude that unconsciously suggests to servers not to dote on that patron too much lest it be unappreciated?

              3 Replies
                1. re: MGZ

                  I love what you said about the "bad service issues tend to plague some people more than others?"!!!!!!I think i know what the pheromone is--- it's
                  i see that this neopolitan pizza is served as listed (plain-to them) but there is sausage elsewhere on the menu and there is a raspberry sauce on the dessert menu, so just tell the kitchen I want the yucky plain pizza jazzed up with the yummy t sausage and delish raspberry sauce.
                  Then they proceed to bash the place!...

                  1. re: MGZ

                    I have a friend who does seem to have bad restaurant luck. If anyone's dish is going to have errors (noodles, rather than requested rice, non-truly vegetarian as asked, etc.), it's hers. I guess it's better than the all-around bad luck magnet people I know, but (phtt, phtt, phtt), I'm glad not to be either kind of person.

                  2. If I haven't read many (or any) posts by the poster, and the first thing I read is a negative review, I'll ignore it. If the thread gets a lot of responses, and other regular posters agree with the drive-by basher, then I might go back and see what he/she had to say.

                    If the poster is prolific on other topics, and I find we don't have similar taste, then I just take the review with a grain of salt (or a sweet pastry and a cup of tea if it's after noon.)

                    1. To get a read from a small statistical sample, throw out the highs and lows and judge by the middle.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Veggo

                        The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

                        1. re: therealdoctorlew

                          that may be my favorite new line. thank you.

                      2. I understand the frustration but isn't a bad experience still worth sharing? In real life, we know the adage that you only get one chance to make a first impression, and a restaurant needs to understand this too. As someone who's interviewed many for a living, I don't feel obliged to give anybody 2nd interviews if they've flunked their first one because I "ought to get to know the person first". If an experience is egregious enough, any one should have the right to be upset or choose not to patronize a place.

                        To me this seems to boil down to some who tend to hyperbole or tend to extreme reactions. For most reasonable adults, we know these people exist and would not likely let one random opinion influence our decision, one way or the other.

                        One thing I've tried to practice in life is that with any feedback (hyperbole or not), try to look for any truth in it and work on it. It's certainly easier to hear it when the feedback is delivered in a non-flaming manner, but it is feedback none the less. Even with "bashing" posts, a restaurant should try to find where the issue was and see if it's a real problem worth fixing.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: kobuta

                          It is not always possible to distinguish between truth and an undisclosed agenda, whether positive or negative.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            These posts are more eloquently stated than I had expected- thank you--
                            I do " try" to ignore specific posters, but they are prolific!, and comment nearly 10x a day. I also tend to throw out the high/ low reviews of an establishment . The mods have not liked my comments , so I don't know if this will stick, but I would like to strive for an HONEST chow hound , and feel that in recent years its beginning to seem like Yelp.i.e say anything you want .
                            Am I wrong? I've read CH for years now. This is why I resurrected my acct, for I was so fed up with some comments. Alas, hotynoodle had forewarned us, and we got the post edited.

                            1. re: kewpie

                              but the snide remarks that we found offensive got scrubbed too, so not such a bad ending. :)

                        2. Many are from the train of thought that 'Nobody comes here anymore, it's too crowded'. So they figure they've gotta bash it.

                          1. They tend to be weak, no food and beverage experience, think a rutabaga must be wonderful cause they sound so exotic, and are 'keeping busy !' writing about a bad meal instead of researching for the good ones.
                            Sorry for the rant....sort of

                            1. striper once wrote about a restaurant that was playing games with the wine that he bought. Even if it happened once, it was noteworthy. But any restaurant can have a problem with a dish.

                              1. It's very irritating to read posts that are so exaggerated and then not being able to call out the poster because of Chowhound's anti-bashing policy. I do my best not to read those posters.

                                1. I'm on the Boston board as well, and I do try to not bash a place based on one experience, unless that experience is especially egregious. There are many places that I haven't returned to after one visit, but I don't think of myself as an expert on those places, and therefore, don't recommend them OR bash them. The service thing always interests me as some of the places that folks complain about (Craigie on Main comes to mind immediately), I have had nothing but positive experiences in. I do think that some folks are more critical of service than me, and may perceive slights that may matter only to them.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kimfair1

                                    from the point of view of a reader of your posts, kim, i am always interested in what you have to say about a place. So i wish you didn't feel you "had to be an expert on a place" to post about it. i.e. when you just mentioned on another thread that you had really enjoyed yourself a couple of times at Bogie's Place. Maybe i missed a previous posting of yours, but i wish you had written it up so we could have tried it out by now!
                                    (and if i missed it, would you link me plse?) thx.

                                  2. I actually find the bashing posts to be the most enjoyable and informative reads. Especially if I never plan on visiting that portion of the country again.

                                    And the one stars on yelp and the one spoons on urbanspoon are far more telling on the possibilities of a restaurant. If you are a tourist or there on business, these may be the only sources of info available.

                                    However, if you are a resident or frequent visitor, I would find fault with a one stop bash.

                                    1. And bashing posts are allowed, but posts pointing out that bashing are deleted by mods. Interesting.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kimfair1

                                        Posts talking about chow (positive or negative) are always OK, but posts talking about other posters or their posts are never OK and will always be removed when we see them. We ask everyone to "rate the chow, not the chowhound!"

                                      2. I just ignore them.
                                        I learned long ago that anything on the interwebs should be taken with a grain of salt...especially reviews, advice, and people's opinions (including my own. LOL).

                                        1. We get a lot of visitors on the Boston Board. And for the most part they get a good number if responses to their requests. I would rather that a pne time visitor/diner bash a board favorite or heap praise on a tourist trap than not report back at all. Even their one experience has value. I just ask in both cases they provide details backing up their opinion.

                                          I'm not going to start a thread based on one bad experience, but I wouldn't hesitate to post on an already existing on. Especially if I think my one time visit bad/good experience could help. Or if I think my bad experience was an anomaly.

                                          Perpetual bashers are just as bad as perpetual praise heapers.

                                          1. Folks, we're having to remove an increasing number of posts from this thread, so we're going to lock it now.