Yesterday news broke on various food sites that a new kind of card would soon be available to the general public. The ReviewerCard is a black card that can be purchased for $100 and if you flash it to a restaurant owner/chef/server you are telling them that the meal they are cooking for you will undoubtedly be reviewed on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or UrbanSpoon. When flashed, the card is supposed to evoke a response from the restaurant of preferential treatment in the form of free or discounted items.
To me, this sounds like a threat.
As a restaurant owner I know how much these review sites can sting. I know how many people LOVE to post bogus & unfair reviews. I read and respond to them daily (about 20% ever respond back) and frankly I don't have a whole lot of respect for the majority of 'reviewers.' The ReviewerCard embraces what is wrong with these review sites. It exploits the relationship between guest & restaurant and sounds a little bit like extortion to me. Give me free food or get a bad review. That's what this card says to me.
A simple and effective response to this kind of extortion is easy:
Don't accept the ReviewerCard at your restaurant, hotel, service business, etc.
If someone flashes their ReviewerCard refuse their business. Sure they might write a bad review on Yelp but anyone who reads a review based on the fact that they didn't get preferential treatment becuase they flashed a stupid card will know how DUMB said review/reviewer actually is.
Stand up for your business and your right NOT to be the victim of a shakedown.
Fuck this guy. Fuck the ReviewerCard.
What do you think of this card? Extortion? Harmless? I would love to hear your insight.