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(PLACED UNDER WRONG CATEGORY: IT IS BEING MOVED SOON. SORRY.) Having just become a target for ‘unfair rating’, I can tell you that this experience leaves me feeling absolutely gutted. It has never been my intention to get anyone so upset by asking them for a price in Pound Sterling, while being unaware that the person in question doesn’t actually live in the UK.
This category states: “Feedback on Product rating” and this is exactly what this op is about: feedback. On rating. When I first saw a link on a fellow member’s personal website, it specifically stipulated: “UK residents – want to make some money?” which of course I did, so I followed it, and ended up by joining Ciao. I had no idea that sometimes people who reside in other countries wrote for the site.
This site has become my favourite place to be when there is nothing else going on in my life, and also when there is something going on in my life, sometimes with great detriment to my life. But who cares: the people are great, and I have made some very good friends. I am also very aware of how easily you can step on someone’s toes, and get crapped on, so therefore, I thought that by adhering to the rules when I read and rate, I should be fine, and therefore there would be no reason for anyone to dislike me and my chosen modus operandi (which was reading/rating according to the rules).
So, how do I read and rate? Well, after having read your op through, I decide if I have any unanswered questions. Sometimes, this is easy: 90% of the time I am reading your op because I have a vested interest in what you are writing about. I might want to try it myself, and since I am a born shopper, more often than not, I want to buy one of my very own. So, if there is no price, or you have not told me where you got yours, or if it is actually only available in Scotland etc, I must now ask for this information. No skin off my nose, but they’re unanswered questions, right? Since the CONSUMER who visits this site cannot ask you for this information, your op has become slightly less helpful than it could be, and I would be ignoring my duty to the consumer, as well as to Ciao, by putting a VH on your op, and telling you how brilliant it is.
Because it’s not brilliant: there are unanswered questions, which defeats the entire object of Ciao. And this is my first reason for putting H on your op. More often than not, you will get a comment from me, telling you why you have gotten an H rating from me, (ask any writer on the site: this is the unwritten etiquette) and I go to the extra length of letting you know that I will be happy to re-rate if you include this information in your op. In reality, you have lost nothing: I have perhaps reminded you of something you have forgotten, and if you add the information, you DO get my re-rate.
What does annoy me though is receiving comments like these: “Everyone else rated VH, so why are you rating H? I thought it was pretty good myself, and everyone else seems to think so.”
Simply because I am not everybody else, one of your circle of friends or one of those people who will blindly stamp VH on your op just because everyone else did, or too scared to be individual in my thinking, and not giving a damn about the rules.
Once again, perhaps I should point out that my rating is not meant to be a personal opinion of you, or your writing. The overall rating of your op is the actual point of Ciao. Why do some people take an H so personally, like I have done them the greatest disservice by making them do a little extra legwork? 85% of the writers on Ciao go to extraordinary lengths to have every angle covered!
Further reasons for putting an H on your op are as follows:
2) Concentrating solely on your personal experience i.e it’s grand, it’s wonderful, I think it’s brilliant, without going into some detail as to what the product actually DOES or IS ABOUT. It’s features and the merits of these features, and where I can find it. 3) If you have not taken enough care about the presentation of your op: the language, the layout, punctuation, spelling. All these things are important, because when a consumer logs on to the site, and reads an op that looks like a dog’s breakfast, do you honestly think that they are impressed with the content on this site? Does it make them feel like looking at more ops? And do you think they’ll come back? I think not. The consumer of Ciao is who is important here, the consumer is responsible for generating the income that allows Ciao to pay us. Without them, we and our brilliant writing are lost. 4) I won’t even grace your op with a rating if it is clear to me that you are a churner, (not be mistaken for newbies, as sometimes they tend to get all enthusiastic and a bit carried away on their first couple of days!) and I will avoid you at all costs if members’ advice does not get you to change your ways. I check later to see if you have.
Sometimes, I feel that the rating on Ciao is more a case of stroking one’s ego. God help you if you rate anything less than VH. Run to the hills if you dared ask a question, or explained why you rated as you did. And be prepared for that person to come back to you, all high and mighty, with: “I have gone to great effort to this for you. You must appreciate my efforts.”, which to me boils down to: “Who the hell do you think you are, making me do this for one stupid re-rate? You’re the odd one out here, because you don’t have enough brains to rate VH like everyone else!”
Something that gets even less results, and more aggro, is a second explanation, where you try to make your point a little clearer, while not making it sound like you are explaining something to an idiot child. You have less chance of getting through than an ant on acid, crawling up a rhinoceros’s leg with the intent to kill.
No matter trying to apologise for upsetting the person or trying to reassure them that your rating was NOT personal, and chancing sudden death by pointing out that you are abiding by the rules and only doing your ‘job’ as a reader/rater. Nothing less than admitting you were an idiot, apologising profusely for being so unworthy of their continued presence on the site and re-rating without any changes being made to the op will do.
This is how wars get started.
So now, the person in question has threatened to leave Ciao, because they feel they are being ‘driven off the site’, and members who have not even been party to the WHOLE story stand in support, and even gone on to make personal comments about me. I also discovered that I have been removed from their COT, which further makes me feel that I have been ‘a bad girl!’
How on earth did we get here?! The last I knew, I was excising due patience, civility and every respect to this person and suddenly, I feel like I have been branded a bully. I am so upset by this that I had to write this op, and try to explain myself to the world out there, even though I know I am adhering to the rules, and even though I know that no-one has ever, ever, had any cause to accuse me of any unfair behaviour.
I have immense, immeasurable respect for the writers on this site. A finer bunch of people I could never hope to be associated with. Yet, why do I get the impression that the ‘Mob rule’ has come into play here, simply because I rate as I do? Why does this person feel that talking to other members about being ‘driven off the site’ by me is going to solve the problem? For goodness sake, address me with your concerns, and then I can either prove you right, or assure you that I am not the big, hairy monster you have painted me to your friends.
In closing, I will say that in spite of this situation, I will continue to rate as I do, always keeping it firmly in mind that the Consumer’s impression of Ciao is the important issue here. I will also continue to afford you every respect as a fellow writer, by being civil and polite in my dealings with you, should I ever have any more after today. Also, I will assure you that it is never my intention to upset you, offend you, bully you or try to drive you from the site with my comments. I like being here, so what good will that ever do me?
Its good that you put what ratings you truly think people should guess, most people would be to scared. Good opinion. Tasha
JOHNV 28.10.2001 09:00
(1) I hope your being on strike doesn't mean you don't read this!
(2) I don't care if it is in the wrong category, you're damn right.
From my experience at ciao and dooyoo, 95% of members are totally ethical and play by the rules. It only takes one or two headbangers or prima donnas to **** it up and cause a disproportionate amount of ill-feeling. In which case, let's just shop them to the ciao police, have them silenced, and get on with the business. Life's too short to be messed around by these time-wasters and weakest links!
marsden 22.10.2001 00:13
Ahhh, poor Suze!! Oh well, what can you do?! Exasperating!