A Californian entrepreneur has started selling a “ReviewerCard” that offers an easy blackmailing route for Yelpers/Googlers seeking attention. The all-black card says “I write reviews” in all caps, and is meant to be shown to restaurant employees as the cardholder enters the business.
From Huffington Post,
…the ReviewerCard looks fairly real. It has, in addition to the imprimatur of a major newspaper, a slickly-designed website with an elaborate application process. Newman told the LA Times that he had approved 100 applications from reviewers he deigned qualified to use the cards, who paid $100 to acquire it.
…”Designer and avid traveler” Kim Friedman, for example, raved that getting a ReviewerCard has made his “obsession with writing reviews even more worthwhile.”
“I show my membership card at appropriate venues and basically guarantee myself VIP service,” he continued. “I find myself constantly pulling it out, because who doesn’t want better experiences and people knowing the impact you can have.”
According to the website’s “Virtuous Cycle”, the card should be displayed as you enter a restaurant, at which time you’ll enjoy premium service, and “build rapport”. Yeah, an implied threat is a great way to build rapport.
The LA Times is running a poll asking if people think it’s a good idea. So far, 89% say no. The Times doesn’t seem to think so either –
This is, of course, wrong on many levels and is an example of how the culture of amateurism that was once one of the Internet’s more endearing qualities has become a free-for-all unburdened by any thought of ethics or moral integrity.
If I owned a restaurant, and someone came in waving a card like this at me, I’d do my best to make sure the door hit him in the ass as I threw him out.