How to write a negative review

Since September I have not had a lot of time to maintain this site, let alone write new content. One of the few saving graces for keeping the traffic going on this site was comments.  Problem is I deleted over 90% of the negative comments. Keep in mind the more comments this site gets the better. But I am past the point where it’s acceptable to have someone post a short one liner about a host sucking. Yes I approved every single positive comment, so long as it’s on the post about the host. But most of them give me material for a counter response.  What would be better for my traffic ranking are detailed and relevant comments.

If you want to see your negative review appear on my site here are my recommendations:

1. Is it really worth writing a review on?

Are you writing a negative review because you have a burning need to get revenge, or do you want to inform the public about issues with a company? Frankly revenge is time consuming, and rarely ever productive. Not to mention unlike other sites, if I feel that a negative review has  no merit and is simply written by someone with an axe to grind I will mark it as spam.  So if you are not willing to write a meaningful review of a company don’t bother posting on,

Examples of what justifies a negative review:

  • Where you do not get what was offered.
  • Uptime that is below the guarantee.
  • Mistreatment from a hosting companies employees.
  • Slow server response times
  • Longer than 48 hours to get a response on simple issues.
  • Lack of communication during outages.
  • Fees not covered in the terms of service.
  • Billing after a cancelation
  • Over billing
  • Shut down without reason or evidence
  • Account not set up within 24 hours of receiving a payment from you.

 2. Keep it professional

Nothing kills creditability like coming across as someone with an axe to grind.  Here is what to avoid:

  • Avoid profanity.
  • Avoid all caps (This is a personal pet peeve of mine).
  • Try to maintain some level of correct grammar.
  • Avoid being aggressive.
  • Avoid the use of insults.
  • Avoid words like “lawsuit”, “charge back”, and “scam”.

Reasons for avoiding those words:

First – If you’re still with the host, don’t count on them keeping your site up.  Very rarely do I see a terms of service that does not say they will terminate your site for defamation.

Second – If you are on one of those so called unlimited plans that costs less than $5 a month, you are not likely to get thousands, tens of thousands or more. If you were only willing to pay less than $5 a month or less than $100 a year for hosting how likely are you to put down a $1,000.00 or more just to get the ball rolling on a lawsuit?

Third – Based off my own experience lawsuits in the hosting industry are probable rare. But one thing I am sure any host has encountered and that is a charge back.  Business wise it is the foulest word that one can utter. Once you decide to go public with a threat or acknowledge that you did a chargeback any hope of working with that company is gone for good.

A note on Chargebacks.: As a former owner of a few hosting companies, the word chargeback is enough to make me grind my teeth still. Never mind I have not had to deal with a merchant in almost three years. These days most of my funds are sent by wire. I had spent hours on each chargeback for anything that would help to get the money back. Don’t think that you get the finale say when it comes to getting your money back. I have won 1/3rd of the chargebacks back. Which I believe was due to the person on the other end performing one too many chargebacks. One such idiot had done two chargebacks on my company and that was what sealed the deal on my win. The worst of it was his first charge was for less than $20, the second charge was for over $1000.00.

Chargebacks are a last resort, and should only be used when all other measures are exhausted. Even than I would not recommend it if the charge is small, for you don’t want this charge to work against you when you really need to do a charge back.

3. Details

A review that is one line or a few sentences about a host sucking (or being good) are not going to cut it.

The first detail that should be given is the main domain for an account.

The second is a name (first names alone are ok).

Honestly there is not much point to anonymous reviews. Without these details it easy for a host to dismiss and not even bothering at all with dealing with your complaint. In the case of positive reviews its fodder for a rebuttal. The refusal to give the details only adds to the fun.

Other details that should follow:

  • Copies of emails
  • Billing History
  • Chats
  • Copies of support tickets
  • Screen shots.

The more details about your problem (or perhaps success) with a host the better.

4. Your first response may not be your last response

All too often someone writes a comment positive or negative and I have questions. Maybe the host has a question(s) for the customer. Sometimes the review is just a start. If a host comes forward to work with you, give them a chance. Seriously any host that is willing to try and work things out and not make you out to be a villain is worth a try.  Honestly I think the point of writing a negative review should be bring forward positive change.  At the same time it does not in the end work in a hosts favor if they decide to not try.