A Toolkit For Writing Negative Reviews Online


A Toolkit For Writing Negative Reviews Online

Part of being an effective entrepreneur is knowing how to effectively give and respond to criticism online. Writing a negative review for products or services helps future consumers make informed decisions and, in many cases, forces companies to address criticism that may go ignored otherwise.  However, it’s absolutely necessary to stick to some ground rules when writing a negative review, so that your judgement is as clear and informative as possible for the general public.

Stick To The Facts

When writing a negative review, stick to the facts of your situation rather than attacking a company for personal shortcomings. Be concise and accurate in your description of what went wrong, particularly if you are referring to a specific individual’s behavior that you feel needs to be addressed. Avoid hyperbole: for instance, don’t say “this is the worst hotel in New York” unless you are fully prepared to stand by that statement. The reviews firm ComplaintBase advises keeping a civil tone when writing a bad review, which helps authorize your judgment and gives the impression that you are a reliable evaluator of the situation.

Have A Cool Off Period

When a product or service doesn’t go as planned, it’s natural to be angry and take to the internet to vent your frustrations. However, it’s recommended to wait 3-5 days before addressing your criticisms on the internet in the form of a negative review. Waiting until you cool off from the episode allows you to be more civil and accurate in your description of what went wrong. Whenever possible, it’s good to balance a negative review with some positives so that your statement gives a fuller description of the incident. However, in cases where there really are no positive aspects, try to frame your critique in the form of constructive criticism, suggesting how the company can improve their services.

Tweet At The Company

It’s often effective to lodge your complaints by tweeting at a company’s professional Twitter account to get their attention. Many corporations staff their Twitter account with professionals who can reply to your tweets and put you in touch with someone to address your issue. Of course, the same rules apply when tweeting a criticism at a company: keep it civil and try not to write from a place of unleashed rage. However, lodging a complaint via Twitter is a good way to inform the general public when a company fails to live up to their promises.

Ultimately, negative reviews are part of what keeps online commerce afloat, in that consumers rely on reviews to make informed decisions before purchasing items on the internet. Writing honest, effective reviews encourages a system whereby companies are judged for their merit, and not attacked based on personal characteristics.


Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 8 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

1 comment

  1. Quentin

    Helpful for some but not important enough to buy, for me at least

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