4
| Opinion |

ReviewerCard: Flash It, Get "Premium Service," Look Like a Jerk

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The ReviewerCard belongs to folks who want to receive better and/or comped services.

Anyone can apply for membership, but everyone must go through a rigid background check first -- you know, to make sure you're not taking advantage or anything.

In August of last year, L.A.-area business entrepreneur Brad Newman launched the card. People who passed the background check paid the lifetime membership fee of $100 to receive their card. "I believe in the good of people," Newman says. "The ReviewerCard is a merit-based system made to protect consumers and remind businesses to give them the customer service they deserve." (We've yet to receive confirmation, but Yelp probably let out a sigh of relief that it is no longer the most-hated reviewing site.)

After a few months, the $100 fee was dropped, and now a simple notice of approval is needed to obtain a ReviewerCard. A news release cites Secret Shoppers as [unfairly] rating businesses before they're given a chance to provide quality service. Instead, a ReviewerCard holder shows a waiter or sales associate his or her card, and he or she theoretically receives the best treatment. Problem solved!

Except that, no.

Though the ideal membership candidate holds solely honor in his/her heart, most people are assholes. This card will provide more freebies to elitest online reviewers than actual quality service to customers.

Of course, Newman disagrees: "This card is not intended for freebies, but rather to ensure the experience goes seamlessly for everyone."

Well, yeah, everyone except those who don't have or want a jackass card to flaunt.

By contrast, it's not as though showing a ReviewerCard in a restaurant or hotel guarantees good service. And that, thankfully, is stipulated in the membership guidelines: "ReviewerCard does not guarantee anything for members, and the entire system is merit-based." Glad we cleared that up.

Despite the non-guarantee, businesses probably won't give a rat's ass about the plastic waste. This is partially because there is zero credibility behind it (except, of course, for the rigid [read: hahaha] background search for every applicant) but also because the service industry has yet to hear of it. Newman is working on a marketing plan to make businesses aware of it and amp up its merit when a customer/reviewer/all-knowing expert shows it.

Newman says, "Our goal is to be the most well-respected and ethical reviewers on the entire Internet... It's simply a way for reviewers to say, "Show us your best."

Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.