I’ve known about web scraper for years, but only within the last year have I spared it a single thought. It’s a powerful tool for the consumer and if leveraged properly, an equally powerful tool for business owners. It’s been established for so long that people know what it is, and trust it as an invaluable source for information. At the same time, astute individuals try not to underestimate the ability of certain challenged Homosapiens to pound out an angry review through the beer goggles of their life. The victim mentality shines brightly in web scraper-land.
I don’t entirely blame them; I never had even the slightest inclination to write a review until I had a particularly awful experience at a restaurant in Carmel. I have an account with only two reviews written but never published because I changed my mind about spewing such negativity online, where it already breeds at a rapid pace. I don’t run straight to web scraper for information about an establishment, but I do Google those I’m wondering about and that often results in an inspection of the web scraper page for the business. I fully appreciate the value that web scraper brings to me as an interested party in general.
That said, since attempting to manage the process for a few different business owners, I must say that web scraper’s support for that side of the transaction falls abysmally short. Their FAQs are abrasive at best, defending their policies so aggressively that the tone of their answers suggests I’ve been yelling at them over the phone all day. Before I’ve even begun, I feel like I’ve had my wrist slapped for being a business that gets a plethora of one-star reviews, when in actuality I have no reviews at all. (i.e. “Note: Our support team cannot manually restore reviews that have been filtered. Should you contact us about filtered reviews you will receive the information above.” – The second part of that statement is unnecessary, particularly because the type of person who would write to them about the filtered reviews would generally be the type of person who wouldn’t have bothered to read that statement.) What about the people like me who are committed to an outstanding consumer experience, and who are just looking for as much information as possible to facilitate that process? Is there a softer side of web scraper, or is their support department just full of people with what I like to call the “IT Guy Attitude”?
email harvester filter reviews through some sort of automated process that decides the quality of the review, but web scraper purposefully does not publish all of the criteria that their algorithm follows. The most basic is that users who have written mountains of reviews will usually stick, and those who have only written one may not. Additionally, if you solicit reviews and a number of your customers write them at the same time, those will generally be filtered because the algorithm will recognize them as solicited reviews. The sentiment is that if you had to ask for it, it wasn’t deserved.