Shopping Reviews are Killing My Health

Ellen B. Marshall
4 min readFeb 6, 2021

It’s about time we rated these businesses fairly — and told them what-for!

Please don’t rate the quality of this photo by Ellen B. Marshall, it got your attention, didn’t it? 2021

“Good site. Easy order.” Read the auto filled prompt from my most recent online purchase. This is a perfect example of total 360 degree feedback grade inflation quality survey design. It kills me how far outta bounds these purchase follow-ups have gotten.

I am in the middle of returning items from another purchase. I need a larger size, XL for the L that fit like M, 100% cotton, and will likely shrink. I am 5'9' and weigh 140 pounds. But I don’t like my leggings to fit so tight that I feel the urgency to pee, run away, or escape the bundling constricter-pants that make me restless. Reminds me of the girdle I once tried out in high school. There’s a reason that those things disappeared. And it wasn’t really about sex.

These green cotton, organic wonders, that came in actually good colors, plain olive and plain navy, were going to serve as both as long johns and tights. I wanted them to be just right. I studied the sizing chart. I did not want to play The Three Bears mail order game. I ordered my size. I just need some good leggings. But now I’m waiting for the return label to arrive in the mail so I can ship these nice babies — they’ll fit somebody else, maybe 5'1 and 98 pounds. I need a larger size.

Another order, of health supplements, this one recently shipped direct to me from the manufacturer per my naturopath’s prescription, begged me for feedback too. Here’s how I filled out that form.

“Fast, practitioner sent direct to me.”


“Short feedback form inquiring about service experience.
Everybody has ’em now. I don’t have time for each & every darn survey. Just show me the goods, get ’em here. Leave me alone.
And don’t pester me with special deals right away either. I just bought from you. So take a break. Just help the next guy.”

It was fun. But I saw at the bottom some fine print asking me to be kind and civil. That my feedback was going to appear in the customer comments section. Really?!?

“If you want to keep me as a customer, consider the effects of parasitic marketing,” I continued. “If you don’t do…

Ellen B. Marshall

Learning Project Design Ideas. Images. Words. Music. Intentional Peer Support Community Development in the domains of health, education, and employment.