Monday 7 February 2022

System Addict


Illustration purposes only. These places are not the one that contacted me.

I have a smartphone, and I assume you do too.  I'm sure you're aware that it has a built in GPS receiver which can be linked to various apps on your phone.  One that's connected on mine is Google Maps.  It's sometimes useful in finding places in unfamiliar towns.  Yes, I am aware of the privacy concerns, but as Google mainly use this data to target people with advertising, I'm less concerned with sharing it with them than with certain other organisations that have other reasons for wanting to know stuff about me.  And also, it can be turned off at any time.

Another thing Google likes to know is information about the places you visit.  Now, I tend to linger longest in hospitality businesses, so sometimes I'll get an alert asking me for information about the place I'm sat in.  It's generally run-of-the-mill questions such as "Does this place offer takeout?" or "Does this place serve this dish - Ice Cream?".  I've yet to discover any personal benefit from answering these beyond a little counter in the top right of the screen going up, but I do it anyway.  Adds to the sum of human knowledge, and someone may actually want to visit Preston in the future.

But it also asks you to give a rating of the business, based on a 5 Star system.  I generally give 4/5 - my meaning being "this is a good business worthy of your support and custom and is good for repeat visits."  I have never given 5/5.  That would, by definition, mean perfection.  And while perfection is a good thing to strive for, it's unlikely to be acheived in the real world for many reasons.

Unfortunately, some places don't see it this way.  Apparently, they live and die by their Google rating.  I gave 4/5 to somewhere last week.  On Sunday afternoon, they sent me a message saying "Hi, is there anything we can do to get you to change your rating to a 5?"  I struggled to think of a reply, as I've been to this place twice a week for the last 6 months and it's been pretty much the same every time.  They could make it perfect for ME, I suppose.  But what's perfect for me ain't gonna be perfect for everyone.   Perhaps they recognised my name and imagined I'm some kind of "influencer" in the pub world.   I'm not, but I hope if anyone values my opinions on Preston pubs, they would at least ask me relevant questions instead of searching out my Google ratings.

I'm not going to leave any more ratings.


  1. Yes, some places get really annoyed at 4/5. Weird.

    1. Google need to implement a 10 star system. Places would be a lot less upset over 9/10 than 4/5.

  2. The thing they can do to change your score to a five is what's known in beer communicator circles as a "Melissa".