I spend a lot of time reading online reviews.

I read reviews thoroughly before we dine out. (Yelp, mostly.) I know exactly what I’m going to order, and I’m ready to make recommendations about what you should order too.

I research any major purchase. (I like Wirecutter a lot.) I’ve looked into how long it’ll last, what it’ll take to maintain, what it’ll cost.

I hate shopping, but shopping online is tolerable because I get to avoid humans, and because I get to read up before I plop down my credit card.

I just spent a lot of money ordering new living room furniture on IKEA’s website. I read the review of all the items I bought. How will the pillows in the sofa hold up? Will it comfortable to lie down on? I took all the appropriate measurements; I made sure the boxes would all fit through the front door. I was ready to finally be done with the major part of “moving in.”

The furniture was supposed to be delivered on Saturday – “between 12 noon and 4 pm,” the automated phone message informed me. It’s 6:30 on Sunday evening, and the furniture is still not here.

So dammit, I called the local delivery service. They say the shipment was delayed from IKEA. They’ll call me tomorrow to reschedule the delivery. “Why did I get an automated call on Saturday,” I asked? “I don’t know,” I was told. “It’s automated.”

I admit: I did not read the reviews on the delivery service IKEA utilizes. I mean, what would have been the point? I don’t have a car, let alone a car big enough for this 10-box shipment that’s going to fill out our living room. I need furniture delivered. (I ordered a sofa, for fuck’s sake.)

The average rating for the company: one star. “I’d give them a negative star if I could,” one frustrated reviewer snapped.

That’s the thing about reviews, isn’t it. Most people really only bother to leave one if they’ve had a terrible experience. Angry people leave angry reviews.

I’ve ordered furniture from IKEA more times than I care to remember. This is the first (or second) screw-up. (That other time, to be fair, was totally my fault.) And yes, certainly it sucks to sit on hold with any customer service phone system, hearing over and over the same monotone message assuring you they can’t wait to take your call.

The delivery company did eventually answer my call – T-Force or something like that – and if I were to leave an angry review I’d certainly type something about having to wait on hold for far too long. And I’d probably complain too that the person on the other end of the line could only shrug and agree that indeed my furniture has not been delivered. “You’ll hear from someone tomorrow when the office re-opens.”

I am blogging again here on Blogging. Old school blogging. Thoughts off the top of my head. Nothing about education or technology (unless I choose to write about either). I’m going to try to write (and maybe even publish) something every day – that is, on the days I don’t regularly publish elsewhere: Wednesdays on and Fridays on It’s better to blog on your own site than to spend time on others’. You control the words; you control the context. You don’t have to let someone else monetize your frustration or your joy. (I would rather read what my friends have to say on their personal websites than read what strangers have to say on social media.)

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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