I have been a member of Chowhound for a few years now, & I watched it grow from a terrible message board (the software & lack of organization, not the people) to a much nicer graphical interface, but whoever set up the new application clearly doesn’t know much about message boards in general.

I don’t have time to log into a message board every day. Yes, I have a life. I expect that if I am part of a thread, I should have the option of being notified via e-mail of any responses to that thread.

I inquired about this within the first week of them changing to their new application which was about 2 – 2 1/2 years ago if memory serves me.

Not one moderator gave me a good enough response. They probably don’t know the first thing about message boards, but I do, I’m a member of TONS of them, & VBulletin is by far the best forum application out there even though it’s very poorly coded (a programmer’s words, not mine).

Anyway, others on the board don’t know how message boards work either, because one guy responded to my thread relating to the e-mail notification issue saying he responds to way too many threads & doesn’t want TONS of e-mails coming into his inbox.

Once I told him this is a feature you should be able to turn off or on in your profile, I got no response back.

But I let it be, because I thought Chowhound would be a useful tool for me since I’m a foodie & LOVE trying out new restaurants.

Unfortunately I began to realize that people in Toronto who were on Chowhound have a terrible palette, at least in regards to the restaurants they were recommending.

I wasted money on 3 different restaurants that got rave reviews from one to many chowhounders.

Then something very disturbing happened.

I went to this Israeli restaurant that is run by Ukranian (I think they were Ukranian) Israelis only because I’m always on the lookout for good Israelie restaurants since they just don’t exist in Toronto anymore, & Dine TO (I think) was showcasing them with a 10% of coupon.

I drive all the way out there (I think they were West on Steeles or Finch, can’t remember now) & the owner treats me & my son like garbage at the end of our meal refusing to take our 10% coupon because we didn’t produce it before we ordered.

Clearly I wasn’t happy, not to mention the food was sub par at best & I even left 1 or 2 dishes behind even though there was leftovers which for me to bypass taking food home speaks volumes. I don’t like wasting money on perfectly good food.

So a few days later I wrote up a very LONG review on Chowhound because well, I know Middle Eastern food very well & I was not only giving a review on this restaurant, I was responding to an existing thread about Middle Eastern Restaurants in Toronto. (I had searched the name of the restaurant first).

I felt the need to set the Canadians straight about how there aren’t really any great Middle Eastern restaurants in Toronto, at least not any Israeli ones & I explained why.

Maybe in the middle of my post I made a few comments about Israelis (I was joking & serious at the same time (hey, just like black people can comment on other black people, me being Israeli, I have the right to comment on Israelis) . Honestly I don’t remember it being offensive, I clearly stated I was Israeli & it was an educational post as well.

A few weeks later (maybe even over a month later) I go back to see if anyone responded back to my post & I can’t find it.

I waste tons of my time looking for it when I finally realize they probably deleted it.

Now this REALLY pissed me off.

I probably spent over an hour writing up that post, editing it, etc.

Nothing irks me more than control freaks.

Very rarely do my posts every get deleted, but I will digress in saying that ANY message board moderator who deletes a post without at least telling the poster WHY their post is being deleted is a control freak.

I mean if it’s clear they are flamming or spamming or whatever, by all means you shouldn’t have to notify the poster, but if it’s clear the person is not out to harm anyone, then yes, I feel it is your responsibility as a moderator or owner of the board to not only tell the poster why their post is being deleted, but to forward them their post so they can edit it & repost.

Clearly there is no way I can remember all that I wrote & to try & rack my brain & rewrite it wasting my precious time, then taking out what “offended them” is ridiculous. Then they don’t even have the balls to tell me why they were deleting it in the first place.

It was a legitimate review also warning others that the owner was a mean spirited person.

I mean who doesn’t allow a customer to submit a coupon just because they weren’t aware they had to submit it in the beginning.

Do you know how many coupons I have used over the years, & not once has a restaurant refused to take it? If you are that anal about the coupon, state you will take it this time, but please in the future produce it at the beginning. Even the waitr who was a sweetheart was embarrassed about it & I remember going into the restaurant where there was hardly anyone there & the owner (now that I know who he was) was too busy to address us because his laptop was more important than a customer. I should have walked out right then & there, but the singer & waiter were nice, we were hungry so we stayed.

So no, I’ve never had a restaurant refuse their own coupon, that’s right, this was the first time.

People have the right to know what happened & Chowhound stopped that from happening.

So what did I do, I decided to post the question about where my post went.

I went to the area that goes out to the moderators & I asked the simple question where is my post.

Guess what… I go back a week or two later & IT’S GONE TOO!

Now I’m really pissed.

That is just nasty.

So my initial assumption about Chowhound was correct, whoever moderates the board has some serious emotional issues & they have fun playing “king” of the site.

So me giving Chowhound the benefit of the doubt decides to call the company themselves because hey, maybe they don’t know they have this rouge moderator. It is a busy board, right? But always remember ONE very important rule….

If the staff you encounter at a company is rude, disrespectful or whatever, there’s more than a 90% chance the managers are the same way, & the owners are the same way.

It’s never a coincidence, the attitude of how customers are treated always filters down to the customer, ALWAYS!

So I call up & ask who is in charge of chowhound because I now realize that CNET has bought out Chowhound. Didn’t know this before.

So I’m transfered to a voice mail with the name Jane Goldman. I leave a message.

Do I ever get a call back?

You got it baby, nope. I’m ignored there too & I didn’t even say what the issue was, I just wanted to speak to someone live.

So there you have it, I will no longer be going on Chowhound for several reasons.

  1. I really need real foodies reviewing restaurants, not people who have poor palettes.I can’t waste money hoping whoever has recommended a restaurant actually knows good food when they taste it. Is there even such a board out there???
  2. How I was treated by Chowhound both on the board & by CNET (Jane Goldman) was just too much.I find it very rude, disrespectful & it shows no appreciation for me, a member of their board.

I used to recommend Chowhound to others all the time. They had me as a walking commercial, & yet this is how they treat their members.

If they don’t feel people have the right to free speech, they should put right on their board that we are control freaks who will delete your posts for no reason other than to waste your time, AND we won’t even give you an explanation because damm, we don’t care how much time you spent writing it up, editing it, etc. We are just “delete” happy.

End of rant


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