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Why web 2.0 lends itself to whiners and complainers…

Posted by Brad Callen

Ok, this has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time. I’ve noticed this getting worse over the past 2 years and I predict that it will be a major major problem in the coming years…

Here’s the process. So and so creates a product. The product gets downloaded by thousands of people. 99% of those people have success of some sort with the product, and are completely satisfied. 1% of the people are not.

The 1% of people that are not satisfied tend to be those people that would spend time posting in forums or blogging about it, while the satisfied people are out actually using and benefitting from whatever service/product that was provided.

This is even more prevalent in the internet marketing community than any other community and it’s getting worse and worse by the minute.

What’s even worse is that in the days of the almighty Google, it takes only 1 “bad apple” to dramatically hurt one’s reputation. Especially with the tendency of web 2.0 and blogs. Complainers ALWAYS spawn more complaining. Unfortunately that’s the way the web works.

We’ve seen very popular and successful forums like Michel Fortin’s copywriterboard completely shut down due to an overwhelming amount of negativity. It makes me sick to think what the web will be in 2020 and just how important it will be to protect your own brand from the few “bad apples” in the world.

What do you guys think? Have you seen similar things?


  1. Kat says:

    In the offline world as well, the complainers are usually the loudest.

  2. Unfortunately, we do live in a world of whiners and complainers. There is an old saying that misery loves company. You are right when you said that these people always seem to be the loudest. I’ve been on the internet for about 10 months now. I can tell you that I have read some pretty harsh things about people, and just like you said, coming from folks who are dissatisfied with a product or service. These kinds of folks are always going to be around, and I don’t doubt that their negative messages have discouraged some people from continuing their quest to be successful in internet marketing. As for me, I’ll just keep it moving, until I achieve the desired level of success that I want, I suggest that everyone else does the same.

    Thank you and God bless.

  3. There may be some truth to what you say, but generally, if you’re really making 99% of the people happy people will hear about it. You didn’t get rich Brad because everyone believed you are a scammer. Most people believe you’re an honest broker. You have to have some faith in the power of truth. Anyone who doesn’t think the Internet Marketing business is full of scams is putting his head in the sand.

    I can show you examples of major product launches going on right now that say, “We will only sell 250 copies” blah, blah, and they have been saying that for over a month now. Oh, and they sent out the initial launch to 10,000 people on their list the first day and have an affiliate program. Oh, and they say on their sales page that the product could be sold out within hours of launch. Right.

    Scam? You bet. Should the Internet community hold them accountable? Definitely. Will they? Probably not, as even Clickbank doesn’t seem to care about the blatantly false advertising.

    The truth is, the Internet Marketing community needs to clean up its act. And that’s not to say there aren’t a lot of honest people out there. There are. But until the IM community holds the scam artists accountable, then everyone is fair game for lies and deception. And you can Blog that to the bank.

  4. Ron Brantley says:

    Yes, yes, and yes,…

    …and it makes me sick as well, if all the whiners
    spent half as much time moving forward and seeking the correct
    info. they need to learn about IM, then taking the necessary action,
    they wouldnt have time to whine, and try to make others miserable.

    “Whiners will never be WINNERS”

  5. Sam DeBono says:

    Not sure about this, I thought web 2.0 is a good thing for us all.

  6. Vann Hamby says:


    There is always going to be someone who does not get it and they are going to whine and complain. Trust me i am in the highest complaint industry out there. ROOFING. So let me explain further. There is a ZERO Entry level for my trade. All I had to do was purchase a county license and buy insurance that excludes me and all of the sudden I am a roofing contractor.

    I have MS and this job is killing me, However it is not killing my resolve. My plans are to get it right with the internet so that I don’t have to run the rat race anymore.

    Think of a plate of vegetables, Well people are always going to pick out what they do not like and eat what they do like. Some people like what you offer and some people do not. I personally watched you on the net for 3 years. That told me you were the real deal.

    At any rate you inspired me and I feel like you should be ready to get personable to a degree by talking with people some other than typing on a blog or commentary set up.

    People still want re assurance so that they do not get buyers remorse, I recently had a client back out on me and the contract was signed. 3 day right of rescission was what hung me and the project was only $500.00 and I went to the home 3 times on my own expense. They came up with an excuse that a family member was in peril and I checked them out later only to discover that they used me to keep someone else honest.

    I cannot stand it when people lie to me and use me to travel one way for 50 miles to just burn me out of my time and money.

    This cost me around $100.00 in fuel and I was not taken care of, Yet if I had not fulfilled my end I would have been on every complaint board and talked about how bad of a person I was to do business with.

    To get to the bottom of the situation we have to accept that a few bad apples are out there, Some people want something for nothing and there is nothing we can do about those types. You are not able to qualify your clients in internet marketing in most cases, so you do not really know who or how crazy they are after the sale is done.

    Sales 101 (So what and whats in it for me) is the attitude.

    I know you offer good products for marketing and the problem is that the ignorant people don’t get it and probably never will.

  7. Brad Gosse says:

    Don’t even get me started. Someone sent me to this post today because I have someone doing this to me right now.

    Worst part is he refunded AND posted bad reviews.

    Ron Brantley, Your slogan “Whiners will never be WINNERS” will be going on my whiteboard!

  8. Brad Callen says:

    Yep, you’re a Facebook celebrity, so I suppose expect it to happen :-)

  9. These are the same people that will never achieve the success they desire. If a product is successful then their will always be happy users that would offer a great testimonial.

  10. Seo says:

    i am agree with your thought ..great post and great opnion about this. right “Web 2.0″ mean does anything is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design…

    Thanks for leave this tips..

  11. Bruce Walker says:

    But aren’t we simply whining about the whiners?

    For the 1% of dissatisfied customers, why not just refund their money with a cheerful note “We’re sorry our system [program] wasn’t right for you. Best wishes.”? And yes, 1% of that 1% will still whine about something – but hey, that’s life!

    But let me say “Anti-aging Health Guru” hit the proverbial nail on the head. The problem is that there are scam artists proliferating the field of Internet Marketing.

    Sadly, my first experience was a negative one. I signed up for a “free course” – just pay the $14.95 shipping for a workbook. After giving my credit card information, I found myself locked into what seemed to be never ending AUTOMATIC “upsell” pages where the game was to find the “no thanks” link hidden in the sales page – otherwise my credit card would be billed as much as $1,997. I wanted to just close the browser and go hide under the covers in my bed – but hey, these people have my credit card!!!

    And sorry, this is NOT a valid application of “would you like fries with your burger?”. McDonald’s doesnt’ hold your credit card hostage while taking you through 45 minutes of upsells from a $3 burger to a $10,000 time share – geesh….get real! Anyone that can’t see the difference shouldn’t be allowed to market on the internet – or sell used cars for that matter!

    At the end of the process of EIGHT upsells that took me over 45 minutes to OPT-OUT of, a guy comes on a video to inform me that if I call the credit card company to cancel my subscription (what subscription???) he would charge my card a $250 penalty! And, if I wanted to cancel I had to call such-and-such number or alternately go to such-and-such URL.

    My heart stopped, what the hell did I get suckered into? I called the phone number – REPEATEDLY! And guess what? Got the ole “mailbox full” message…this guy gets this many cancellations??? I logged onto the URL he gave and filled in the form and guess what? Got the ole “an error has occurred on this page”….but that’s what you get for hiring cheap programmers in Romania!

    I called Chase who connected me with the credit card fraud department. They shut down the credit card – thank god! Over the next couple of days I searched the web and stumbled on a blog that gave a “secret” email that actually went through to the guy’s staff. I followed up with his staff who assured me that there would be no further charges to my credit card – just the initial $14.95 which I allowed to clear the account (I honor my deals!). However, Chase informed me that there were 2 subsequent attempts to charge my credit card (ha ha, Chase had already shut the card down!) Did I get the workbook in the mail? Yes. Did I get access to the website for the “free course”? No. After repeated emails complaing that I could not log into the site, I gave up.

    Can you guess who this guy was? Hint, you see his name all the time! Is he just another scam artist? You tell me.

    Am I whining? NO! I’m making a point. That one initial experience soured me to the point that I’m afraid to buy most products. If I see someone is connected with this guy – I run the other way! Period! I wait months watching and observing before even considering coughing up money for a product – and I will NEVER give my credit card…only PayPal that requires me to login and authorize the charge. But hey wait! How safe are those pay using PayPal links? The fact is they aren’t! Hackers can phish any site – it’s not even programming 101.

    Recently, I started learning WordPress. After downloading “free themes” I stumbled on to a website where I watched a video and learned that the “free themes” often have embedded encrypted code; I shudder to think what that code is doing! Some cases have been found that the code installs adware/spyware on the computers of visitors coming to YOUR website! Oh lovely…what next?

    I’ve been watching Keyword Elite for months now – do I buy this? Will this guy be in business in a week? Worst….what is his software doing behind the sceens? Adware? Spyware? Who knows! How long will this web based application be available? Will he hack my PayPal account? We he submit ongoing charges to a credit card that takes an order from the Supreme Court to get stopped?

    Sorry Brad, nothing personal…..but this is what happens when the bad apples get to good people….we become leary of everyone.

    So don’t blame the guy that thinks he got taken….he probably did at some point!

  12. Brad Callen says:

    Thanks for your comments Bruce. Although I have to respectfully disagree with this statement:
    “So don’t blame the guy that thinks he got taken… He probably did at some point!”

    The problem 99% of the time is lack of knowledge (i.e. misunderstanding). For example, Mr. Customer buys a product. Has a question about the product, but doesn’t understand that to contact a product owner, they need to submit a support ticket. Mr. Customer sends 1 email, 2 emails, 3+ emails to expecting a reply. He never gets one because the email address doesn’t exist. He just assumed it did. Mr. Customer then runs to Google to see if he’s the only one with any sort of “problem” with the company. He stumbles upon 1 measly random blog with another customer that had some other random problem (due to the same reasons… lack of knowledge). Mr. Customer then chimes in on the blog post saying how big of a scammer the company is, and that they emailed many times but only got ignored. as time goes by, the blog post becomes bigger and bigger. Full of people that just don’t understand the internet and likely should never have bought the product to begin with. And the vicious cycle keeps going and going.

    Web 2.0 is a huge breeding ground for negativity. Yes, it can work both ways, but we, as humans naturally look for controversy, and web 2.0 lends to that VERY well…

    Side Note: I once had a customer that had an issue with one of our products. He called me a scammer. I then replied to him and explained. He apologized stating it was a misunderstanding and then went on to tell me that 2 years ago he quit his full-time job thanks to what I’d taught him… and, get this, he made over 1 million dollars the previous year! (and this is a guy that actually thought I was a scammer? what?)

  13. Bruce Walker says:

    I understand and appreciate your point. What you describe happens off the net as well though. I’ve been a software developer for over 20 years….everything from DOS to .NET. And yes people have issues and don’t necessarily take the proper route to get action. And sometimes user’s just complain for the sake of complaining.

    But doesn’t the “whining” also open the doors to resolution for legitimate businessmen such as yourself. If the customer in your side note didn’t lash out at you, then you would never have had the opportunity to clear up the misunderstanding. Think of all the sales that customer could have cost you! Yes, I admit it would be nice if they could find a more amicable way of handling the situation.

    Of course bashing someone on websites isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about legitimate complaints with details to backup the position (i.e screen shots and printouts of the EIGHT pages of upsells, screen shots of the failed cancellation page, and recordings of the “mailbox” full message).

    There has to be some way to weed out the hucksters so that legitimate internet marketers can do business. And don’t look to our elected officials for answers. No, I think the peddlers of snake oil will eventually be weeded out through natural selection in the marketplace – but that takes time.

    Now about that million dollars…

  14. Brad Callen says:

    Yeah, agreed :-) The difference between the offline world and the internet is when it’s done on the internet, it’s there “forever”. In the offline world, one bad apple could spread a false rumor and it’s gone just as fast as it came. Online, it’s there forever and in many cases a comment made years ago can appear to an outsider to be brand new.

  15. Unfortunately it is that 1% that always stand out, as they shout the loudest, I just think there is more to life than being miserable and trying to bring everyone down with you. Life is too short, I don’t get it!

  16. At the same token, the world needs places to whine and complain. It’s providing a valuable service in that very right of existence. Too see the human side of companies and corporations, or people who just need to let it out, adds to the appeal.

  17. As with any brick and mortar business, a satisfied customer will tell a few people
    about his experience…but an unhappy customer will complain to ALL WHO WILL
    LISTEN. As for scams out there, caution and informed choices go a long way.

  18. Paul says:

    Over-prominence of bad reviews is always going to happen – marketers should take steps to lessen it. Bear in mind also that the 98/2 ratio seems to apply also to poor and fake deals compared with decent deals. If yiou chrun out crap websites with poor user interfaces then don’t moan when some desperate newbie can’t find the hidden link to the mailbox that gets cleared once a month – that by the way is a general comment – check and you’ll see I rate this blog’s author highly.

  19. Hmm I’ve got to agree with anti aging guru up there. There has been an increase of new internet marketing products that have been utterly useless. Not like the good old days!!

    Some of the young fellas coming into the game are hyping up their sales pages and when you finally get to their product after buying its nothing more than you’re average run of the mill software. Its more than likely that you’re able to get something better for free if you look hard enough.

    Gotta admit though Brad, you’re stuff has been pretty good in the past! Any chance of a comeback or new software release?

  20. Brad Callen says:

    Yeah, I agree. All of these “push button” clickbank products are SO bad. Our new product, Niche Finder, , is starting to get a strong foot hold in the market. You may want to check it out if you’re doing keyword research. Have a good one, and thanks for the comments.

  21. Leah Boler says:

    Mr. Brad Callen,

    I was rather surprised to find out through your totally free website builder you and your brother are young and smart due to your parents, grandparents, upbringing, education and life in general. We’re all smarter than each other in different ways and people just need to realize that and concentrate on their own talents instead of acting like their shoe size.

    After reading all these comments here and then going over at StomperNET twice today, I have a KILLER solution for EVERYONE who really wants to make a decent living online by honing the exact skills they have talent for. We all KNOW that’s how you become an expert and get paid for what you do better than anyone else. . . and Brad Callen knows that better than all of us put together!!

    I noticed one of your products featured a teacher/coach who sold his site for $250K . . . but it was NOT the usual Digital Download Teaching People How TO Make Money by teaching People How to Make Money. The product is real and everyone either has one or will have one during their lifetime. Treadmills are everywhere!! – click my name and check this out! Will Smith is NOT afraid to die on a treadmill I luv that video!!

    Mr. Callen, this rather L Oo NG comment is going down in History because YOU are about to become instrumental in turning the Semantic Web as it was intended 12 years ago into The Next Web so that all your customers, clients, followers, fans and friends are going to wake up with more money in their pockets.

    Thanks to YOU – everyone will benefit even greater than ever before because this is the start of Decade TWO and people have had enough. 2011 i s the Year! If the answer to the following equation is 111 for everyone, then it’s ON like Donkey Kong!!

    How old will you be this year? What are the last two digits of the year you were you Born? Calculate! [Your Age This Year] + [Last Two Digits of Year Born] = 111

    domain buying black belt said it first — “Any chance of a comeback or new software release?” Oh yeah, most definitely!! Think I’m crazy? Watch Brad and you’ll see!!!

  22. herbalife says:

    I didn’t get the previous comment point.. but anyways.

    Well Brad, you know, even if a product benefits of a 100% rate of supporters, after a while it becomes obsolete, things change… and the same software that used to produce 100% satisfaction, some months/years later it is no longer the same thing.

    In this web world the dinamycs is unbelievable thus it is so hard for a product to meet the expectations of all buyers.

    About the speed of spreading negative opinions.. it is a law of human nature, not only of web nature. It is said that 10% of the people follow and promote a good news, while 90% are willing to viral spread a bad news, or something negative.

    As a matter of fact, I am a Herbalife distributor and I can tell the products are unbelievable, with great results. But, there are some people that are only “testing the waters”, that are sick, with their health on the verge of collapse, that use our products but are not commited to work on all the aspects of their life, that quit fast and spread on forums guess what: those products… I got liver problems (of course they already had those problems), the products are useless, too expensive… etc

    Of course there are a lot of satisfied people.. but they usually do not have time to spend on forums.

    That’s it. In the end, a good potential buyer has to decide wheather the sources where he gets the information are reliable enough.

  23. Ian Ainslie says:

    Simple equation for pretty much all things in life: quit bitching and take action.
    Not really that difficult is it.
    Spend as much time doing things that are proven to work, instead of posting in forums and procrastinating, as you will achieve results.
    Not the most difficult process to get to grips with, is it?

    Good article.

  24. enad says:

    i will learn seo. i will

  25. simon nobody says:

    Complete nonsense. The essence of your post is to imply that most people who complain
    are looser types who have nothing better to do. Wow- can really tell you’re a marketer. clever psychology- make the person who complains feel bad. You’re just complaining about the fact that you can’t censor peoples’ opinions on the web.

    eat it up..that’s the way the game plays. especially when you’re in the bussiness of selling ‘money making’ products and software.

    kindergarten marketing school teaches the most powerful force in marketing is word of mouth. If people are enthused about a product they will recommend it. Its what IM’ers are constantly trying to engineer- ‘word of mouth, ‘going viral’.

    At the very least- if that 1% do start complaining SOME of the other 99% will jump to the product/service’s defense. I saw half a dozen examples of this just in the past day. Its just not true what you want to suggest -that the ‘other people’ are too busy being succesful. Enough people will find a few spare minutes to chip in to say ‘hey that’s not my experience’. I’m in the middle of trying to post produce a film- and I found the time to disagree wiht you here.

    If no one jumps to your defence then maybe its because they’re not that enthused about what you’ve offered.

  26. Brad Callen says:

    Sorry Simon, but that was not the purpose of my post. The purpose of my post was to write what was on my mind while bored one day. In my opinion, Web 2.0 lends itself much more to whiners than to those who are positive about life. Thanks for your comments. To each his own. Have a good day.

  27. Hi Brad,

    First I wanted to give a positive plug for Love using the site. Have
    gotten such super amazing content from there. Has saved me so much time
    and funds. That’s how I found this site too. Thanks!! 😀

    Second, this very thing is happening currently to a good friend of mine. That
    1% is killing it. It’s pretty much a catch 22, I see the reasoning on both sides.
    I have had some good experiences and some bad. But, I guess for me I always
    make attempts at working it out with the source if I have purchased something
    and am not satisfied.

    So far, this has worked out good for me, but I guess individuals like the one who
    is attacking my friend when they didn’t even try to contact and make aware they
    were not happy, are to me just lazy. They would rather blab their dissatisfaction
    then try to resolve an issue first. It seems to me to be the case with the majority
    of these whiners anyways.

    That little bit of extra effort they have to put forth in contacting support etc.
    is too much for them, easier just to complain via social media or complaint sites.

    Anyways just my 2 cents on this.

  28. Denyse says:

    Brad Callen I love you and consider you to be an honest business
    man. You have helped me to get started. I recently purchased your affiliate elite package and I am SO Excited to get started.

    If you conduct business honestly on the internet or brick and mortar for that matter, you will get complaints if you do not deliver what you promised to one person,
    dispite the fact that you delivered what you promised to hundreds if not millions of others. The fact of the matter remains: You have A Dissatisfied Customer. How will you keep this dissatisfaction from turning into an online fiasco with your name in the middle and your reputation on the line.


    Many people who are marketers them selves will think twice before complaining needlessly because they understand the LAW, they know what goes around comes around.

    Most people who are vociferous however, are those who have not had their needs
    met in one way or another, wheather its product satisfaction or customer service.
    I am sure as business people we’ve all had reasons for complaints but should we
    add frustration to our otherwise abundant day because of a complaint. My goal is
    to fix the customers problem, provide feed back if I am some how delayed in so
    doing, and I find that keeps everyone happy and my name out of the scam files.

"Brad Callen makes the best marketing software in the world. Period."
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