Online Mystery Reviewer Hounds Blacktip Island Store

mystery shopper

An unknown shopper at Peachy Bottoms’ Groceries and Sundries has been posting mysterious online reviews of the store’s good and services. (photo courtesy of Wolfgang Sauber)

An unknown Blacktip Island shopper this week began posting online reviews about the island’s sole grocery/hardware store’s goods and services, causing both consternation and mirth among the small Caribbean island’s residents.

“It started with a flyer at the post office listing a website,” Lee Helm said. “The site has humorous bits about prices being astronomical and the quality being crap. Things we all say, but funnier. And now that word out, everybody’s reading it.

“The line about the vegetables being brown and the meat being green made me spit coffee across the table,” Helm said. “Whoever’s doing it, they’ve got the store pegged. And Peachy’s none too pleased.”

The reviews have angered the store’s owner.

“Normally, it’d be a case of ‘just spell my name right,’” Peachy Bottoms said. “Constructive feedback’s welcome. But that damn site’s just making customers complain more, nonstop. And sales are down, so it’s had that effect, too.

“But it’s the insults that really get me,” she said. “‘The prices are high, and so is Peachy if she thinks I’ll pay that?’ There’s no need to get personal. And if they do, say it to my face like everybody else. I’m keeping a notebook of who buys what, and who looks at what, so I can narrow down the suspects. And ban ‘em from the store.”

Residents noted not all the reviews were negative.

“Yesterday there was a nice comment about how well a store-bought spatula worked,” Corrie Anders said. “And even when the reviews are critical, they’re still helpful. It’s good to know when the bread’s moldy or there’s no 10-penny nails left.”

Others praised the site’s humor.

“Prices are high, sure. That’s island living, y’know,” Linford Blenny said. “Them reviews are funny, even when you don’t agree. Peachy, she got to lighten up, share the laugh. Won’t lose business long. I mean, where else you gonna shop?”

Many on the island are speculating who the author might be.

“At first it looked like it might be Dermott Bottoms, pranking his cousin,” Marissa Graysby said. “But then folks realized Dermott can’t even turn on a computer, or spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and ‘a.’ Personally, I think this has Payne Hanover written all over it. It’s his kind of gag, and he definitely has the time, and know-how, do pull something like this off.”

Hanover would neither confirm nor deny the accusations.

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