The problem with leaving honest Amazon reviews

A few months ago, I bought a special tool on Amazon that was supposed to help with taping drywall. It’s called TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. The makers claimed it allowed you to easily apply an even amount of joint compound directly to the joint tape. In fact, they stated on their website that it was “a great DIY tool giving professional results on a DIY budget.

I’ve taped drywall before, but I’m no professional. I definitely fall squarely into the DIY side of things when it comes to home repair, especially drywall.

There were some cracked joints on our ceiling that needed to be repaired. The old tape needed to be removed and new tape applied. Doing drywall work really sucks. Doing drywall work on the ceiling especially really sucks. I thought having this tool would make re-taping the ceiling easier.

It turned out, I was wrong. This tool didn’t make it easier. It also didn’t give me professional results. In fact, it was the complete opposite. It made it harder to mud the tape and the end result looked pretty shoddy. It also made a mess. I ended up mudding the tape the old-fashioned way and got much better results. I ended up throwing the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool away. I thought about trying to sell on Craigslist or Facebook, but I didn’t want to push such a crappy tool on someone else.

Last month, I went on Amazon and began writing short reviews for some of the stuff I’ve purchased lately, including the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. I gave it one star, only because that’s the lowest Amazon’s review system goes. In reality, the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool deserves no stars.

This is the review I left on Amazon:

Complete waste of money. I don’t know why I fall for these tools that don’t do what they’re supposed to do. I threw it away a couple of weeks ago.

I didn’t think much about it after that. Then, a few weeks ago, I got an email notification from Amazon informing me there was a comment about my review. This is the comment, left by someone named Ron:

Rick, these tools work as described so what seemed to be the problem? The mud coating of the tape? The set up? Did you read the instructions and have the compound thinned correctly? Did you remove the insert from the end of the tool and insert it properly? This controls the amount of compound applied to the tape. This tool is so simple to use but the correct thinned compound is much of the secret to proper use. I’d like to hear from you to know why you didn’t think the tool worked for you. You can leave your comment on this site or on our website comment page at

It was obvious Ron worked for Buddy Tools, the maker of TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. I didn’t respond to the comment because I really didn’t see the point. My review was left because I wanted to let people like me, DIYers who buy stuff on Amazon, know that it didn’t work as described. If other DIYers decided to ignore my advice and buy it anyway, then that’s on them.

If I were to reply to Ron, I’d say that yes, I did read the instructions. I also watched every instructional YouTube video available for the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. I thought I was well informed before using it. It just didn’t work like it was supposed to. My guess is that to get professional results from the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool, you either need to be a professional, or practice with it a lot. 

Then, on July 11, I got the following email from Ron, the person who left a comment on Amazon:

You recently posted some comments on about the TapeBuddy drywall taping tool we manufacture. I placed a note on there as well but not sure you were aware of this. Because the note is very brief it is hard to know what or why this tool didn’t work for you or what problems you had with it. I’d like to chat some time to talk about this.

I did notice on your blog you live in Hagerstown MD. Our printing is done in Greencastle PA so I have been in the area many times. Beautiful area you live in. My office number is listed below and rings into my cell when I’m traveling. Right now we are in upstate NY for the next few weeks. Also noticed you severed in the US Air Force. My dad did as well and was stationed in Del Rio TX where I was born. Thanks for serving our country and for the call.

Serving you,
Ron Morton
President Buddy Tools LLC

I thought the email was kind of pushy and bordering on the cusp of being… creepy. I’m not really sure why President Ron felt the need to come to my blog and read my About Me page. It’s not like I’m the first person to leave a one-star review.

Something tells me I won’t be the last.

Not only does Ron work for Buddy Tools, he’s the president of the company. I’m not sure what responsibilities being the president of Buddy Tools entails,  but I don’t think it includes going to the personal blog of people who’ve left one-star reviews on Amazon to find out where they live and what branch of the military they served in.

President Ron wasn’t done. On July 25, he posted another comment on Amazon:

Rick, I still haven’t heard from you on your comment and would like to help resolve the problems you had with it. It’s too bad you tossed this tool before figuring out how it works. Give me a call some time.

My problem is that the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool just didn’t work for me. I read the instructions. I watched all the videos. Instead of getting professional results, I got the complete opposite. I paid $30 for this useless tool and when I left an honest and accurate review on Amazon, I then got pestered by the president of the company.

That’s not how the review system on Amazon should work.

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Rick Rottman

My name is Rick Rottman and I live in Maryland. This is my blog. If you'd like to know more about me, check out my About page.

2 thoughts on “The problem with leaving honest Amazon reviews”

  1. Rick, I have to say that I don’t know what your problem with Ron the Tape Buddy guy is he makes a product he is proud of and would like to correct any problems for future users. I am actually very impressed the he would go to such lengths to resolve issues with his product. “it just didn’t work for me” helps no one including yourself, just talk to the guy and maybe you can make the world a just little bit better. Now I’m going to buy a TapeBuddy but since you haven’t offered your input maybe it won’t work as well as it could have. Well nuts!

    1. Why did you write “it just didn’t work for me”? I never wrote that. Because you placed it in quotes, it implies that I said it. I did not say that.

      If President Ron wants to resolve issues with his product, he needs to hire a DIYer and have him or her actually use it. That is who the product is marketed to, the DIYer.

      My guess is that when this thing was being designed, the only people to ever use it and test it were people with lots of drywall experience. For people like this, I’m sure the tool works great. Problem is, it’s not marketed to people like that.

      As a consumer, it’s not my responsibility to make President Ron’s tool better. I left my review on Amazon for other consumers, not for the benefit of the product’s manufacturer.

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