I don't like the headline on Gregory Ciotti's story at Medium. "Is Yelp Turning You Into a Crappy Customer?" is obviously one of those SEO headlines that overpromises in hopes of catching a few extra eyeballs. But the story itself raises a good point, arguing the flip side of that old saw about the customer always being right.
What we often forget, however, is that we, as customers, also shoulder some responsibility in the service that we receive. Customers themselves play a very important role in the customer service process, but this importance often goes overlooked.
In short, you have to speak up if you're not getting what you want. Good customer service doesn't involve reading minds. Rather than going home and passive-aggressively complaining about the experience on Yelp, or leaving the store in a huff and taking out your aggression on anyone who crosses your path on your evening commute, the simple act of speaking up could save you a sudden spike in blood pressure.
Ciotti uses the extreme example of someone on Yelp who loved a restaurant's food and service, but wound up giving the restaurant a two-star review because their cheesecake was served in squares rather than slices, which "made me uncomfortable because it was not at all what I expected." I'm pretty sure a waiter would be willing to serve that cheesecake in triangular form if that's what the customer expected. I'm also pretty sure that waiter would have rolled their eyes at this customer in the kitchen while fulfilling this request, but that's what you get for being the kind of naif whose entire evening can be thrown off kilter by being served a dessert in an unexpected shape.
With the exception of a few sociopathic outliers, nobody in the service industry goes to work wanting to screw up a customer's day. (Sure, some people are gruff, or bad at their jobs. But that's got everything to do with their own lives and nothing to do with you as a customer or as a person.) And as a customer, it's important to remember that the person who's helping you is a human being who can't know what's going on in your head. As uncomfortable as it may be for some people, actually having a conversation with another human being could easily resolve lots of these issues that you wind up reading about online.