Apple doesn't want to hear what you think about their stuff anymore

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/23/apple-doesnt-want-to-hear-wh.html

4 Likes

Back in the good old days you had separate sites/publications for reviews of products, so the manufacturer couldn’t pull the ones they didn’t agree with. I’m OK with going back to that.

32 Likes

You really gotta ask, how much is enough?

It’s like they measure their worth not by how much they have, not by how quickly they’re gaining more, but by how quickly the rate of growth is growing.

9 Likes

“You vill take zis product, and you vill like it!!!”

8 Likes

This is Apple we are talking about here? I mean this has been really Apple for decades and I mean more than 2. They have always had an authoritarian streak with a shiny coating.

15 Likes

They had to, their submissive fanboys were running out of ways to submit.

3 Likes

They only care about reviews of their main product, Apple stock.

11 Likes

I’ll play devil’s advocate here, from my Android phone (because my MacBook’s battery is dead). In the real world we live in, doing away with ratings and comments is no less transparent than having them.

Most of them are gamed and massaged and straight up fictionalized. People are gainfully employed to oversee armies of contingent workers who make, fake, delete, edit, adjust, spin, and mob the comments for any e-commerce site that allows them.

But let’s say Apple wasn’t doing that. Let’s say Apple was letting a thousand turds shine in their walled garden comments. That, too, is a kind of manipulation. If you feel warmly, even a tiny bit, towards Apple for its “transparency,” then you intuitively take their side against these bitter angry commenters who probably lead sad lives. I mean, who takes time out of their day to say a product wasn’t TERRIBLE but also wasn’t GREAT? Someone whose opinion you didn’t need in the first place, is who! (etc. etc.)

I’m not trying to be too cynical here; it’s just that no amount of cynicism is too much when you’re talking about point-of-sale comments from “customers.” It might be one thing or it might be another, but it is NOT neutral information.

13 Likes

Opposing view: I have no problem with this, and here’s why.

I recently upgraded from an iPhone 6s to iPhone 11, and that meant I had to buy a lightning-to-3.5mm adapter for my new iPhone. I looked it up on the Apple Store app and saw that the ratings were really terrible. Dismayed, I started looking at the reviews individually, and it quickly became clear that they were almost all one-star reviews from people who were mad about Apple’s abandonment of the traditional 3.5mm jack. So I looked up the same part on Amazon and other retailers, and it was consistently rated 4-5 stars.

If people are abusing these reviews to communicate their feelings about Apple’s choice of directions and not the quality of the item being reviewed, then the reviews are worthless and leaving them on the site serves no purpose.

(FWIW, I’m not thrilled about the loss of the headphone jack either, but the adapter has been working perfectly.)

12 Likes

To be honest. All reviews everywhere are manipulated. Some companies remove the ones they disagree with. Others pay for reviews. Some are simply a rating with no info and others a rating with info completely irrelevant to the product or the rating.

Sadly, I find the best method is narrow something down and research the brand or seller and make a choice from that, or if it’s less than say $50 just pull the trigger knowing it’s a gamble.

1 Like

Apple’s version of reality and opinions are different than their customers. When customers and professional reviewers have a better version of reality and better opinions, Apple’s behavior is to disgraud and counter criticize. Sometime they’re right. Sometime they’re are terminally wrong.

If you want to do your own thing don’t buy Apple.

while i agree with you, i also think if people can’t complain to apple, then they’re going to complain about apple.

i think reviews might not necessarily be the best conduit for feedback, but if all apple is listening to are their market research companies and not actual customer feedback… well, that’s when your headphone jacks disappear.

2 Likes

Very much this. Online reviews are heavily gamed or just misused (Yelp: Loved the food and the atmosphere and the ambiance, but had to wait 5 minutes for water, 1 star!). Or, as you mention, those who choose not to review the item itself but use the reviews for other purposes, coupled with the fact that a “star” means different things to different people (is 5 star “no issues” or “incredible”? Is 3 stars “average” or “terrible” because you rate average 4 stars and good 5? Or do you only rate 1 or 5 stars?)

for many years, apple has actually had a feedback form:

https://www.apple.com/feedback/

Additionally, how many apps out there do you see with support requests as reviews? How many do you think actually get followed up on versus using the support link every app has? Not many.

Online reviews are a dumpster-fire, before you start trying to use them as a support mechanism. They can’t die soon enough in their current form.

16 Likes

I agree that the removal of the reviews is a bummer (it was sometimes possible, for some people to get useful information there), but I disagree with the premise that Apple doesn’t want to hear what their consumers think.

The new emoji book pro is a clear signal that they’re listening. The old keyboard’s mechanism, arrow key layout and lack of an escape key were each show-stoppers for me buying a new fruit book. This new machine looks pretty good, and I’ll probably buy one.

I’m not an Apple apologist, but I’m quite OK with the reviews being gone from the Apple site. Did you ever read them when they were there? The majority of them were useless and contained very little information pertinent to the product they supposedly “reviewed”. I don’t know that you actually even had to purchase a product before you could leave a review.

I’m much happier looking up actual reviews on 3rd party sites. I don’t consider this as Apple being “authoritarian” so much as Apple cleaning up the trash on their site.

3 Likes

If these are examples of the “reviews” that were posted I’m glad they’re gone.

  • I paid a metric ass-ton of money for this aluminum laptop. I will not be able to buy groceries for a month, becasue of the financial hit I took. However, the laptop is extremely well-made and will last me many years.
  • What the fuck do you mean I’m holding it the wrong way?
  • My iPad still does iPad stuff, but I’m happy I bought this new ipad, all the same.
  • Does the keyboard still suck?

What useful information do these provide? Reviews should only be allowed from actual owners of the product. These are obviously trolls.

1 Like

This doesn’t seem like a great loss. I always assume reviews on the manufacturer’s website are cherry-picked anyway.

My home computer is a late 2014 Apple Mac Mini. It is probably two years older than most desktop computers that go to the landfill. In the past couple weeks I spent more than 7 hours with Apple Support resolving problems, support that may let me use this excellent computer for three or four more years. This didn’t cost me a penny. Multiple Apple advisors were patient, professional, courteous, concerned and aware that my time is valuable, and they ultimately identified and fixed my problem. This comes after I used Windows machines at work for 12 years and watched my IT department struggle to get expensive support from Microsoft. I cannot imagine I would have gotten the same level of service, not to mention tech support, for a Windows machine of a similar age. If Apple wants to ignore troll reviews, I say more power to them.

2 Likes

just say apple three zone

With one glorious exception: the Apple II. Too bad they abandoned the open, extendable, hackable philosophy in favor of sealed-against-the-user black boxes.

I preferred Woz’s vision over Jobs’, thankyouverymuch.

5 Likes