Easy solution: Posting a review is only enabled a few days after a visitor has placed an order for and received the product in question.
Fake reviews are often posted by people who make accounts just to be able to post reviews, so they typically only have a few reviews attached to the account. Highlighting reviews (for example making the names bright green) by reviewers with only a few reviews (three or less) in a different color scheme would call attention to products where many reviews are from possibly false reviewers - good or bad.
Then just add a note under the “Average Customer Review” section that explains the color scheme. This way you’re not excluding valid first time reviewers, but still putting some warning about a possibly false impression being given by extreme reviews.
I realize that fake reviewers could just up their game, but then at least they’d have to work for it.
If someone was invested in giving a bad review, like a competitor, they would just go ahead and order. No? Amazon does tag some reviews with “Verified Purchaser.”
Amazon’s feedback system probably works about as well as it should. I used to get bent out of shape when one of my products received bad reviews, but that’s probably just a sign that I shouldn’t sell that product.
It might be nice if reviews left by brand new users didn’t count toward the overall star rating until that customer reached a critical mass of multi-brand orders and feedback left. I’ve noticed on ebay and Amazon both that almost all customer problems come from brand new user accounts.
Ultimately feedback is designed more to encourage continued interaction with Amazon’s and Ebay’s platforms, and has little to do with product or experience quality. My hope is that this case has a chilling effect on the whole thing, but probably it will only make a difference for these litigants.
My suggestion wasn’t so much to stop anyone’s bad action, but more to give people who are less aware a head’s up. I know it seems like everyone should be well aware of paid reviewers, but some people just aren’t, and people in general tend not to see numbers unless they’re displayed in front of them.
Forcing people to go to a second screen to view how many reviews a person has posted makes it harder to see the percentage of possible false reviews at a glance. So I’m only suggesting a way to make that information show up on the main screen.
There are big corporations that refuse to give out any employment references because of lawsuits from ex-employees.
I can’t wait for yelp to become a site where they can’t tell you about the alleged cafe that might be on Main St and Pine St. because lawsuit but they will require both a blood sample and credit check before feeding them your opinion.
But that will take away the wonderful fake reviews for products such as the 55 gallon drum of lube…
Why should buying something through Amazon have anything to do with my familiarity with a product?
Wait does this mean non-ironic reviews exist on Amazon? Up to this point, I’d always considered the user review section a kind of training ground for up-and-coming comedy writers. This article has given me a lot to think about.
Because people who buy a product somewhere else and then come to Amazon to review it are, essentially, a completely negligible portion of the reviewer base, whereas corporate shills are endemic to online commerce. In terms of review quality, there’s more to be gained by mildly inconveniencing the latter than is lost by completely eradicating the former.
And yeah, we would also lose the burgeoning literary genre of comedy Amazon reviews. I like those and I think they’re funny, but Amazon shouldn’t care about them in deciding how to best serve its customers.
I think you meant to say “mildly inconveniencing the former.”
And the Bic for Her pens. And the Binders Full of Women reviews, too…
Rob, you seem to have missed some of the issues with this particular case. Part of Ubervita’s complaint is the fact that people are also posting ridiculous positive reviews and then claiming that Ubervita are doing that themselves - going as far as posting fake ads in Craigslist asking to post positive reviews on Amazon. A clearly fake positive review can be just as bad for a company’s reputation as a poor review. Ubervita has certainly done their homework here, and it seems to be a case of perhaps a rival company deliberately trashing their reputation. ArsTechnica has more details.
Of course, Ubervita sells ridiculous crap, but this is not the issue in this particular case, and such cases can happen to any company.
I think this will create a chilling effect on posting reviews on Amazon negative or positive. If you don’t have the right to some anonymity when posting a review you will be less likely to do it for fear of repercussions such as frivolous lawsuits and harassment by the company whose product you just reviewed. I certainly won’t be posting any reviews after reading about this. I don’t want my name, address and phone number and banking information tied to an online review and given to the company whose product I just reviewed. Amazon might as well not have any online reviews at all if consumers are going to be screwed over by the courts.
Don’t let Amazon Prime customers post reviews! They buy piles of stuff based on the photo and not the product description because they have no intention of keeping it, then they expect free shipping and instant refunds. Look at the “Frequently Bought Together” box and you will see how people buy nearly identical items with no intention of keeping them. People even admit this when they say “I bought this without reading the product description…”
I keep thinking I should buy 500 different pillows and only keep one.
Other way around, but yeah, I accidentally used “latter” twice. Fixed.
Uh, no I don’t.
If we start banning entire categories of users because a few of them are dipshits, Then we might as well just fold up and discard the entire concept of online reviews, because there sure as hell won’t be anyone left allowed to write them.
In any case, Amazon deciding to treat the people who pay them for improved service like second-class citizens is about as likely as Amazon employing Internet Faeries to scry out fake reviews.
So what does finding out the reviewers’ names achieve here? Furthermore, why do they need “credit card information [and] bank account information” and how can it be legal to obtain that information?
In summary, what the fuck?
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