cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Online product reviews, can we trust them?

Minivanman
Hero
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 1,046
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-11-2014

Online product reviews, can we trust them?

I guess many of us here who buy online pay at least some attention to those product reviews, but can we trust them and how valid are they?

There are it seems three types of reviews. The retailers own though it's Vine programme, the incentivised 'unpaid' reviewer, and Joe Blogs (that us) that submits his or hers own feedback. I must admit that I treat them all with a pinch of salt, but it's worth knowing just who it is that is giving an opinion.

Just a thought anyway.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/28/through-the-letterbox-the-secret-life-of-an-amazo...

 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
14 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 2,859
Thanks: 1,534
Fixes: 62
Registered: 22-02-2016

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

A website called reviewmeta.com have released some browser addons that will filter out reviews by using an algorithm. The website is currently unavailable but you can watch a video here about it:

Frontend Web Developer | www.plus.net

If you have an idea to improve the community, create a new topic on our Community Feedback board to start a discussion about your idea.

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

website is up for me

Luzern
Pro
Posts: 2,837
Thanks: 225
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

I always read with caution. Trouble is that often stale reviews are not weeded out, so exceptionally good or bad reviews that were posted in serious numbers, say four years back, have the same influence on scores, as do those posted yesterday.

I think :undecided:scores could be adjusted in value for age, but guess that's a little too sophisticated.

I won't mention the review site concerned, but when an ISP, un-renowned for its service is shown with a pie chart equivalent of 90%+ 5 stars, whilst another familar one having problems gets the opposite, I pilot myself away.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,322
Thanks: 467
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

Online reviews are not worth the paper they are written on.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
JayG
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 875
Thanks: 47
Fixes: 1
Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

I had a car phone/tablet charger, highly recommended by Amazon reviews, fail after about 5 outings, ditto a 3m USB charger/data extension cable (worked OK to start with, then only after a bit of judicious wiggling, then not at all.)

Trying to find a better quality replacement was not easy - all the reviews bar one were from people who had been either given or sold the item at a much reduced price. Yes, that is made clear, but they are all testing the product straight out of the box and not after 6 months use.

My sister is one of these Amazon testers and tries to do an honest job (don't really know why because she doesn't get paid, and only gets a BOGOF or reduced price for the items she tests. Roll eyes)

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

I don't trust many online reviews, they're usually written by idiots who bought an item, think it looks grand and so they will write a raving review about the damn thing without even knowing any of its flaws that you only discover a month down the line after some use.

What is the point in that? "Yeah I managed to find one, its brilliant, only had it 24 hours but its the best ever". A month later they hate it but have done their review and can't warn anyone.

I take the opposite stance.. if i'm going to leave a review of a product i'll do so after it's had use. Did that once with a printer bought from Tesco... it was utter trash and so i left a review stating that it had been well tested.... Tesco wiped it immediately. The sharks don't give a damn about quality.

So no i'm not a fan of reviews by idiots... but i will still read them incase there are people who have done thorough usage / reviewing of the product.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Minivanman
Hero
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 1,046
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

Rightly or wrongly, as (we) used to be the same with anything Japanese, I try my best to avoid anything made in China - and not only because they are rubbish (which often then are) but because they take so long to arrive! Having said that such items are not always easy to identify as the suppliers 'address' is invariably given as being in the UK.

Mind you, bought some pants in M&S the other week only to note that they were made in Bangladesh. And to think that Britain used to be regarded as the workshop of the world. How times change eh.

Guy was buying a pair of shoes in Taiwan, looked at the bottom to see where they were made.... and it read 'Over the Road'

Cheesy    

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,836
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?


AlaricAdair wrote:

Online reviews are not worth the paper they are written on.


 

 

 

Interesting comment....  GrinGrinGrin

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,917
Thanks: 596
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

Fully agree with the points made in previous posts.

I had a poor experience with a major car parts supplier, they charged my credit card and when the good did not arrive claimed my order was lost due to a computer problem, money was refunded ok but several days later I got a email advising me a free car cleaning kit worth £25 would be sent if I left a review.

The review was negative and did not appear on their website which was full of positive reviews, checking reviews about that company on another independent website and the majority were negative.

so much for reviews...

Luzern
Pro
Posts: 2,837
Thanks: 225
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?


AlaricAdair wrote:

Online reviews are not worth the paper they are written on.


But, being on line no paper is involved. I'm sure, were paper involved, reviews would have value in extremis, though I'll put that thought behind me.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Minivanman
Hero
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 1,046
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

I think 'nothing' was the point 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,342
Thanks: 608
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

Unless online reviews are overwhelmingly negative for an item I'll generally ignore them and make up my own mind.

Minivanman
Hero
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 1,046
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

The same goes if they are overwhelmingly positive as well. Just like your mates saying what a great geezer you are, and then ponce a cigarette off you..... not that I smoke anymore.

Can we say words like ponce? Not so sure these days.  Undecided

Well that one was answered, my alternative three letter word for cigarette got censored! Blimey O'Reilly, it puts me in mind of this recent article.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6423899/Police-told-to-avoid-saying-evenin-all....

PC or not PC, that is the question

 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,556
Thanks: 171
Fixes: 2
Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: Online product reviews, can we trust them?

I do read reviews but usually get sidetracked by the insight into human nature. It's amazing how many people can't cope with even the simplest technology and then write a review showing their own stupidity. I remember one where a woman was complaining that the clock face on a bedside lamp was too bright and she had to put a piece of cardboard in front of it in order to sleep. I took it on myself to send her which buttons to press to dim it. 

To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra