Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • burnleymik
    • By burnleymik 13th Aug 16, 12:14 PM
    • 930Posts
    • 1,933Thanks
    burnleymik
    Amazon Product Reviews/ratings.. misleading, possibly a scam
    • #1
    • 13th Aug 16, 12:14 PM
    Amazon Product Reviews/ratings.. misleading, possibly a scam 13th Aug 16 at 12:14 PM
    I am really getting annoyed now. I was recently searching for a Smartwatch, nothing fancy, between the price range of £50-£100.

    I usually use Amazon for things like this, where I am not too fussed about branded products and I use their star ratings to filter out the better ones and then read the reviews to narrow down to a couple I really like.

    That said, I started reading a lot of the reviews and somewhere in the wall of text there was a small comment that read something along the lines of "I have reviewed this product in return for a discount" or "The supplier kindly sent me a review sample for evaluation, with a request for an honest and impartial review".

    These types of reviews were on almost every item I looked at.

    I just wanted an honest, untainted review of a product, not a gushing report because someone had received it for free or for a deep discount. Almost every review like this was 5 stars, with the odd 4 stars.

    I started digging a bit deeper and it seems Amazon are deliberately allowing their customers to be mislead. These are not just individuals, but companies and Facebook groups that are running these reviews for products exercises.

    there is a good article here:

    http://thehustle.co/a-surprisingly-large-number-of-amazon-reviews-are-scams-the-hustle-investigates

    These groups will kick/remove any reviewer who posts a review of 3 stars or less because the suppliers will stop sending them the products if they allow them to be posted to Amazon.

    i.e.:



    I was always under the impression the reviews were left by previous customers.

    There are even now websites (like fakespot) out there where you can input the product URL into their site and they will use a formula to help you gauge how trustworthy the product reviews are.

    You cannot even filter out the verified purchases, but they are getting around that too now. It's a real mess.

    Amazon used to be a really good company, with great customer service, but now they are allowing themselves to be exploited, whilst allowing their customers to be mislead (at best) and scammed (at worst) into purchasing products that are not nearly as good as they think they are.
    A smile costs nothing, but gives a lot.
    It enriches those who receive it without making poorer those who give it.
    A smile takes only a moment, but the memory of it can last forever.
Page 2
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 4th Oct 16, 5:24 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    No the false ones will be much more detailed. The single word ones probably are genuine.
    Originally posted by The-Truth
    I'd agree, if I could be bothered to leave a review for a product that did what I expected it to, all I am going to say is "Fine". There's no benefit in it for me using my time to do anything else.

    Anyone who feels moved to spend half an hour writing a paean of praise about something is probably being paid for it.
    • azana
    • By azana 5th Oct 16, 5:51 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 311 Thanks
    azana
    Only for Amazon.com for now are reviews of free products not allowed, BBC and independent both wrongly reporting. I would think it will come to co.uk too though, although companies may try and find ways around it. There's a petition been started on change .org in the US- the comments make for interesting reading... some people clearly saw reviewing freebies as their job
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 5th Oct 16, 7:06 AM
    • 2,100 Posts
    • 2,120 Thanks
    LadyDee
    I'd agree, if I could be bothered to leave a review for a product that did what I expected it to, all I am going to say is "Fine". There's no benefit in it for me using my time to do anything else.

    Anyone who feels moved to spend half an hour writing a paean of praise about something is probably being paid for it.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    But the whole idea of leaving a review is to assist others - "fine" is of no use to anyone and I would vote that as unhelpful, so not worth the small amount of time it takes you to leave it.

    The idea that everyone who writes a proper review is being paid for it is nonsense. I'll often leave reviews for items bought elsewhere because it will help someone else. My review (whether good or bad) will therefore not be a verified purchase but it will be genuine.
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 5th Oct 16, 8:57 AM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 27,218 Thanks
    pineapple
    But the whole idea of leaving a review is to assist others - "fine" is of no use to anyone and I would vote that as unhelpful, so not worth the small amount of time it takes you to leave it.

    The idea that everyone who writes a proper review is being paid for it is nonsense. I'll often leave reviews for items bought elsewhere because it will help someone else. My review (whether good or bad) will therefore not be a verified purchase but it will be genuine.
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    Totally agree. A review doesn't have to be War and Peace but 2 or 3 lines mentioning specifics is much more helpful. And often it's a mixed bag of positives and negatives rather than a eulogy or total damning.. When the same negatives or positives crop up again and again, that's when I take note.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 5th Oct 16, 9:35 AM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    But the whole idea of leaving a review is to assist others - "fine" is of no use to anyone and I would vote that as unhelpful, so not worth the small amount of time it takes you to leave it.

    The idea that everyone who writes a proper review is being paid for it is nonsense. I'll often leave reviews for items bought elsewhere because it will help someone else. My review (whether good or bad) will therefore not be a verified purchase but it will be genuine.
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    Why do I care if you vote it as unhelpful? I've left it for the people who realise not everyone has the time to write long reviews, but just want basically to know does it do what it says on the tin. Not everyone is you.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 5th Oct 16, 9:37 AM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Totally agree. A review doesn't have to be War and Peace but 2 or 3 lines mentioning specifics is much more helpful. And often it's a mixed bag of positives and negatives rather than a eulogy or total damning.. When the same negatives or positives crop up again and again, that's when I take note.
    Originally posted by pineapple
    When buying a fairly standard item you have fairly standard expectations, shared with everyone else. If it meets those, it's fine. No more needs to be said.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 5th Oct 16, 7:41 PM
    • 2,100 Posts
    • 2,120 Thanks
    LadyDee
    Why do I care if you vote it as unhelpful? I've left it for the people who realise not everyone has the time to write long reviews, but just want basically to know does it do what it says on the tin. Not everyone is you.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    If you care so little about assisting others why bother then? Oh, and enough 'unhelpful' votes whill mean that eventually your unhelpful one-word 'reviews' won't be published anyway.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 5th Oct 16, 9:36 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    If you care so little about assisting others why bother then? Oh, and enough 'unhelpful' votes whill mean that eventually your unhelpful one-word 'reviews' won't be published anyway.
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    You don't seem to understand. I don't care that much about helping you, with your idiosyncratic view of what is helpful. Not everybody is you, and a lot of people sensibly think that a one word review of a simple item is useful.

    I won't get many "unhelpful" votes because again, not everybody is you,and not everybody behaves in what, to my mind at least, is such a foolish way as to go around marking things unhelpful because they don't think enough has been written, and seem to think they have to impose their own standards on everyone else.
    • hybernia
    • By hybernia 8th Oct 16, 5:55 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 142 Thanks
    hybernia
    You don't seem to understand. I don't care that much about helping you, with your idiosyncratic view of what is helpful. Not everybody is you, and a lot of people sensibly think that a one word review of a simple item is useful.

    I won't get many "unhelpful" votes because again, not everybody is you,and not everybody behaves in what, to my mind at least, is such a foolish way as to go around marking things unhelpful because they don't think enough has been written, and seem to think they have to impose their own standards on everyone else.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    You're not a reviewer. You're the deliverer of a verdict.

    And as a verdict without a shred of explanation is not so much unhelpful as downright pointless, why not spare yourself the trouble of going online to make your one-word pronouncements anyway?
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 9th Oct 16, 10:12 AM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 27,218 Thanks
    pineapple
    When buying a fairly standard item you have fairly standard expectations, shared with everyone else. If it meets those, it's fine. No more needs to be said.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    While you can always generalise, individuals will have varying preferences.
    For example I recently bought a counter top oven online. Reading the reviews beforehand, it was clear that different things mattered to different people. You might be the sort of cook who just wants to shove in some oven chips now and then or you might be a Mary Berry wannabe. So it was useful to know how it stood up to different expectations.including some of the practical detail - such as you could simmer on the smaller hob, how long it took to heat up, extent of condensation on the glass door, how much heat did it generate externally, was the oven temperature consistent enough for temperature sensitive items, was it in daily or just occasional use and had any issues developed, was it easy to clean? Etc etc ...
    Your 'fine' or 'does the job' might not be be 'fine' or 'do the job' for me.
    The other factor is how long has it been in use for.
    Which is why I appreciate a little detail on reviews.
    .
    Last edited by pineapple; 11-10-2016 at 11:38 AM.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 9th Oct 16, 10:31 AM
    • 3,360 Posts
    • 3,567 Thanks
    robatwork
    Over the years I have been one of the "lucky ones" that have been supplied free items to test and give a review on and I have always been honest with my feelings on the items.
    Originally posted by London50
    I don't doubt your honesty and that you are giving a genuine opinion.

    However your opinion is immediately biased when you receive a free item.

    This is psychology 101.
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 9th Oct 16, 11:13 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 1,041 Thanks
    Bogalot
    If you care so little about assisting others why bother then? Oh, and enough 'unhelpful' votes whill mean that eventually your unhelpful one-word 'reviews' won't be published anyway.
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    So you're voting someone down to make sure they're no longer published? That's not constructive, it's nasty.

    I bought a knife sharpener. Now there's not much you can say about that, it either works or it doesn't. What more needs to be said than "fine" or "it works"? Do you need a detailed description of how I swipe the blade across it, perhaps its colour or other aesthetic qualities?

    You claim that "fine" is of no use to anyone. Perhaps you should stop trying to speak for everyone, when you have no idea what other people are looking for in reviews.
    • hybernia
    • By hybernia 9th Oct 16, 12:45 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 142 Thanks
    hybernia
    So you're voting someone down to make sure they're no longer published? That's not constructive, it's nasty.

    I bought a knife sharpener. Now there's not much you can say about that, it either works or it doesn't. What more needs to be said than "fine" or "it works"? Do you need a detailed description of how I swipe the blade across it, perhaps its colour or other aesthetic qualities?

    You claim that "fine" is of no use to anyone. Perhaps you should stop trying to speak for everyone, when you have no idea what other people are looking for in reviews.
    Originally posted by Bogalot
    If "there's not much you can say about" a purchase. . . then why say anything?

    It's not a condition of sale that some Amazon posting ID that means nothing at all to anyone other than the poster himself / herself must go online to pronounce on an Amazon acquisition about which nothing at all can be said anyway.

    A customer product "review" is just that: an individual's recorded view of an individual purchase expressed in such a way as to convey insights to any prospective purchaser of that same product.

    Those who have something in their lives about which nothing can be said can always open a Twitter account.

    As for Amazon users who mark a "review" unhelpful, you should be thanking, not criticising, them for their kindness in assisting a witless reviewer to realise that he / she really should get out more.
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 12th Oct 16, 11:25 AM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 27,218 Thanks
    pineapple
    You do get some numpties on Amazon reviews though. Genuine ones at that!
    Sometimes as a purchaser you get mass mailed to leave a review. Today I was looking at strimmers and someone who had obviously received one of these had posted under Reviews that 'Sorry but she couldn't leave a review as her husband hadn't used it yet'.
    She gave it 5 stars.

    You wonder how some people function in life.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 12th Oct 16, 12:33 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    If "there's not much you can say about" a purchase. . . then why say anything?

    It's not a condition of sale that some Amazon posting ID that means nothing at all to anyone other than the poster himself / herself must go online to pronounce on an Amazon acquisition about which nothing at all can be said anyway.

    A customer product "review" is just that: an individual's recorded view of an individual purchase expressed in such a way as to convey insights to any prospective purchaser of that same product.

    Those who have something in their lives about which nothing can be said can always open a Twitter account.

    As for Amazon users who mark a "review" unhelpful, you should be thanking, not criticising, them for their kindness in assisting a witless reviewer to realise that he / she really should get out more.
    Originally posted by hybernia
    He's saying the knife sharpener was fine. What more do you want him to say? I think the veriest idiot would be able to work out that if it's fine, it sharpens knives ok, and if it's "rubbish", it didn't sharpen the knives very well. The fact that you and a couple of other people need this spelled out to you doesn't impose an obligation on a reviewer to cater for you, rather than catering for people with a much higher degree of understanding than you.

    Bear in mind that it might well be because they get out more than you do that they don't spend as much time as you do writing reviews of tuppenny pencils.
    Last edited by ScorpiondeRooftrouser; 12-10-2016 at 12:40 PM.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 12th Oct 16, 12:38 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    While you can always generalise, individuals will have varying preferences.
    For example I recently bought a counter top oven online. Reading the reviews beforehand, it was clear that different things mattered to different people. You might be the sort of cook who just wants to shove in some oven chips now and then or you might be a Mary Berry wannabe. So it was useful to know how it stood up to different expectations.including some of the practical detail - such as you could simmer on the smaller hob, how long it took to heat up, extent of condensation on the glass door, how much heat did it generate externally, was the oven temperature consistent enough for temperature sensitive items, was it in daily or just occasional use and had any issues developed, was it easy to clean? Etc etc ...
    Your 'fine' or 'does the job' might not be be 'fine' or 'do the job' for me.
    The other factor is how long has it been in use for.
    Which is why I appreciate a little detail on reviews.
    .
    Originally posted by pineapple

    You are freely at liberty to appreciate detail on reviews. However, there are many people who don't care and assume that if there is no detail,there's not much to say apart from "it worked and didn't break". Maybe not for your oven but you have chosen a fairly complex item; by no means is that typical of everything.
    If you go around down voting any reviews that don't meet your preferences, you are simply doing a disservice to those who don't share those preferences.
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 12th Oct 16, 3:28 PM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 27,218 Thanks
    pineapple
    I'm glad you agree that we are all entitled to different preferences. Therefore it follows that we are at liberty to vote up or down according to those preferences. If someone reviewed a roll of sellotape as 'sticks well' I wouldn't vote them down. That would be silly. But just two words on something a lot more complex might get my down vote.
    Personally I don't revisit my reviews - unless I am editing them. It gives me a fuzzy warm feeling if I find my review has been helpful. But I won't lose any sleep if I get a thumbs down.

    Maybe you should read up on the definition of 'review'.
    Don't ever become a film or a book reviewer will you. It will be a short lived career if you simply write 'Fine' or 'Interesting' etc
    Last edited by pineapple; 12-10-2016 at 3:41 PM.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 12th Oct 16, 4:18 PM
    • 3,835 Posts
    • 7,284 Thanks
    iammumtoone

    Maybe you should read up on the definition of 'review'.
    Don't ever become a film or a book reviewer will you. It will be a short lived career if you simply write 'Fine' or 'Interesting' etc
    Originally posted by pineapple
    The big difference here is book/film reviewers are PAID for their opinions. People who write amazon reviews do this within their own time to help others, for someone to then vote that 'unhelpful' is in my opinion extremely rude. These people do not get paid they just like to help, it you don't find it helpful just leave it and only use the helpful button, to mark someone unhelpful who has been prepared to give their time for free to try to help others is uncalled for.

    Personally I think the unhelpful button should be removed. I have never used it, but I do mark those that are helpful as such.
    Last edited by iammumtoone; 12-10-2016 at 4:24 PM.
    • hybernia
    • By hybernia 12th Oct 16, 4:25 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 142 Thanks
    hybernia
    He's saying the knife sharpener was fine. What more do you want him to say?
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Sigh . . . What aspect of my post did you find difficult to understand? Plain English could not have been more plain. Ah well. Just to help you:

    I do not want him, you, or anyone else to say anything at all when he, you, or anyone else has nothing of any meaning to say. Not "good". Not "fine". Not "arrived OK". If ever the day comes -- God forbid -- when I want to read a tweet from a twitterer, I won't log into Amazon.

    I think the veriest idiot would be able to work out that if it's fine, it sharpens knives ok, and if it's "rubbish", it didn't sharpen the knives very well.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Verily, you have the wrong end of the knife sharpener again. Why, prithee, would anyone with a functioning brain wish to waste it on "working out" what the less functional have to say? A "review" isn't there to be "worked out" but to be read, as in:

    "Good knife sharpener, we've had ours for six months and it works as well now as it did out of the box." Or:

    "Bad buy, this so-called sharpener. Hardly sharpened anything before falling to pieces. We returned it to Amazon but the replacement's just as bad, too."

    Ooh. Reviews. Who'd've thought it?

    The fact that you and a couple of other people need this spelled out to you doesn't impose an obligation on a reviewer to cater for you, rather than catering for people with a much higher degree of understanding than you.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    As an assertion of superior intellectual authority, that paragraph may be lacking.

    Have you not yet grasped that people do not need anything spelled out to them? Your issue of "need" relates solely to those of egos so fragile that they need to see their little dribbling verdicts online, the pointlessness of such contributions mattering not so long as they've demonstrated their facility to type some keyboard characters in so astonishingly correct an order as to actually result in a word. Or, possibly, even two.

    What they "need" to understand is. . . they need not bother.

    Bear in mind that it might well be because they get out more than you do that they don't spend as much time as you do writing reviews of tuppenny pencils.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    As I was unaware of the Amazon pencils price until your revelation, getting out more would seem to be the kind of prescription that you should be writing for yourself. With that 2p pencil, but of course.
    • hybernia
    • By hybernia 12th Oct 16, 4:28 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 142 Thanks
    hybernia
    The big difference here is book/film reviewers are PAID for their opinions. .
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Well that's going to come as news to the hundreds of review websites out there maintained by film and book enthusiasts who pen their reviews for the love of it. Not the money.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

371Posts Today

2,186Users online

Martin's Twitter