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Thread: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

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    Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Making its useful star ratings and review system more fair and meaningful.
    Read more.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    About time !
    I was sick of reading 'glowing' reviews of garbage.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Will be interesting to see the difference in ratings between incentivised and non-incentivised.

    I left an honest 3-star review on a gadget I bought a few months ago - only cost £10-£12 iirc. It was good but had some QC issues. The company offered me a full refund if I changed my review. The temptation of free stuff made me lose all regard for my fellow consumers and I complied, half hoping I'd go an a list of "give this guy free stuff for good reviews". I didn't.

    I felt a little dirty doing it, but I did change my review more to the quality of the customer service rather than the product, something like "I had problems but the company were very helpful" which I felt was fair.

    In short, don't trust Amazon reviews, especially on cheap tech.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by virtuo View Post
    Will be interesting to see the difference in ratings between incentivised and non-incentivised.

    I left an honest 3-star review on a gadget I bought a few months ago - only cost £10-£12 iirc. It was good but had some QC issues. The company offered me a full refund if I changed my review. The temptation of free stuff made me lose all regard for my fellow consumers and I complied, half hoping I'd go an a list of "give this guy free stuff for good reviews". I didn't.

    I felt a little dirty doing it, but I did change my review more to the quality of the customer service rather than the product, something like "I had problems but the company were very helpful" which I felt was fair.

    In short, don't trust Amazon reviews, especially on cheap tech.
    I would have changed my review also... 1 star less and a note about what happened because that is not good customer service. Good customer service would have been an apology and a refund without expectation of a review change, a good reviewer would then have added a note (and left original review intact) to say that they gave an unconditional refund.

    Reviews would work if people had a bit of community spirit and wrote honestly but sadly everyone in today's world is only interested in themselves, even for a measly £10.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    This was an Interest study by University Colorado Boulder about general usefulness of Amazon star ratings

    (Google for "Consumers’ trust in online user ratings misplaced, says CU-Boulder study").

    i.e. better than nothing, but not that much better... It'd be good if they had some way of up-weighting users who give detailed objective assessments, and also separate customer service from product (as sellers can come and go, but the review is supposed to be about the product itself (dammit)).

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    I would have changed my review also... 1 star less and a note about what happened because that is not good customer service. Good customer service would have been an apology and a refund without expectation of a review change, a good reviewer would then have added a note (and left original review intact) to say that they gave an unconditional refund.

    Reviews would work if people had a bit of community spirit and wrote honestly but sadly everyone in today's world is only interested in themselves, even for a measly £10.
    £10 is £10, me refusing that refund wouldn't have changed how much of a joke the Amazon review system is, and my 3 or 5 stars didn't make a dent in their average, which had lots of similar reviews anyway. Yes I was exploiting a broken system, as were the suppliers, I don't feel guilty for it now. And I still use the gadget in question.

    I did write my original review in all honesty, not expecting anything back from the company. 3 stars was fair enough for a cheap bit of tat that was usable if you could ignore the quirks. The money back was a nice offer, which they didn't have to do - it was good customer service in my opinion - so what if they get something out of it as well?

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    It's all just words from Amazon, the thing is to see now if they start taking actual action against the scam reviewers, especially those in their so called "top ten" of reviewers, the ones who write completely over the top reviews on a regular basis which are incredibly favourable and absolutely incentivized even when they somehow have the "verified purchase" on the items when they have stated in the review they were sent the item for free to give a review.

    As it stands now, Amazon's reputation has and is being ruined by these fake reviews, look at daily deals for example, a LOT of the items that appear on daily deals are absolute utter trash, low quality or fake goods but which have previously, usually a few days previously, been given a plethora of overly favourable and incentivized reviews from "top reviewers".

    At the moment it's nothing more than a scam and the reviewers with their cosy little cartel of secrecy where they use multiple accounts to manipulate their own and others reviews by either clicking "yes" in regards the review helped them or going so far in some cases to even reply to themselves with fake accounts telling themselves how great their own review was!

    'tis a joke, a sham and out right scam. I'm glad Amazon have finally spoken out and made a statement on it all but really, actions speak louder than words.
    Let us wait and see if Amazon actually really do something about it and take down these fake reviewers and restore their company reputation which has been dragged through the mud and ruined by fake, incentivized reviews from scammers.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    lol this isn't for our benefit in the slightest... you can still add 'incentivised' reviews but you just have to 'pay' (if it isn't already vine will cost money to 'add reviews') amazon to do it...

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    What took them this long?

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    You'll still get 1 star reviews from people who had their parcel lost in the post and 5 star reviews on items just because they successfully turn on.

    I want to be able to review reviewers.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Should also be a minimum time of owning a physical item before you can review it.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    I was hoping they'd go further. One thing that grinds my gears with their reviews system is the merging of similar items, for example a DVD and BluRay film. It might be the same film but very different formats which can change the outcome considerably.
    Its very annoying trying to filter the BluRay vs the DVD as sometimes BluRays arent worth bothering with as they add additional grain or tinker with the quality that you're just better off going with the DVD.


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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by virtuo View Post
    £10 is £10, me refusing that refund wouldn't have changed how much of a joke the Amazon review system is, and my 3 or 5 stars didn't make a dent in their average, which had lots of similar reviews anyway. Yes I was exploiting a broken system, as were the suppliers, I don't feel guilty for it now. And I still use the gadget in question.

    I did write my original review in all honesty, not expecting anything back from the company. 3 stars was fair enough for a cheap bit of tat that was usable if you could ignore the quirks. The money back was a nice offer, which they didn't have to do - it was good customer service in my opinion - so what if they get something out of it as well?
    The "it's already broken so it's OK if I break it some more..." attitude is part of the reason review systems are so broken. It wasn't a "nice offer" because they cared about you as a customer, it was a bribe to assist with covering up the shoddy nature of the product. Whether you consider that good customer service or not doesn't really matter it's not much good having the most amazing customer service in the world if the product is still less than great as it still avoidably inconveniences the buyers who have to pursue refunds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    You'll still get 1 star reviews from people who had their parcel lost in the post and 5 star reviews on items just because they successfully turn on.

    I want to be able to review reviewers.
    You can on many sites, on Amazon there is a button to say whether the review was helpful or not.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Should also be a minimum time of owning a physical item before you can review it.
    Problem with that is that a few weeks later people have largely forgotten about the purchase and are far less likely to go back and leave the review. Would be good if Amazon could indicate the number of days between the product shipping/delivery and the review being left though.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    I would have changed my review also... 1 star less and a note about what happened because that is not good customer service. Good customer service would have been an apology and a refund without expectation of a review change, a good reviewer would then have added a note (and left original review intact) to say that they gave an unconditional refund.

    Reviews would work if people had a bit of community spirit and wrote honestly but sadly everyone in today's world is only interested in themselves, even for a measly £10.
    I agree with this, the problem is there are so few "good reviewers" and Amazon controls sellers with such an iron fist that they have to badger customers for review changes.

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    Re: Amazon changes policy to eliminate incentivised reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    Problem with that is that a few weeks later people have largely forgotten about the purchase and are far less likely to go back and leave the review. Would be good if Amazon could indicate the number of days between the product shipping/delivery and the review being left though.
    They just have to do what they do now, by emailing out review requests on 'your recent purchase'... just wait a couple months.
    Those who bother will more likely have something to say about the product, rather than the spur-of-the-moment ones that just whine about the seller/post service not being fast enough.
    As is, I always thought seller and product feedbacks were separate... ?

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