Why Do People Spend Unpaid Hours Reviewing Everything On Amazon?

Our lab-coated colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports work hard to test and evaluate every consumer product from toilet paper to Tesla sports cars, and they get paid for their efforts. But there’s an army of product reviewers out there who volunteer their time and their only reward is peer recognition, “helpful” votes, and free stuff. They are the elite Amazon reviewers. [More]

Samsung Fined Because You Can’t Hire Writers To Say Mean Things Online About Competitors

Samsung Fined Because You Can’t Hire Writers To Say Mean Things Online About Competitors

Remember when Taiwan started investigating Samsung after a slew of mean comments about HTC started appearing online? Authorities there have decided that yes, Samsung was indeed paying writers to tear its competitor down while also writing glowing things to build Samsung’s phones up in the eyes of online commenters. [More]


Some Negative Reviews Are Like When Your Dad Says He’s Not Mad, He’s Just Disappointed

You’re 16 and just came home reeking of Peppermint Schnapps, and have failed at making it into your bedroom undetected by your parents. Here it comes: You’re totally gonna be grounded, no more phone in your room and absolutely no AOL time. But wait, what’s this? Dad isn’t mad — he’s just disappointed in you. And there it is, the worst punishment ever — being told more is expected of you and you’ve failed. Turns out reviewers try this same treatment on the retailers they love the most. [More]

A screengrab of what Yelp's new online-ordering system looks like.

Is Yelp’s New Food Delivery Service Cause For Concern?

Earlier today, Yelp announced that it is rolling out online ordering functionality for a handful of restaurants, obviously with the intention of making it available to more businesses on the crowd-sourced review site. But now that Yelp has a vested interest in the success of some of the businesses that users review, it makes us wonder if the site is ultimately doing damage to its own reputation as a source for honest reviews. [More]

So simple, and so perfect.

Here’s Another Dose Of Chuckleworthy Amazon Reviews From The Reader Hall Of Fame

If there’s one thing we know about or Consumerist readers, it’s that you like to make yourselves laugh, and by extension, the rest of us. Last week’s call for more hilarious Amazon product reviews was more than heeded — our cup basically overfloweth and by cup of course we mean the tipline. Keep’em coming, and enjoy this fresh round of chuckles for the time being. [More]

Prisoners Have Opinions Too, Turn To Yelp To Review Jail Conditions

Prisoners Have Opinions Too, Turn To Yelp To Review Jail Conditions

Just because you’re locked up for dealing blue meth cooked up by a mysterious chemist in a pork-pie hat doesn’t mean you don’t have an opinion on the quality of your current accommodations. And where else better to share these sentiments than on Yelp? [More]

(Bill Binns)

Taiwanese Authorities Looking Into Claims That Samsung Paid Students To Slam HTC Online

The thing about online reviews is, they should be from real, actual customers — no matter the service or product. It’s a great way for consumers to discuss, dish, dis and otherwise express themselves, which is why Taiwanese authorities are investigating Samsung over allegations that the South Korean company recruited students to post negative comments about HTC phones on the Internet. [More]

Facebook Home Earning Oodles Of Negative Feedback From Google Play Reviewers

Facebook Home Earning Oodles Of Negative Feedback From Google Play Reviewers

Earlier this month, Facebook announced Facebook Home, the massive upgrade of its Android smartphone app that basically puts the social networking site front-and-center on your device. The app began rolling out to customers late last week, and some of the responses may have you waiting to press “update.” [More]


Is Obnoxious Advertising A ‘Firsthand Customer Experience’ You Can Yelp About?

A construction company coated Bryan’s neighborhood with leaflets, and he wasn’t happy about it. He tried to complain right to the company, and only got an answering service. So what’s a dissatisfied consumer to do? He turned to Yelp. Yelp, in turn, took down his review because it violates the site’s Content Guidelines for reviews, as it “doesn’t describe a firsthand customer experience.” Since when is having your neighborhood coated with flyers not a firsthand experience? [More]

(Alan Rappa)

Amazon Deletes My Feedback About Questionable Marketplace Seller

Consumerist reader Wade recently bought a new Alpine Car Stereo from a third-party marketplace seller on Amazon. Or at least he thought he had. [More]

The ReviewerCard will set you back $100, though you could probably make one at home for less.

Does Having An ID Card Saying You’re An Online Reviewer Make You A Savvy Consumer Or A Jerk?

With the growing popularity of — and the culture’s growing reliance on — online review sites like Yelp, a small subset of reviewers have tried to dangle the sword of a negative review over the heads of business-owners in order to not just get good service, but get preferential treatment. [More]

This is the book that has gotten so much hate from MJ fans.

Michael Jackson Fans Attempt To Crush Book With Negative Amazon Reviews

Is it an exercise of free speech — or an attempt to quiet someone else’s speech — to express your opinion on a book based solely on its subject matter and what you’ve heard is contained therein? This question certainly predates the Internet, but it’s the issue surrounding the response by some to a recent Michael Jackson biography. [More]

NastyClient.com describes itself as the opposite of AngiesList.

Landscaper Starts Website To Turn Tables On Bad Customers

With the rising popularity of crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp and AngiesList, a number of business-owners feel like they are being unjustly slammed by a small number of very vocal, unsatisfied, customers. So one landscaper decided to turn things around with a site calls out problem clients. [More]

The pain of spoons.

Dramatic Readings Drastically Improve All Yelp Reviews

Used carefully, Yelp can be a great resource to learn about the best local dining establishments and other businesses and keep up-to-date on new places that open. One thing has been lacking on the site for a long time, though: a sense of drama. Fortunately, the YouTube channel Real Actors Read Yelp is here to fix that gross oversight on Yelp’s part, hiring talented stage actors to get across the true agony of an improperly prepared sandwich. [More]


Virginia Supreme Court: Businesses Can’t Censor Yelp Reviews Until They Prove Statements Are Libelous

As we’ve covered numerous times, online review sites like Yelp can become a nasty battleground between unhappy consumers and business owners who take issue with what they claim are overly negative, sometimes malicious, comments. Last week, Virginia’s highest court ruled against one such business that had tried to squelch a customer’s reviews. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Hotel Claims Overzealous Employee Posted Sign Offering To Pay For Nice Online Reviews

Earlier today, we told you about the Texas hotel that offered guests up to $5 if they posted positive reviews on any number of popular travel sites. A rep for the hotel has since responded to say that this was a case of an overzealous employee acting on their own. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Dallas Hotel Blatantly Offers To Pay Guests For Positive Online Reviews

UPDATE: A rep for the hotel confirms to Consumerist that the sign — since taken down — was posted by an employee who got overly creative in their attempt to boost the hotel’s social media profile.

Here’s a tip to hotel managers around the world — Paying for reviews is bad enough. Advertising that you’re willing to pay for positive feedback is only going to communicate to your guests that you run a bad hotel and that you expect them to not have anything nice to say about your establishment. [More]

Many PoPville readers were not impressed with the restaurant.

Restaurant Owner Posts Completely Reasonable Response To Negative Online Feedback

No, that isn’t a sarcastic headline. After being lambasted by readers’ comments on his recently opened eatery, a Washington, D.C., restaurateur did what some of his foodie kin could not — issued a restrained, thoughtful and apologetic response. [More]