Everyone has an opinion, and nowadays most people are willing to share it; for better or worse. So it shouldn’t be surprising then – what with the sheer number of outlets available in which consumers can express their feeling about products and services – that nearly seven-in-ten consumers actually base their purchases on the digital recommendations of strangers. [More]
Way back in 2011, we told you about a dental patient who said his dentist had gone too far with a “privacy agreement” that preempted patients from publicly complaining about the doctor and claimed copyright on patients’ reviews. After nearly four years of legal wrangling, the dentist has finally been ordered to pay the patient nearly $5,000 in damages, though he may never get it. [More]
One of the perks of my former life in the entertainment news business was getting early access to everything from books to movies to music to video games. On the down side, that early access often comes with the stipulation that you can’t say anything about what you’ve seen, read, played, or heard until the publisher says so. It’s an annoyance for all reviewers, especially when they want to tell the public that something is so bad they should stay away, but it’s particularly harmful in the video game business. [More]
Last week, we shared the somewhat terrifying news that Papa John’s is marketing a pizza topped with Fritos and chili. Yes, the snack chip Fritos. Yes, on a pizza. Yes, on a Papa John’s pizza. We asked whether any of you out in Consumerland had tried it, and some of you were brave enough to. [More]
You show me someone who’s been to all 170 Cheesecake Factory restaurants and I’ll show you a liar. That being said, while we don’t have eyewitness proof to the contrary, they can’t all be that different, right? Regardless of whether one Cheesecake Factory is like visiting any other Cheesecake Factory, it’s still quite interesting that a Cleveland news site felt the need to publish a review of an area Cheesecake Factory location. Yes, I did just fit Cheesecake Factory in three times in one sentence. [More]
We often receive complaints from readers who have totally legitimate gripes about shipping or customer service issues at retailers, both online and in real life. Unfortunately, they chose to share these complaints with the world by writing about them in the retailer’s product reviews. The problem with this plan is that companies control which reviews are and aren’t posted. If they don’t post yours, it’s not because they hate free speech: it’s because you didn’t follow the directions. [More]
We’ve read our fair share of hilarious reviews for products that practically beg to become comedic fodder — remember the Bic Cristal for Her pen? It’s often those same reviews that make once irrelevant products relevant again, or at least bring to light the very many things for sale out there that make us wonder why anyone bothered selling them in the first place.
You might have ripped the wrapping paper off a shiny new GPS unit earlier this week, but should you keep it? A well-meaning loved one might have bought you a new one this week, but that doesn’t mean that they chose the best one for your needs or that you should keep it. How do you know whether the unit you have is the best for you? If only there were an entity out there that tested different models side-by-side and published the results…Oh, right, that would be our elder sister publication, Consumer Reports! [More]
There are a number of criticisms you can make about frozen meals and chain takeout: poor nutrition, factory farming, and wasteful packaging. Most Americans don’t care about that, though. What they want to know is: does this meal look anything like the photo on the package? Does it taste like beef-flavored cardboard? Is the portion big enough to keep me from running to the break room vending machine by 3:00? For them, the convenience food blog Tasty Lies exists.
Three years after we first started pointing it out, Banzai continues to make kiddie pools that are disproportionately smaller than they appear on the box. The latest to enrage the internet is their “Slip ‘N Splash Whale Pool.” On the box it shows four children frolicking. In real life, those would have to be tiny munchkin children.
It’s not always easy to sort out genuine rave reviews from online users from those made by company plants, but technology may be able to sort out what the gullible human eye cannot. Cornell University researchers say they’ve developed software that can identify fake reviews.
It’s no secret that hotels put bogus user reviews of themselves on sites like TripAdvisor, but usually they’re more discreet than this. TripAdvisorWatch found an example of an owner of several hotels in Hanoi posting on freelancer.com under his real name asking “if anyone can teach me the way to write reviews on this forum in which my reviews can not be found as fake and be removed.”
Writer Mike Murdock published a fantasy novel in 2008 that had a sudden uptick in reviews on Amazon.com a few weeks ago. Why the sudden popularity? Was it reviewed somewhere prominent? Made part of Oprah’s Book Club? Tweeted by Roger Ebert? Not exactly. Murdock also reviews video games, and recently published a very unfavorable review of the new Sega/High Voltage Software Wii game Conduit 2 on Joystiq. A High Voltage employee then sent a link to the book’s Amazon page to co-workers, urging them to read Murdock’s book and “return the favor.” Well, if a one-star review calling the book “below fan-fiction garbage” is a favor.