Posted on November 16, 2018
You might have heard in the news recently about a lot of online businesses posting fake reviews or offering bribes, such as full refunds, to persuade customers to post positive reviews.
So ‘fake news’ isn’t alone. There are ‘fake reviews’ as well.
What is a fake review?
A fake review is a review that is written that is not true, honest and impartial. Some businesses write their own reviews. Five-star glowing assessments of their products or services. Some businesses offer people a full refund of their purchase if they post a great review. Some buy reviews from people who have not even tried the product or service in question - there are specialist Facebook groups set up to reimburse shoppers for Amazon purchases in exchange for positive reviews. Read more: Which? Facts about fake reviews
Why does it matter?
Why is a collection of reviews important? Well, the great thing about reviews online is that they should be a fair, honest impartial review of a product. It’s the digital version of a word of mouth recommendation. It works, in the same way, a friend or colleague would recommend a restaurant or bar to you. Their account of the experience sells the idea of your booking a table and eating there yourself. Reviews online do the same thing. You read a review of someone else's experience with a product that you’re interested in. Their words help you make the decision to buy with the confidence that other people are satisfied with their purchase.
So imagine if that recommendation was not true. What if the very thing that seals the deal was not true?
It harms your buying experience and can leave you with a sub-quality product, as well as the inconvenience and cost of returning the product.
Most importantly, you may have purchased a product that you believe to be of satisfactory quality and safe for you and your family to use. It may not be. For example, in December 2015, Amazon had to advise customers to throw away hoverboards purchased on their website, as they were prone to exploding. 32,000 units were held by UK Customs officials and 80% of them were deemed unsafe by Trading Standards.
Why does a business need to cheat the system?
So where does Reviber stand on this?
We don’t ask for, or purchase fake reviews. We let our products and customer service speak for themselves.
Our products are tested to strict regulatory standards, giving us complete confidence in the products that we’ve designed and supplied to you.
An example of this is the reporting we supply to Argos, who will not sell our products unless they are tested to rigorous standards. They employ an independent company, (https://www.trackrecordglobal.com/), that checks all product compliance reports and ensures Argos, (and their suppliers, such as us), meet their legal responsibilities. An example of some of the reports we have to supply them are:
Ebay or Amazon do not ask any product safety or product compliance reports, (except now for hoverboards - after HM Customs intervened). Of course there are many reputable businesses that sell on Amazon, we are one of them.
The reason we’re happy to help make our customers and community members aware of the pitfalls of fake reviews is that we’re incredibly proud of the fact that all of our reviews are written by our customers without any bribes or backhanders. We’ve spent a long time building up our reviews on our own site and have done that by delivering quality goods that have been sold to our customers with clear information and have not over exaggerated the benefits of our products.
We are happy to take the long road with our products and will let our customers review us honestly. We also want people to be aware that it is important to scratch the surface of what looks like the perfect product with its perfect reviews and to be able to make an informed buying decision.
If you are in any doubt of fake reviews or want to get some clues on what to look for, check these posts from Which? They’ve been looking closely into fake reviews and have some really good links here.
And a brilliant guide on how to view reviews with a watchful all-knowing eye.