I just read a post from a friend that said she was offered $50 to take down a not-glowing review of a product. She ignored it. Then they tried to bribe her with $500! The review was not even scathing, just a leaning towards negative observation about her feelings while using the product. And to give you some idea of the scope, it was a dog collar for crying out loud!

This got me to thinking. I bet there are a lot of people out there making a business out of this review thing. I mean, I know some companies pay for reviews, and of course if you are getting something for “free” you feel somewhat obligated to give a positive review, no? Even if they are not paying you, lots of places “incentivize” you to write a review, share photos, join or like their social media…well, I understand it’s all part of marketing. But where do they cross the line?

I am all about consumer rights and advocacy. People take me with them when they want to return a faulty item to a store. They know with me, they are not walking out of that store without a refund and then some. Don’t mess with The Carmella. Now let’s be fair. I am not talking about consumer error, or preference, I am speaking on spending your hard-earned $$ on something only to have it break or fail within a few weeks. That’s bogus. And any company that doesn’t apologize profusely offering to replace or refund you, is a scam. Except for the Dollar Store. But that’s a whole other rant all together.

I use Yelp and review sites a lot. I rely on my fellow citizen for their honest and thoughtful opinions on things. I expect people to adhere to the review Code of Honor. That means when you’ve been wronged, speak it! When you’ve been treated to a real customer service treat, speak that too! But if you are just mad the server was dating your ex, or the company offered you double your $ back if you would take down the review, you are not doing anyone any favors. In fact, I believe Critique Karma will bite you in the butt one day. 

Try to be as fair and honest and unbiased as you can be when writing a review or spreading good or bad news about a thing. It can really make or break someone. Your vote may be the tipping point. Make sure you mean it.

Today I am grateful for integrity, hive mind, customer service, social cred and being accountable.

 

One Reply to “Critique Karma and Consumer Cred”

  1. Interesting take on a foe that targets the wallets of those who would warn us about poor business. A hard battle, but a worthwhile one.

    Right now the game ads on Amazon are reasonably easy to spot, but better language translation and the ever-decreasing costs of AI means we’ll be on the downhill side of the review war. Amazon uses the ‘verified purchase’ to point at reviewers that seem to have purchased the actual product (although its easy to see how a nefarious company aiming to inflates their ratings can game the system to ‘order’ the product from themselves).

    It brings the focus away from corporate marketing back to reputation and the personal websites of subject matter experts. Enthusiastic and authentic make all the difference; I love how you talk about your journey and your make-up in the same way that I respect and follow the cooking cred and karma of The Headbangers Kitchen.

    Thanks for pointing out the scourge of fake and influenced reviews. Hate ’em!

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