Saturday, 12 November 2016

Why you can't trust online reviews

Ever wondered why most online product reviews are positive? Because retailers, for instance Maplin's "moderate", (censor) the unfavourable ones. Bought a set of remote control sockets a few months ago from Maplin in Farnborough. These:

The build quality is not very good, typical of many Chinese imports, particularly the remote control but they work. Or rather they worked. As of yesterday none of the sockets respond to the controller, the "transmitting" LED flashes but nothing happens. Obviously the controller has failed. Maplin do not sell replacement controllers.

In view of this failure after a relatively short time I attempted to post a short, honest review on the Maplin web site product page. Maplin had other ideas though, only positive reviews are welcome obviously, this is their reply:

Hi snaprails,

Our staff has read your review and values your contribution even though it did not meet all our website guidelines. Thanks for sharing, and we hope to publish next time!

Submit something new » 

Just as a reminder, here are the review guidelines your review must adhere to:
  • Keep your review focused on the product.
  • Avoid writing about customer service, contact us instead if you have issues requiring immediate attention (link in email footer).
  • Refrain from mentioning competitors or the specific price you paid for the product.
  • Do not include any personally identifiable information, such as full names.
Thanks again,
Cheap Chinese Rubbish, avoid.
After a few months the set has stopped working, the transmitter LED flashes but none of the sockets respond. Evidently the transmitter has failed, rendering the whole set useless.
I stand by my description of cheap Chinese rubbish and add dishonest treatment of reviewers.

Will I be buying from Maplin again? I think not. Would I trust Maplin's web site reviews? Obviously not.

Oh and it's "our staff have" not "our staff has".

I'm off to crawl behind the TV to turn it off.