The idea of being able to review every business and every product which you have ever used so that other member so fetch public can gain an isight whilst deciding whether they should use that business or product is a great idea. Sadly, whilst this is a great idea, the review system is very easy to manipulate and we have seen many businesses invest money to get people to leave falsely positive reviews in order to bring in more customers and make more sales. Indeed it is for this reason why we have sites like Topconsumerreviews which seek to only find the genuine reviews which are at there, for consumer protection.
This of course begs the question, can any reviews be trusted? And how will we know which ones we can and can’t trust.
Stanford university carried out some research last year on thousands of reviews to see whether or not they were real and as far as they could tell, they found that over 70% of the reviews which had been left online were genuine. There are of course some reviews which are just scores rather than descriptions and these were removed from the study. This means that more than two in every three reviews which have been left were genuine, which certainly does give a lot of hope.
The key thing which people must have in their minds when they are going through these reviews is that some of those reviews may be fakes, if you are aware of the fact that some are too good to be true then you are going to get much better at assessing which look false. For example if you have some mediocre and poor reviews and then a great review out of nowhere, it is very possible that this one isn’t exactly true. The more aware we are that there could be false reviews out there the better equipped we will become at spotting them. One thing is for sure and that is that you should never blindly trust a review.
There is much that you can watch out for when you are reading reviews to get an idea for how truthful it is. Often people go into too much detail when they are lying or they use poor language, which is indicative of a company who has farmed out these reviews to an agency, who usually use foreigners to write the reviews. Beyond this you should pay attention to the congruence of the review in relation to the rest of the reviews which have been left and the truth is that if it doesn’t smell right or you just don’t believe what is being said, it is better to ignore the product or the business.
The truth is that yes you can trust reviews because in the main they are accurate, the key will be going into it with your eyes open and being aware of the fact that there may be some in there which aren’t exactly true.