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Should You Put Your Last Dollar on Customer Reviews

Okay, so you’ve read the well-written and interesting description about what awaits you when you book in that hotel. You know that it has everything you need for this family vacation: a pool for kids, a great nursery, a lovely beachfront, a big room with a nice balcony, and more. But you don’t want to take chances; after all, you know you’ll be shelling out a big deal of money. You need more information so you can make the right decision.

That’s when you turn to customer reviews. A customer review is a comment or tale shared by an individual who previously used the product or service. He may give honest opinions, provide high praises for the product, or express his regret in ever availing of a certain service. A customer review can definitely provide you valuable data; after all, it’s a customer’s first-hand experience, right? Well, the truth is some customer reviews are not what they seem to be.

Let me explain. Top ratings and excellent reviews of a business help draw in customers. Thus, businesses may do all they can to obtain positive feedback. Unfortunately, businesses may resort to rather deceptive ways to gain such results.

Why You Should Not Readily Trust Customer Reviews

There is a marketplace for fake reviews. There are websites that welcome businesses that are willing to pay small amounts of money for writing fake reviews. There are also writers who offer their services to write fake reviews for such companies.

There are websites that welcome businesses that are willing to pay small amounts of money for writing fake reviews. There are also writers who offer their services to write fake reviews for such companies.

In exchange for positive feedback and reviews, companies may provide freebies. According to a New York Times article, a certain company reimbursed a significant number of customers for purchased tablet cases in exchange for positive reviews on their product. Naturally, customers began writing positive reviews for the product. In fact, in its Amazon entry, the product received 310 five-star reviews!

Some companies ask their own employees to write a positive review of their product. Such reviews are very detailed (since the employees know their product anyway) and seem very believable. You’d notice that something is wrong when you suddenly blurt out, “No way can an ordinary customer know about this!”

According to Bing Liu, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, approximately 30 percent of online reviews for certain products are actually fake. Mr. Liu is part of a team that is developing software to detect fake reviews.

Read the terms and conditions of sale before you buy a product or service. That’s because in some agreements, there are clauses there that prohibit you from writing reviews, especially negative one.

Tell us what you think about customer reviews and how to spot fake ones from real ones. That would definitely help buyers like you!

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