Which? has warned that user review ratings of products often do not match their own professional reviews.
15 products on the Which? Do Not Buy list have user ratings of at least 4.2 out of 5.
That seems too much of a mismatch.
Now, with reviews of very subjective things such as movies it’s very common for professional critics to have different views to those of the public.
But with everyday products such as hair driers or head phones you wouldn’t expect such a gap unless something a little odd is going on.
In a small number of cases, it has been shown that unscrupulous sellers create fake reviews to promote their products and there have been Facebook groups where people are paid to “review” products. The reviews are supposed to be impartial but the reviewers know that continuing access to payments is contingent on positive reviews.
However, there are other factors to consider.
Have you ever bought a product and got the email asking for a review before it was delivered or a day or two after delivery. This may be too soon to have even opened the package let alone formed a reliable opinion on it. The easiest answer can be to just say 3 or 4 out of 5 without thinking.
Also, it may be that people are responding positively to a product because it was delivered quickly or good customer service etc. rather than rating the actual quality of the product and its capabilities.
Plus it is the case that many products will take months of usage to really determine their value and many products seem designed to impress but not to last.
The moral is don’t always take user reviews at face value – do read the details and if there aren’t sufficient details to impress you, then consider buying a different product.
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