Do you trust reviews?

Genuine reviews and recommendations are incredibly useful: when a roofer was recently recommended to me – his advice saved me hundreds of pounds, but are all reviews equal?

Fake Reviews

  1. Some companies give away products in return for the promise of a glowing review.
  2. Sometimes the good review isn’t from a customer at all – I have a contact who has a number of glowing reviews on Google, but they were never clients. Maybe they’ve confused the company name with a similar-sounding one?
  3. Sometimes bad reviews are fake as well. I had a client who had a malicious negative review posted about them on Facebook, but the person was never a customer.

Should EVERYTHING be reviewed?

Genuine reviews can help you find the best hotels and restaurants, and avoid those that give poor service. And you can’t always trust the manufacturer ‘blurb’ so independent reviews can help you find a reliable, technology products such as TVs, phones and cameras. But surely not EVERYTHING warrants a review? Given that we’re asked to review the most mundane of products, some people have decided to have a little fun with it – as you can see in these reviews of buckets, tape and string.

And sometimes the value of the review depends on WHEN it was written. I’ve been asked for reviews of online purchases the very second the item arrived. This may be a good time to review the delivery service, but if I haven’t used the product yet what use is my review of it?

The value of proper reviews

With service-based industries though, I think reviews are very important (which is how I saved money with my recommended roofer). Properly-independent reviews help people make an informed choice. Which is why I’m proud of the Google review rating Pixooma has achieved so far.

  1. Independent: Each review on Google has to be posted using a separate Google account, proving they are independent.
  2. Genuine: Ok, in theory, I could get friends and family to post reviews on my behalf, but every Pixooma review is from an actual customer or contact. I’d be happy to provide the details for any of them so you can speak to them yourself.
  3. Honest: I ask all Pixooma customers to post an honest warts-n-all review as I have no interest in shying away from any issues. And all reviews are responded to appropriately by me.

Watch out for fakes!

Not all reviews are equal and there is a real problem with fakes online, so it pays to be careful. I’ve been a member of Which? for many years now and they’ve been investigating the various ways fake reviews are posted online. Their research has lead to their guide to spotting fake reviews which I’m sure you’ll find useful.

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