Who Posted 16,000 Fake Negative Product Reviews? Not Who You Think…

Negative Product Reviews

Negative Product Reviews

Last week we did a post on the alarming trend of product review bloggers who review products, without ever using the products.  Clearly the folks at that small, scrappy startup – The New York Times, must read Dad Does, because yesterday they followed up by running a fascinating piece on fake negative product reviews.

I Guess Bloggers Are Not The Only Ones Reviewing Products They Don’t Have

Our rant on Friday was about product review bloggers who write positive product reviews based just on a press release, they never touch the product they are reviewing.  The NYT reports on another disturbing trend, very negative product reviews written by consumers who have never bought the product.

A study done by Eric Anderson of Northwestern University and Duncan Simester of the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, used data from an unnamed apparel company to track reviews.  During the study, 325,000 registered customers left reviews, but for 16,000 of the reviews, which were mostly very negative,  there is no evidence the consumers ever bought the product.   A gift perhaps?  Nope, the reviewers indicated in their comments they bought the product. To keep the identity of the unnamed apparel company…well, unnamed, they are not releasing the exact wording of the comments, but the NYT reports the negative reviews by consumers who never bought the product looked like this –


• I should have read all of the negative reviews before ordering. Please bring back the old style.

• I ordered this item over your Web site. Why is it that good designs are always changed? Please go back to the original.

• I am on a “Made in the USA” campaign and so am returning this item. Please stop importing.

Beware Of Your Devoted Customers, They Just Might Hate What They Never Buy

We have all read the stories of companies paying to have fake positive reviews and it would seem logical that companies might also pay to have fake negative reviews put on their competitors products, but this study points to something much more interesting.  A company’s devoted customers, are now so in tune with the company they love, they can trash their products without ever buying them!

To Recap The State of Product Reviews…

Let’s see, as we reported on Friday (7/12/13) many of the positive and glowing product reviews you see on product review blogs and done by so called product review bloggers, are done without ever touching the product.  Now the NYT reports that many of the most negative product reviews we see are done without ever touching the product.  Anyone else picking up a disturbing trend here?

Note to Everyone:  Here is a new concept, call it Web 4.0 – a system where people buy the products first, then write either positive or negative reviews of said products.  As a bonus, actually buying the product is also good for the economy.  I would write more, but I need to go leave a review on Trip Advisor on my vacation to Mars – just can not recommend the Marriott Mars, the AC must have been broken because it was crazy hot.

More Information:

Check Out The NYT Piece on Negative Product Reviews

Our Post on the sad state of Product Review Blogs

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