Take a look at the above screenshot from Amazon, taken on 7/24/2013 at 6:30pm EST. The Google Chromecast looks pretty good, with an average of 4 stars from 30 reviews. Here is a closer breakdown of the reviews –
18 Five star reviews, impressive. Let’s take a closer look at one –
Can’t beat that, the title is “I already have it ” it is an Amazon Verified Purchase and he gives it 5 stars. Clearly people who have bought the Google Chromecast love it. There is just one slight problem…
NONE OF THE REVIEWERS HAVE EVER USED THE PRODUCT!
Absolute Proof That The Amazon Product Review System Is Broken
The Google Chromecast is a brand new gadget that was released to the world on 7/24/2013. It first appeared on Amazon.Com in the afternoon of 7/24/2013. If your ordered the Google Chromecast the moment it was posted on Amazon.Com and paid for overnight delivery, the absolute soonest you could have it would be 7/25/2013. As the screenshots are all from 7/24/2013 – how did 30 people already receive and review the Google Chromecast? They didn’t, they are posting reviews without ever touching the product.
At least some people are honest –
Apparently David believes it doesn’t matter that no one has ever touched this gadget, he still gives it 4 stars. Also interesting how 67 people found this “review” helpful.
Dan on the other hand, hates the Chromecast, because he has never touched it –
Luckily, Jonathan is here to balance out Dan’s 1 Star review –
He says “How can you review without testing the product” but still gives out an awesome 5 star review.
Wait a Minute, What About The Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews?
If you look at many of the reviews you see – Amazon Verified Purchase –
We decided to click on the “What’s this?” next to Amazon Verified Purchase and it says…
What is happening is that people ordered the product today and their reviews got stamped “Amazon Verified Purchase”. Of course, we also know that none of the 30 plus people who posted reviews actually RECEIVED the product yet. I think the reasonable person would assume that when they see a review marked “Amazon Verified Purchase” it means that the person bought AND RECEIVED the product they are reviewing. It is clearly misleading and deceiving to have reviews marked Amazon Verified Purchase when the customer has not received the product. Does a film critic write his review before the movie starts?
Amazon, This Is Disgraceful, Fix This Now!
This was a rare situation where we have undeniable proof of bogus and misleading product reviews on Amazon. The problem obviously occurs with thousands of other products on Amazon. What reviews can we trust? How can we tell the honest reviews from the bogus ones? How about a new status – Amazon Verified Purchase and Received. Amazon knows when we receive our order, so don’t let anyone post a review until 24 hours after they have received the product.
Will this stop all bogus reviews? No, but it will at least eliminate the disturbing trend of reviewing products you have never touched.
Amazon, You Are Not Alone, Product Reviews Are Filled With Fraud
Let’s quickly recap the state of product reviews online. Last week we posted about the 16,000 Fake Negative Product Reviews that were posted to a clothing site. Two weeks ago we exposed the disturbing trend of product review bloggers reviewing products they have never touched. Now we learn of Amazon customers posting both positive and negative reviews for a product that no one has ever touched.
I think I just came up with a new business – a site that reviews product reviews. Maybe Amazon will buy it.