Why Are All My 1* Reviews Removed?
Lately, well, at least for the past year, I am unable to review a product with 1*. If I compliment a product with 5* or even 3 or 4*, the review goes through. But all 1* had been rejected. No explanation, just a note to “review our community guidelines”. Yet, I am not violating their community guidelines at all. I list no vulgarity, no prices, no locations, no politics, nothing that is politically incorrect. Just the honest truth: the product is not working! In this case it works but no replacement filters are sold in the US and so 3 months after purchase it is useless.
Furthermore, not only do they reject the 1* review, upon trying to edit the thing to be even more precise, I received the message that I am no longer allowed to review this product! WHAT???? What on earth is happening?
My eMail to Amazon
So far, on Amazon, I have yet to be able to place a 1* review on ANYTHING! What I wrote is completely within Amazon community standards!
“from Angela A Stanton, PhD on November 13, 2021
Watch out for lack of filter replacement
I bought this product 3 months ago. I love the way it looks and how it worked–although a bit too light at night. However, after 3 months, the red light came up, which means I need to replace the filter…”
The rest is removed and I cannot see it, but the content was that it’s impossible to buy a filter replacement for it, which makes this product a 1* since 3 months after I purchased it, the red light came up indicating I had to change filter… except it is not sold anywhere in the US.
There is nothing wrong here, all facts and truth! And now not only I cannot edit my comment, but I am also not permitted to submit a comment on this product anymore!
There is something terribly wrong with Amazon. Lots of fake 5* on many items totally pass and are permitted but 1* reviews cannot go through.
This is costly for Amazon because people–even people like me–will no longer trust Amazon and won’t purchase from Amazon. There are other stores to purchase.
We want real and honest reviews to come through and not reviews Amazon wishes to see so it can sell more products. Clearly there is some major bias here!(my email to Amazon)
Even 5* Reviews Are In Trouble!
Now let’s talk about reviews others make, primarily on my book, since that’s the only one I follow and see what happens, although I have a friend who has complained about Amazon review postings on her book. Here is what’s happening to one of my books–I have several.
I receive 5* reviews very often but there are three types of reviewing:
- You just give a rating by stars and don’t leave any comments on Amazon (my book)
- You give a rating by stars and also write something to go with it, explaining why you gave it 5*
- You may review elsewhere, like on GoodReads or other book-purchasing places, either by point 1 or 2 (my book on GoodReads)
I keep tabs of my reviews and run an excel sheet, entering date I received the review and how many stars, but I only follow what’s on Amazon and not in other locations. By doing this, I have discovered that Amazon will often pull a 5* review that is just stars without words (review type 1) but will NEVER remove a 1* without words. Why is that? And they just remove the 5* without any mention to me… the 5*s are just shrinking.
You’d think that they remove them because the reviews were suspected to be solicited but I have never solicited and never received a warning from Amazon about a possible soliciting. I would think that if they believe I am doing anything against their regulations, they would contact me and ask me or warn me or some sign that something is happening. None of that has ever happened, which makes me think that a disgruntled person is pulling the reviews for some odd reason, and perhaps it’s not just my book but the books and products of others too who receive lots of 5*s.
In addition, there are a ton of 5* reviews on Amazon that are openly solicited! Some of the 5* reviews are even on the wrong product. I was searching for some tool the other day and looked at the reviews on it and nearly all of the 5* reviews with comments were talking about some candy!
Some reviewers are receiving free products in exchange of their reviews! I know several people who have and you can also see such reviews because the person states that they have received a free product in exchange. I am contacted daily by various Chinese sellers! In fact, let me tell you a story!
How Amazon Sales Really Works: Case Study
A few months ago I purchased a handheld microscope that I can carry with me into the garden, which wasn’t working at all. I got my credit back on the spot and I returned the device the next day. Within a week I received an email from the seller asking me if I would be willing to accept another of the same product. They believed that the product was faulty and I would get it for free for my troubles.
I said sure, I would be glad to, and if this new product works, I will update my review. They sent the product. I spent literally an entire day figuring out how to connect it to my phone and get it to work. I discovered this time that it wasn’t the product that was not working but their user manual was horrible. It was completely wrong!
I was nice about it since I have a free product in my hand that I figured out, and the product is acceptable for the price, so I wrote an email to the seller, telling her that her product works but the user manual is way off and impossible to understand. Sentences were written backwards in terms of grammar and also way outdated information was given, which may be how it works in China, but not in the US. I also updated my review and noted this is based on the product they sent to me.
Next the seller asked me if I were willing to update their user manual! They will pay me for it! And I said “yes”, it took me a day, I got paid in advance, I sent the manual in proper English with proper links and methods.. Fair deal.
And while in my case the hand-held microscope worked and I was able to help the seller to provide better service, the rest of the tricks are not that nice!
I get emails, twitter messages, and Instagram messages and even a LinkedIn message from an Amazon seller trying to give me some products free to evaluate, or they ask me to buy and they refund in full for a review! They do everything to get you to buy a product! And lots of completely fake 5* reviews are the results! Yet those fake 5* reviews Amazon leaves on and people buy a bunch of junk!
Be aware of everything you purchase on Amazon. Amazon had been my favorite place to shop because it is easy and convenient, and is usually the least expensive, but I think they now have crossed an invisible line on my ethical values. Things will likely change in my life! I recommend you also reconsider because Amazon now thinks they own the world and censor everything you want to say on the products they sell! And that’s wrong! Your honest opinion on a product matters more than fake reviews!
Comments are welcome and, as always, are moderated for appropriateness
Amazon has, as you noted, become so much worse.
In the last year or maybe two, Amazon also removed the ability to leave comments on reviews. Giving people the ability to comment anonymously (as I am doing, borrowing my name from the great Groucho Marx) is a tough decision — especially these days — but, I often did find value in some of the comments and I tried to return the favor. Not only did Amazon remove the option to comment, they deleted all the pre-existing comments that been there for years and years.
As much as I dislike all the hate and divisiveness in comments, I’m even more against censoring speech. Granted, Amazon, Twitter, and the like are privately-owned corporations, so they can do what they want. But, companies like Amazon, Twitter, Meta/Facebook, Apple, Google, Instagram, etc. have a lot of people reliant upon (addicted to?) their platforms. Those are the new public squares, for better or worse. I’d love for us to return to seeing more of each other face-to-face, rather than being online multiple hours a day in a fake world and lacking real connection. Sadly, I realize that’s quite unlikely.
Anyway, with regard to Amazon and their broken review system, I use the Fakespot Analyzer tool sometimes (when I remember to do so) to help me form an opinion on whether or not to give a product a try. Have you tried it?
Using the Amazon URL you shared in your article (for the microscope), I pasted it into the Fakespot Analyzer and the rating was reported as a “C.” However, the rating was outdated and I was prompted to click the button and reanalyze the product — which I did. The rating was downgraded from a “C” to a “D.” I don’t understand how they calculate their ratings, as I never bothered reading the details on their website. However, I tend to trust Fakespot more than Amazon itself, given Amazon’s history and current behavior.
With best wishes,
Rufus T. Firefly
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I couldn’t agree with you more! I also miss the same commenting ability. I used to have many such discussions on my book as well as I could flag fake reviews–I often did that too on products I looked for and noted fake reviews–some are so obvious. Now even flagging a fake review I can only selected as “report” by clicking on a report button but cannot explain what I see wrong with it.
And while I get many notes from Amazon about how they discourage reviews that are requested or coerced in any way, they have little idea this way which ones are fake, and which aren’t. I am approached by Amazon sellers–especially from China–daily! They ask that I accept some gift in exchange of reviewing junk. I have never accepted it but I wonder how many other people do!
It is very sad that everything gets messed up in time. Look at what’s happening in nutrition, healthcare, and now even shopping is based on fraud. Very sad.
I use the same FakeSpot as you do. It is fantastic. Someone shared information about it on my post of this article on Facebook. 🙂 It works like a charm. Except it too can mislead many times. For example, my migraine book “Fighting the Migraine Epidemic: Complete Guide” gets “A” rating from it, yet there are several of the 1* reports that actually criticize my Facebook group and not the book. There are a few 1* that don’t even mention my book and use the platform to vent–I believe there are some that aren’t verified purchases either.
These are people who were removed (usually blocked) from the FB group for criticizing the protocol or our methods in the group using foul language or because they try to push a different protocol/book or more often some supplement/herb, which we don’t support. So absolutely nothing to do with my book. And even FakeSpot doesn’t seem to identify that these reviews don’t belong to the book review page. So nothing is foolproof unfortunately.
Objectionable indeed. And it’s a widespread phenomenon. Like I brought forward several times already: In our times, honesty is great, but cheating is better. I even wrote an article about it on LinkedIn once. Want to read it? Go to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cheat-roald-michel/
Note: Ever watched medicine commercials? The way they tell the public about possible side effects? October 23, 2021 I addressed this on my FB-page. Want to read it? Go to https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015238514626 and search for “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”.
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Thanks Roald. I always laugh on the pharmaceutical advertisements. The drug is 1 second, the side effects is 30 seconds. Very crazy. I hope you are well.