Every time I read an online review for a personal tech product I just cringe, and I must say I am skeptical regardless of who is reviewing or what they’ve said. Indeed, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that there are algorithms which can predict which product reviews are false, and which are legitimate. Unfortunately much of their strategies have been described in the personal tech news, things such as the real reviewer uses more of a personal voice rather than second or third person. Of course, those who are writing fake reviews are now adjusting them to look more like real reviews.
This reminds me much of a cat and mouse game, good guys and bad guys, and the way in which militaries of the world try to one up their enemies with the greatest technologies of the time. Still, that’s not the only problem, another one has to do with integrity level of the reviewer. How can you trust someone who is reviewing a product who lacks ethics and integrity?
Not long ago, I was consulting a small personal tech company, and as I was going through their information of product returns, as we were working on a Six Sigma process strategy, I was quite concerned with a couple of cities which had a high returns. One city had exactly 2 returns of each and every single personal tech device in their product line. This was consistent over a three-year period.
Now mind you, this was very rare for the company to have any returns, but to have exactly 2 in the same city over and over again made me stop and wonder if there was really something wrong with the product, or if people were using the product for a couple of days and then returning it. Was there a competitor, or a designer which wanted to survey these devices, and then take them back to the store? Well, the curiosity got the best of me – perhaps I should have been a CSI type crime investigator.
Anyway it turned out there were two individuals in the same city who were competing in the product review categories for personal tech devices online. Each one of them had a blog, and the corresponding blog posts matched the dates of purchase and returns of these products within two-days of each other. In other words these product reviewers were buying these personal tech devices, trying them out, and then returning them.
That’s all fine and good, but the company would have sent them devices to test without causing conflict at the retailer. And on the first point; how can you trust someone who would pull such an underhanded trick with such lack of integrity to fairly review any product – yours or the competition? Please consider all this and think on it.