Apple removed customer product reviews

Product reviews posted by customers were removed from the online store around November 16th.


This is a click-bait title, but he makes valid points about the ratings of Apple’s dongles.

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I think they’re still accessible through the Apple store app.

I just looked for a review on the first Apple Pencil. They’re gone!

What few reviews there were were not generally very helpful. Higher quality information is available elsewhere.

Now if only Amazon would follow suit. Their review section is tantamount to fraud.

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What are your favorite sources for reviews of Apple products?

Katie

I’d tend to start with Rene Ritchie at iMore.

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Customer reviews are important and any company that stands behind its products shouldn’t be removing them. Dealing with negative reviews and angry customers is part of the game.

I for one usually read negative user reviews since they often point out problems that reviewers downplay or ignore. This is especially true for most Apple sites where the fanboism is strong. When I am interested in a product, I already know the positives, but I want to know the negatives too. It’s just another small part of the puzzle before finally deciding on buying a product.

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That’s simply not true. If you look at the problems Amazon are having with fraudulent and purchased review bombs. The issues Steam have had with reviews and ratings (used to punish feminist and queer games for daring to even exist). Even Netflix ditched it’s star rating system over issues with meaningful data.

These review sections are not representative. You don’t get a cross section of input. You either wind up with a de-facto support group for a very small number of people having issues or you end up with inflated scores that were literally paid for in place of any kind of honesty. At worst it’s a method of bullying a group by directly attacking their source of income.

Heck even the App Store reviews section is untrustable because of this behaviour.

The responsible thing is to remove a system that you know does not provide quality output, and allow a better system, like professional journalism or consumer groups provide a better one.

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I agree totally. Amazon’s book reviews can be ok but in some cases are just horrible. Especially in the case of some politcal themed books. I am sure you have seen them. Just groups of obivious trolls piling on at “Fake News” level in some cases. I think Amazon has made some effort to take it in hand recently?
As far as Apple goes, I rely to some extent on this page, John Gruber and one or two others, the MPU show mainly. It is a testament to the users here by the way. Gruber, as his most recent very interesting show with Matt Ygleisias showed is nowhere near a ‘fanbois’; nor are folk here.

In fact I find online reviews are too easy to ‘game’, it is a large scale enterprise here and anyway, I find even honest reviews often unreliable. They are after all, ‘reviews’.

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Harsh and unfair. Honest reviews can help developers, but there are very many that are lazy, biased or plain dishonest. It’s certainly true on Amazon, Tripadvisor and other large-scale sites. Sadly, it’s also the case that dishonest developers drown out the hones products and their reviews by carpetbombing with fake feedback.

But in most places (and certainly the USA, professional reviewers are obliged to say whether they were paid. The fake amateurs avoid that obligation completely.

Economists say that bad money drives out good; it’s as try too say that bad reviews (dishonest, biased ones) drive out good.

The point is not the quality of customer reviews. No sane person believes them completely, but they are often a good sign whether there is something wrong. Companies pump millions into marketing to persuade consumers by using misleading and dirty tactics. They should be able to handle a pushback from their customers and offer them a place where they can express their experience. Review bombing can be spotted easily, but nowadays, if you make a shitty product, it’s not customer reviews, it’s review bombing.

Just one recent example. I was looking at a nice fountain pen and was ready to order it online. But I read a customer review stating that the edges on the handle are a bit sharp and can feel uncomfortable after writing for prolonged periods. I rather bought a different pen. After few months, I got to test the said pen in a shop and the edges were really a bit sharp. Nothing horrible (it was still an expensive pen), but it would feel uncomfortable after a while. All “professional” reviews of the said pen were great a not one mentioned the issue with the edges.

I’m really not. You can do your own Googling.

What I’m talking about is widespread (even Rotten Tomatoes is having issues with it). In some cases it is a multi-million dollar industry (fake reviews on Amazon are industrialised, not occasional, just like large scale twitter followers can be purchased).

The cost of having these abused systems is far more frequently a misinformed or misdirected customer and not a savvy purchase decision.

You’re super quick to accuse people of bias or not thinking for themselves, but seem really defensive about it. I’m not sure why this is your hill to die on here.

Apple is accountable for purchases customer make based on misleading reviews by the way. At least in Europe (I know US consumer protections are often terrible). It’s a reputation as damage risk. It’s poor customer service. It doesn’t have a very high return on investment. Why would they want to keep it, and invest in it’s maintenance?

This isn’t a scandal, it’s a good idea.

Rotten Tomatoes is a great example of why we need customer reviews. Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Comcast and manipulates its scores accordingly.

Customer reviews require curation while still allowing negative reviews. Of course companies don’t like them and don’t want to invest money into maintaining them. They rather cry that they should be removed because sometimes a review bomb happens. Just because locks can be picked doesn’t mean you stop locking your house.

Companies are not your friend, they don’t care about you. They should maintain customer reviews and live with the negative opinions of its customers. Or we will be stuck only with marketing and fragile hope that the reviews we are reading are not biased (btw., any reviews based on products sent by the given company are biased by definition).

This is some wacked false equivalence.

Companies are not your friend. You can’t have it both ways.

Everyone has an agenda. Understanding it and compensating for it are on you. Customer reviews have bias, too, by the way.

Again, quality of customer reviews is not the point. Point is the ability of customers to publish their opinions on a purchased products. Handling them is the company’s problem. And if they don’t want to do it, fine. But they are trying to come up with false reasons in order to appear as being justified to remove or severarly limit customer reviews.

They’re only false reasons if you ignore other information.

¯_(ツ)_/¯

No, they are proxy reasons, while the real reason is that companies don’t like customer reviews and don’t want to invest into maintaning them. They rather allocate resources to push their removal (thats the main source of your famous “information”).