Amazon are reportedly changing their customer review system, as they introduced on Friday a new in-built platform which selects the most recent and helpful reviews of a product for customers to see, making the customer review feature more relevant when considering a purchase.
The new Amazon review system will abandon the old practice of offering an average score based on all customer reviews, with the reviews which are selected as being helpful and relevant having more impact on the overall score than those which do not. For the moment, the system will only be tried in the United States, and there are no details available about it being implemented in other countries.
The update was rolled out on Friday and will not have its impact noticed immediately, as Amazon’s new feature will start changing ratings and reviews displayed on product pages gradually. Reviews considered to be most relevant will be newer ones, those from verified Amazon customers and the ones with the highest ratings from other users.
This might see customer review scores becoming more exact, with less 5-star products and more between the 4.5 and 5 star range. It could also work towards discrediting 1 star reviews purely left with the intention of dragging down a product’s score, possibly by competing vendors.
It might be exactly what Amazon’s customer review service, one of the most important aspects for customers considering purchases, needs to finally increase its reliability. Granted, user ratings for most products reflect its quality in a wide range, but there are still many cases of fake users reviewing to either pump up or bring down the average score of a certain product.
In April, Amazon filed a lawsuit against a couple of website which promised to offer certain review ratings for products on Amazon in exchange for money. One of the sites was allegedly offering to post fake 5-star user reviews for prices between $80 and $600 depending on number.
Amazon sued the sites on the basis of trademark violation for misleading use of name and logo, cybersquatting and breaking fair competition rules. The court dispute is on-going. However, at least one of the sites, called buyazonreviews.com, is still online as of today, and offers on its main page multiple review packages ranging between $19 and $22 per review. According to the site, the packages include both verified and regular reviews and “real & safe verified reviews” for their cost.
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