People who don't understand feedback at Amazon

I just received a low-priced, item in extremely good condition, that was shipped in two days, from an Amazon seller I hesitated over. I’m glad I looked up the actual comments, and didn’t just go by the percentage rating, because the seller was relatively new, with less than 200 ratings. All were stellar, except for two one-star ratings, that were from people who had been disappointed with the product. One even commented that the seller took it back and gave a full refund, and still got a one-star rating, just because the idiot rater hadn’t liked the product-- and it hadn’t arrived broken, or anything, it just wasn’t suitable for the child it had been purchased for. Whatever that means. Maybe it said “For ages 3+,” and some three-year-old didn’t like it.

Or maybe the doofus rater though one was the best-- who knows? The other person didn’t like the product, and apparently didn’t even contact the seller.

So I just made sure I gave the seller great feedback, because my product is like new, and was perfectly packaged, and works great.

Would it be worth my time to contact Amazon about inappropriate feedback (that should really be product reviews) dogging this seller?

As an Amazon seller, it’s the seller’s job to deal with this kind of thing.

You could mention in your feedback that you certainly didn’t have 1-star service from that vendor.

I think it can safely be assumed that Rivkah was not expecting remuneration for her services. She’s asking if it would be effective for her to do this nice thing for someone who gave her good service. Whether she “has” to do it or not isn’t really relevant.

That’s probably already implied by the fact that her rating was higher than one star.

Rivkah, I have no idea if it would be effective or not, but worst case scenario is you waste ten minutes writing an email that nobody ever reads. I say, go for it. It’s a whaddayacallit - a mitzvah, right? Seems like we’re really low on those these days.

I’ve seen reviews like that on other sites, too.

You don’t give a particular shoe a one star review because your specially made orthotics didn’t fit inside. It’s not the manufacturer or the sellers fault.

You don’t give something a low star rating because your daughter didn’t like the color you bought her, and didn’t like any of the other colors in stock.

You don’t give something a one star review because you thought it would be like this other brand and it wasn’t.

It goes on and on. I don’t think there is anything we can really do except make sure we leave good, honest feedback ourselves.

Short answer from an employee who knows several sellers; no. The longer version gets into how rarely Amazon will change feedback and the amount of time it takes from your end to pursue the matter. Even the sellers themselves rarely bother. Most treat it like eBay or anything else along those lines and just hope it averages out over the long run and doesn’t effect buyer/buying decisions that much.

About the most useful thing you can do is provide your own feedback and also flag the idiot’s review as not useful. It will still be there, but will slowly be pushed to the bottom as other buyers flag it too.

Reading my friend’s amazon feedback is a way to learn how obnoxious the general public really can be. So many one star reviews have nothing to do with the seller or product and everything to do with the buyers stupidity.

‘Don’t buy from this seller, they charged me for 2 day shipping. I only wanted standard shipping’ Yeah lady the seller doesn’t select shipping, you do.

‘One star. I bought this booster pack and it had no Charazard!’
The seller doesn’t decide what cards are in the pack and the set you bought from doesn’t even have Charazards’

‘Didn’t get it because it was sent to my old address’
You select your address…

‘The doll my daughter wanted was too expensive, so I got this one and my daughter hated it’
Your spoiled brat isn’t our problem, nor are your buying decisions’

‘Wrong one, I meant to order a different color’
Sorry our mind reading skills didn’t live up to your standards.

Then of course, there are the product reviews that consist of “I ordered this as a gift and it didn’t arrive in time. Very disappointed. One star.”

I read Amazon reviews religiously. When I come upon a really stupid, irrelevant one-star review, I mark it “unhelpful,” and I sometimes leave a comment, too.

What about the people who give a product/book one star and then rave about how wonderful it is, because they thought one star was the highest review. :dubious:

“I had trouble opening the box.”
It was rated one star.

Let’s not forget the one word reviews.


Topic made me think of this XKCD comic.

Heh, I thought you were going to link to this one.

It’s always disconcerting to see just how many stupid people populate this planet.

Also annoying: the people who get the “someone has a question about an item you bought” email from Amazon, and think an answer is mandatory. “I don’t know” doesn’t provide any value, dumbass.

Here’s the most recent in a long line of threads on mostly this topic:I pit Amazon Product Feedback - The BBQ Pit - Straight Dope Message Board

If it’s any consolation, some recent studies seem to show that most people mentally dismiss all those feedback ratings that miss the mark when making a purchasing decision, so apparently all the dumb shoppers in the world aren’t impacting a business’s sales that much.

The inherent problem here is one-axis, linear, low-granularity “rating” systems. There’s no way to differentiate between a crappy product, a crappy seller or a crappy buyer.

The only one-star Amazon rating I’ve ever gotten was from a buyer who was angry that the one obscure piece of information he wanted wasn’t in my book. (Besides knowing it, and would have been happy to answer an inquiry on the point, it took me just over a minute to goog’ up an authoritative answer.)

I dismiss them too-- provided I look them up. The thing is, if two sellers have something I want, for more or less the same price and condition, I go with the higher star rating, without bothering to look at actual reviews. I might look at reviews if the slightly cheaper or better one from the guy with a 95% instead of 98% is from Indiana, while the slightly more expensive one from the 98% guy is in California. I know I’ll get the Indiana one faster, so then I go look up the reason for the ratings. Otherwise, the 98% guy gets more and more sales.

I saw one once where the reply was, “I didn’t buy <thing> so I don’t know.” :smack:

This was he even better thread I was thinking of:

And therein lies the fallacy.

The reality of a rating is that it’s really 95% … plus or minus 20%. And 98% plus or minus 20% also. The single number they quote is arithmetically accurate, but you need to remember there’s a lot of noise in the signal. So as with all true engineering or decision-making numbers, you need to consider the entire error bar range, not just the center point.

With the effect that it’s a mistake on your part to treat 95 as different than 98. They’re the same rating. You’d do just as well to choose based on which seller’s name you prefer.

Just to clarify: by “you” I mean each and every one of us. Not trying to pick on you personally.