questionshow do you take feedback into account when…


Any time I look at any feedback, I'll sort it by the most recent. Typically I ignore anything that isn't fairly recent.


I'm not especially concerned with how well a reviewer uses proper grammar and sentence structure. I look for clues that indicate the reviewer actually used the product, specific reasons they liked or didn't like it, and other indicators of reliability on the part of the writer. I look for recent reviews, since older ones may have been based on earlier models of the product and improvements may have been made since.

On Amazon reviews, I check the one-, two-, and three-star reviews first. I rarely bother with five-star reviews.

Why would poor language skills make you doubt someone's experience with a consumer product?


These are the ways I weigh feedback:
1. If the complaint, is it relevant to me? For example, "took a long time to ship" or "sent me the wrong color" may not matter to me.
2. Have they taken reasonable steps to resolve their own problem? Would I be willing to take those steps if I encountered the problem?
3. Is the merchant responsive to complaints?
4. Do there appear to be shill posts? These always make me suspicious.
5. Does the reviewer appear to be a reliable source? I include data such as poor grammar and spelling, use of profanity, gross overreaction, and the sense that the person actually has put the item to use and knows what item is being reviewed.
6. Does the reviewer appear to have reasonable expectations?

Volume of reviews matters, even a serious problem occurring once in a thousand sales doesn't deter me as much as a pattern of minor problems. I also take into account whether seller weaknesses might be compensated for by manufacturer strengths.


I also consider the newest feedback more relevant, but if I see bad feedback, I will look at the feedback those users have left for other sellers or products too. I really get annoyed when I see a negative product review trashing a seller, or vice versa. If the item is inexpensive, and I really want it, I will take a chance, but on pricier items I will give more weight to feedback.


@magic cave: It's certainly snobbish, but I simply don't give the same level of credibility to native English speakers who shouldn't have been let out of 5th grade English. I am not talking about typographical errors, casual or colloquial speech. I'm talking about text-talk, cap shouting, use of profanity or vulgar language, word salad, sounds-like spelling, and generally awful spelling and grammar. For example, a friend of mine recently asked me to proof a flyer he made up for a club he's trying to start. His language skills should be similar to mine, like me he's a native English speaker, high school graduate, very well read. Yet this flyer was all but incomprehensible. I've been assigned to proof the correspondence of one of my team members because she can't construct a business letter. I see this sort of lazy illiteracy everywhere and I am not cutting these folks any slack. If they want my respect, they need to know how to spell it.


@moondrake: Exactly. I see reviews that are just a few words like "wurst idm evr bot on ebay" which is absolutely useless feedback, even though it severely affects the overall feedback of the seller as negative almost always carries a significant amount more weight than positive or even neutral. Thanks for the info so far, all!


@moondrake: What is "word salad ? " I never heard that term before.


@ceagee: Do a google for " word salad Palin" and see what comes up.


@ceagee: It was originally a psychiatric term, it was used to identify people with mental disorders which caused them to be unable to communicate in a fashion comprehensible to people outside themselves. But it's come to be used to describe the choppy, nonsensical way people have begun "communicating". Word salad is probably most often seen on Twitter, due to the short number of characters allowed. Or the shortage of character present. For example: “ima pledge omega sci fi Qdogs ferternity”.


@moondrake, @dows: Let's quibble for a moment. I have no patience at all with text speak in anything but a text message. However, the smartest, most intelligent man I ever met couldn't spell worth spit. He knew it, though, and tried to get things proofed before they were mailed (often by me), but stuff still slipped through. When I first met The Spouse, he was reading Joyce's Ulysses; he seldom reads fiction and manages to go through two heavy-duty political, economic, or sociological books a week. But he frequently uses the wrong word for an object, which makes me crazy until I figure out what he's trying to tell me. There are all sorts of words he still can't pronounce correctly, mostly because he taught himself to read before his 4th birthday, just guessed at how some words sound, and doesn't always remember the correct pronunciation.

Vulgarities and all caps will lower the weight I give a review, but understandable English with a handful of errors? I can deal with that just fine.


@moondrake: "For example: “ima pledge omega sci fi Qdogs ferternity”"

That's one of the reasons I don't have a Twitter account. Just reading that example hurts my brain.


@moondrake: You are officially A Horrible Person with NO Concern for the Sensibilities of Other Wootizens.

I made the mistake of clicking on the link for dumbest tweets. I'm not a drinkin' woman, but I think I'm going to start.


@magic cave: We all make mistakes. I make at least my fair share. I am not expecting perfect grammar. It would probably annoy me. And I am quite familiar with that name problem. I had dyslexia as a kid, mostly with numbers. Couldn't tell 4s from 7s or 5s from 8s. I drew a lot of my letters and numbers backwards, still do. It may have been related to the fact that I was fully ambidextrous as a kid and that right/left thing wasn't personally relevant. When I get migraines now it rises from the depths, I can't process names, nouns or numbers, and I have to look at other cars to remember which side of the road I am supposed to drive on. I also make considerable allowance for people whose first language isn't English. As I've never been able to acquire a second language I have nothing but respect for those who can. But, at least in my mind, there's a difference between the sort of errors you are talking about and someone who just can't be bothered to even try to get it right.


@moondrake: I rather fear the bigger problem is that so many neither know nor care what is right, which takes us back to the beginning of the discussion.


Good thread on two fronts:

1.) I have never thought about checking the most recent reviews first. Great points, and

2,) Enjoying the grammar/spelling Nazi discussion.