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A modest proposal.


Modest proposals are "tongue in cheek" suggestions for improving the world. This one is actually serious - -I am not sure where the tongue should be allocated in this case.

Fake Reviews

Adapting Garrison Keeler what said about Lake Woebegone children, on Amazon, almost all reviews on Amazon are "above average". This seems to be due to an active process on the part of Amazon.

I have encountered this phenomenon several times -- if one puts up a review that reflects a negative experience, it is taken down with a "no-reply" email (i.e. anonymously).

For example in the graphic above, I pointed out that the hugely expensive water dispensor that was very quickly delivered from Amazon, looked almost identical to the device that broke after a year of use, but cost half as much. I provided the useful suggestion to buy the cheaper one as it appeared that they shared many parts and were very similar overall. Amazon didn't like this, and took my review down. I had a similar experience when I posted a review about a blender about 6 months ago. Basically, reviews have to be all positive.

While I get it that nobody likes to be criticized, there is also a reasonable expectation for customers that what they read should have at least some resemblence to honest commentary. Or in other words, Amazon is lying to customers to make more money. This should be illegal, I suppose, but unethical activities to make money are common and difficult to control. Probably it is best to think about how to "work around" unethical marketing behavior.

Practical suggestions to avoid getting the wrong idea about Amazon products.:



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