Someone is gaming the system when it comes to reviews for No No Hair Removal
In a break in ‘The Wright Stuff’ today on Channel 5 I was struck by an ad for the ‘No! No!’ Hair removal system / gadget. I loved the claim that the product removes hair better than other methods (shaving, waxing, electrolysis) and with ‘virtually’ no pain. “If this actually worked, it would be a runaway success” I thought to myself. “Let’s see”
So I went to Google to find out.
Look at the pattern of review score in Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com sites:
It’s clearly overwhelming negative. I don’t know about you, but I tend to trust Amazon reviews marginally more than I trust everything else online for two reasons: 1) Amazon has a vested interest in making sure their system is trustworthy and 2) As a result the reviews are written by people who have bought and used the product. By comparison, everything else online is likely to be ‘gamed’ by the company in question. More and more these days, this activity consists of employing armies of young ‘social media-savvy’ people to blog, Tweet, ‘review’ the product favourably to flood Google with positive reviews.
Remember, there are millions of pounds and dollars at stake here – so paying people to fake a positive online reputation can, for some companies represent a better investment than actually making sure the product is any good in the first place.
And take a look at the sponsored ads. There appears to be one for No No at Amazon.co.uk that shows an average review rating of 4.6 stars. What?!? We already know that in really it scores an average 2* in real Amazon reviews. So what IS this ‘sponsored Amazon ad’ referring to? On closer inspection it turns out that other No No products (costing a fraction of the nearly £200 of the No No Hair removal system) score higher marks. It appears the sponsored result at the top of Google then is referring to an aggregate of all of those products.
A wider review of Google results suggests that No No has done quite a bit of work to get their own glowing reviews out there into Google to offset the Amazon review trends.
But I’m left with the same basic question: how can it be that when it comes to the right to make claims on daytime TV, your own propaganda and a fistful of cash are all you require to be allowed to say what you like? If you’re angry at the claims made by this company – a view shared by the vast majority of Amazon reviewers of this product – then please feel free to express your views here.
Do I have a vested interest? No. I’m for truth and accountability. If your product is sh*t and the consumer is telling you so, then you don’t have the right to continue making claims you cannot back up in reality.