Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Review Websites Being Questioned
Review websites claiming to be a “passive conduit” of comments about service providers are being questioned. The matter of consumer trust in reviews provided by these sites run the risk of being manipulated by subscriber agreements. What stands in the fulcrum is the ability for these sites to bolster the transparency of their policies in order to enhance consumer trust. In the background is that consumer protection laws do shield consumer review websites from liability for the reviews posted by consumers of service providers.
Whether a consumer can claim that the particular review site suppresses negative comments, heightens negative comments, suppresses positive comments, or heightens positive comments is a matter in fact finding in a case. To the extent that they take place, then arguments alleging fraud do gain legs. For instance, if positive or negative reviews are selected for consumer availability, then there could be a stated requirement of disclosing to the general public that they are not reading all reviews on a service provider. The element of trust in the reliability of the reviews provided then is questionable. Disclosing to the public the process of handling the posting will only enhance the trust factor.
The twist, as one can tell is looming, is when a site offers ratings and rakings. If the process involves selection of differing quality of review, that puts into question the trustworthiness of the ratings and rankings. In that case, the claim of being a passive conduit of reviews read more.
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