Fake Reviews on E-tail Websites – Everything Dinosaur’s Point of View

I suppose it had to happen sooner rather than later, after all, it probably happens on other websites, we received a product review from a customer who praised the particular product they had purchased from our website but then commented that the other product reviews related to that item were made up.

The truth is we get hundreds of compliments from customers and very positive feedback from those people who have purchased from Everything Dinosaur, or just asked for some dinosaur information, or help with a school project and such like.

Our company is made up of parents, teachers and real dinosaur experts, when we set up the business more than five years ago we drafted a set of articles that we as a company would abide by.  These principles, are our very own memorandum of association, setting out how we would run Everything Dinosaur, fundamentally we wanted to have a organisation that we could be proud of, what we stood for mattered to us.  Indeed, if we ourselves could not be passionate about what we do and what we stand for then how could we expect anybody else to be on our behalf.

The ability to post up feedback and comments on the website was a development first introduced into our website upgrade in 2008, the revised and expanded system operating today, the result of yet another upgrade, retained the “write a review/feedback” section as we felt that this was an important element.  Prior to this there was no facility for customers to publish the nice things they said about us, or indeed for Everything Dinosaur team members to put online comments and feedback received and we wanted to rectify this.

Unfortunately, when we changed servers a few months ago, much of the feedback and comments received could not be transferred over.  We lost much of the input from customers and clients of the company as a result.  However, slowly but surely the site is becoming populated once again by feedback.  This may be a slow process, to date we have had published on our website 146 product reviews and comments since the new server system was installed on the 6th May 2009.  This works out at approximately one customer review or comment every two days or so.  We are grateful and very appreciative of every one that we receive.

Perhaps it would be helpful if we outlined our policy on customer feedback and comments, as we do put quite a lot of work into this area of our business and indeed a great deal of what we do is influenced and directed by the comments we receive.

For every order that we send out where a feedback postal service is available, we include a feedback form and a FREEPOST envelope.  We get quite a few of these everyday and, as part of our work in the company, each morning those that we have received are reviewed and then split between us so that we can respond in person to any comments or suggestion that might require a personal reply.

As subscribers to the UK Data Protection Act (Registration number: Z9024867), we have a tick-box element on the form, so that customers can advise us whether or not they would like to be included in our newsletter and product information database.  Above this part of the feedback survey, there is a section where customers can provide comments, ideas, suggestions and such like.  Every form that comes into us, is read and discussed by the team members and it is from these comments that many of the feedback and comments published at the Everything Dinosaur are sourced.  In addition, since every order placed with us is responded to by a team member sending a personal email to the customer, we do get quite a lot of feedback and comments electronically.  If this is the case, we email the customer again, encouraging them to leave a comment on the website, we include in our reply a link to the product(s) in question so that the customer can write a view on the page of the item that they have purchased.

With the models that we supply, we tend to get a lot of feedback from collectors and dinosaur enthusiasts.  Many of the new introductions have waiting lists of customers, who have requested that we reserve a particular model for them.  When the models come in these people are contacted and often when they have received the model we get some comments back either via an email reply to our earlier correspondence or via the feedback form.

We can understand why some more cynical people could perceive portions of the feedback as being made up, this may be a practice found on other commercial sites.  For us however, it is a full time job, responding to and working with the customer letters, comments, reviews and everything else that we do receive, so we don’t have time to fabricate any.

Let me close by putting up the latest comment received by Everything Dinosaur.  Yesterday, we only had one feedback form in our Saturday morning post.  This form had been sent into us by a lady called Haidee from London.

Customer Feedback sent into Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

I think the above feedback, speaks volumes for our company and everything we stand for.  Our thanks to all those people who take the time and trouble to give us feedback and place comments/reviews on our website.

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