Bullsh*t Review Stats - Misleading Marketing Claims

When your reviews really aren't that good, what do you do?

Be careful when shopping online -- Some companies publish inaccurate or outdated review scores.

surveillance industry shortchange

What *****'s website says their reviews stats are:

Actual Review sites:

At the time of us publishing this post, here's what *****'s review stats actually were:

They claimed a 4.4 / 5 on Google, but actually have several listings. One of which is 4.4 / 5. The other five ranged from a 3.6. to a 1.4 / 5

There wasn't a way to take a screenshot of this without revealing this company's identity.

They claimed a 9.1 / 10 on Trustpilot, but actually have an 8.6 / 10.

They claimed an 8.7 / 10 on reseller ratings, but actually have a 6.9 / 10.

How to Spot BS Review Stats:

Review sites typically have "snippets" of code that you can add to your site that shows your a company's actual review stats.

What the company above did instead was to create an image that looks similar to this code. Unlike the real code, this image doesn't allow you to click on it and verify that the stats they are presenting are true and correct.

The easiest way to spot fake reviews stats is the lack of an ability to click and verify the review stats. If you can't click to see the reviews, be wary.

Another very popular way to mislead potential customers is to show a bunch of 5-star reviews with no stats on what percentage of customers feel that way. Companies that will show you some "highlighted reviews," but won't show you their review stats and averages, should not be trusted.

Lastly, anyone who "self-hosts" reviews--in other words, people who don't use a trusted 3rd party provider to collect the reviews--should not be trusted. Companies that self-collect and self-host reviews, tend to just delete bad reviews.

What Real Review Stats Look Like:

A sample of this review code for SCW from both ShopperApproved and Trustpilot is shown to the right.

Notice how you can click on the reviews and are taken to a page with more detail and actual statements by customers.

We don't use ResellerRatings, so we don't have any reviews there.

We've helped over 20,000 people, companies, and institutions and they rate us this way:

Shopper Award

Not just what you say, also what you leave out

Yelp is another review site that this same company has used. Yelp is more popular with restaurants and local businesses than national brands, so it is an odd choice to use it. If they had never used Yelp that wouldn't be strange, but both the number of reviews (50) and the "claimed" tag seems to indicate that this was a review collection method that was abandoned.

There is a much-needed discussion for the security industry, and many others, about what should be done about excluding review sites where you also have listings, just because you have a bad score on them.

It seems highly misleading to talk about how great your reviews are while ignoring review sites that don't paint you in a positive light.

This Industry needs to Clean up its Act

A big part of our mission statement - our reason for existing as a company - is to clean up an industry known for dirty tricks and misleading marketing.

This "images of reviews" practice needs to end. Nearly every review company provides code that you can easily add to your site, and no one can claim ignorance that this code exists. Businesses are given it when they sign up and can see the code when they login to manage reviews. Copying and pasting code is easier than taking screenshots of review stats and writing your own code to display them. It is literally more work to not display accurate reviews.

Shame on you; there's no way this is accidental.