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Heavenly Villa

Marketplace reviews - good or bad

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I am just wondering what people think about marketplace reviews.   Specifically, do designers feel if it is ok or not ok to ask a customer to change a negative review to a positive one?  

Do designers feel its ok to ask a customer to change a review if they address the issue the customer raised?  Or are customers entitled to put whatever they want without any pressure being put on them by designers to change a review?

My view is if a customer raises an issue or concern, the designer addresses that specifically and does their best to fix it.  It is up to the customer if they then wish to change the review they put.    This is how I operate as a builder.

What are others thoughts?

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I think the customer should maybe state the issue was taken care of....but as a designer, I wouldn't ask them to change it.  I'd hope they would, but I wouldn't ask. 

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Customers are free to put whatever they want in reviews, provided it is accurate.  If it's something like, "This product sucks" that can be flagged by the merchant. (I think.)

The only time I ever contacted a customer about a review was when she posted that my drapes were too small for her window.  They are modifiable and I include detailed instructions (as in assuming the person has never pulled up the Edit window before and going step-by-step) as to resizing.

I contacted the customer, thanking her for the purchase and saw she was having an issue with the size.  I said I would be more than happy to come to her home and size them for her.  She said, "Oh it's ok, we moved so I don't need them now anyway." (I contacted her within a day or so of the review...did not receive a noticed from LL so I just have to scan the MP to see if any notices have been left.)

I then said I would refund her money.  She said she didn't want me to do that so at that point I asked if she would be ok with changing her review.  She did so while we spoke even and left a review saying the customer service was awesome. :)

I would never pressure a customer to do anything, but I will contact a dissatisfied customer and try my best to make things right.

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Heavenly Villa wrote:

I am just wondering what people think about marketplace reviews.   Specifically, do designers feel if it is OK or not OK to ask a customer to change a negative review to a positive one?  

Do designers feel its OK to ask a customer to change a review if they address the issue the customer raised?  Or are customers entitled to put whatever they want without any pressure being put on them by designers to change a review?

 

 

My view is if a customer raises an issue or concern, the designer addresses that specifically and does their best to fix it.  It is up to the customer if they then wish to change the review they put.    This is how I operate as a builder.

What are others thoughts?

I do think that customers shouldn't just blast off with a bad review. More times then not its a simple mistake and the merchant is more then happy to fix. I've only had a problem 3 times in three years. To be honest to me that's not bad. I only left 2 bad reviews, the third was a scam  by a guy who did "custom work" so no review could be given. The 2 bad reviews I gave, they deserved it. I wasn't rude just stated my issue. 

 I was followed for a year once by a merchant. It was a nightmare and the other for weeks. Ask but don't keep on persisting. I think most are like me if I see a bad review bunched up with good ones I kind of take a chance because I know you can't please everyone.

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1st, if it's a really bad review which is just a bunch of insults and has no substance to it, or doesn't even state the problem, you can have it removed.

2nd, if it is a bad review and you help the customer out and correct the problem, or inform them of what they are doing wrong, I generally say something like this, "If you can find the time, I would greatly appreciate it if you would update your review on the product".

That's all I say. No pressure. I'll wait a day or 2, and then I will put my own comment in under their review stating that the issue was addressed, if the review was not updated.

All this said, I've actually had customers have a problem, even failed deliveries, and the customer gives me a 5 star rating. They also state the problem they had. I have no idea why they do this, but It's better than giving me 1 star. lol

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Heavenly Villa wrote:

I am just wondering what people think about marketplace reviews.   Specifically, do designers feel if it is ok or not ok to ask a customer to change a negative review to a positive one?  

Do designers feel its ok to ask a customer to change a review if they address the issue the customer raised?  Or are customers entitled to put whatever they want without any pressure being put on them by designers to change a review?

 

 

My view is if a customer raises an issue or concern, the designer addresses that specifically and does their best to fix it.  It is up to the customer if they then wish to change the review they put.    This is how I operate as a builder.

What are others thoughts?

Most reviews are BS.

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It is really amazing to me how very few folks write reviews. Like one in fifty? Not sure.

Just wanted to say that LL will not necessarily remove a yelling and screaming review with no substance. They do sometimes I hear, sometimes not.

I have a competitor who has every few months bought one of my best selling items so that he can give it a one star rating. The comments are almost always exactly the same and complain about things that are clearly (CLEARLY) shown in the photos and written in the text. And there is a demo to visit. It is VERY obvious that he is doing this. Again, only one item in a slew of similar ones -- evidently the one that gets ahead of his in the searches (sigh).

The last time he did this I wrote a scathing (no swearing ) comment pointing out his childishness (this was the third of forth incidence -- the others were on a previous version of the same sort of product, but remade with mesh and new textures.

As a consumer I try and always leave a comment on things that I like. I seldom buy anything that I don't really like as I do my homework. This isn't counting freebies or demos of course. Many of those I trash. Really nice one? I give them a 5 star review.

Shaking my head that someone would keep buying an expensive item just to trash it. It doesn't seem to have hurt sales any; the week after the last one star review I sold more in a day than I ever had before. Petty, Petty.

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It's not a faultless process by any means.  I know alot of times I've bought good items on mp and haven't left a review.   I will endeavour to make more effort to leave good reviews for good items.  

Is it that people tend to put more bad reviews than good?

It's good to see the general consensus so far may be to ask for an improved review, but dont push it.   

I was curious as to what people thought after I recently purchased something from mp and at first got a good response from the creator after I found a part missing from the box that I needed.  They first asked that I give them a good review (WITHOUTproviding the missing part), then when I only gave an improved review (due to their quick response and refund of the money, but no item), they then contacted me again, provided the  missing item and told me to give them a better review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anyone is entitled to do anything that is not forbidden in the TOS or guidelines.  Merchants are not allowed to offer to reward positive reviews, though they can offer rewards for all reviews, good or bad.  Flames or Off Topic reviews are not allowed.  Extortion is not allowed. That sort of thing.

Now, what is wise or profitable is another story. It is not against TOS to be rude, but it is not wise. Harrassing customers who leave negative reviews is unwise, and could be against TOS if it is repeated or extreme, but I doubt LL is going to do much about it.  I don't know how much poor customer service hurts a business -- it must hurt some, but I suspect not much.  If the business is one of the group widely promoted by bloggers, nothing can touch them -- not rumors of rude service, not selling ripped merchandise, nothing -- so they can harrass customers with near impunity. (See mammoth SL threads on about these merchants.)

 

 

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Heavenly Villa wrote:

It's not a faultless process by any means.  I know a lot of times I've bought good items on mp and haven't left a review.   I will endeavourer to make more effort to leave good reviews for good items.  

Is it that people tend to put more bad reviews than good?

It's good to see the general consensus so far may be to ask for an improved review, but don't push it.   

I was curious as to what people thought after I recently purchased something from mp and at first got a good response from the creator after I found a part missing from the box that I needed.  They first asked that I give them a good review (WITHOUT providing the missing part), then when I only gave an improved review (due to their quick response and refund of the money, but no item), they then contacted me again, provided the  missing item and told me to give them a better review.

 

People do tend to leave good reviews rather then bad because they right them when they are upset. More motivation to go back. When they are happy with a product they go on there merry way forgetting the review. 

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Chic Aeon wrote:

It is really amazing to me how very few folks write reviews. Like one in fifty? Not sure.

Just wanted to say that LL will not necessarily remove a yelling and screaming review with no substance. They do sometimes I hear, sometimes not.

This is not my experience, and believe me, LL shows me no favoritism. I do have a review I reported on monday tho, and I haven't seen anything done yet. It definitely should get removed, if I compare it to others I've had removed. Overall tho, a bad review is very rare, and if 1 is not removed, then my other customers usually call the review out in their own review.

As far as people not writing reviews, this has always been a rare occurence. This was not a problem when we had Xstreet tho. See, Xstreet did the ratings and review system correctly. They made it super easy for a purchaser to give the product a rating. If all people have to do is click a star option, they do it. When you force them to actually write a review, few people will. With Xstreet's system, I got multiple ratings daily. Probably 25% of all purchasers were giving me ratings. I had the same problems as you early on in my SL career with competitors trying to rate me down, but with a system like Xstreet had, you got so many ratings that your competitor's actions were drowned out by your other customers. 1 of my most popular products in the beginning had, for example, 75 5star rating, and 3 1star ratings. Those 1 star ratings became insignificant. Plus, with all those ratings, it was a much better evaluation of the product that the system we have now.

So, why did this change? IMHO, it was changed because merchants that didn't know any better, and didn't get many sales, complained like crazy that they were being unfairly rated down. They saw the ease of just clicking a rating as a negative and asked that LL force people to write a review. These merchants didn't understand that this current system would not help them at all. I see this current system as extremely bad for every1, as some1 who is angry is much more likely to write a review than some1 that loved your product and is inworld playing with it.

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I'm of two minds about reviews as both a merchant and a customer.  As a merchant I love getting reviews... of course less so the bad ones. I do not and will never understand the customers who race to post a bad review with out first attempting to contact the merchant.


I don't know about other merchants but I WANT to know if I messed something up. However, one time I got a bad review because I mistakenly put an unpacking script in the box that didn't unpack transfer only items. *shrugs* The customer immediately posted a bad review calling me a scammer because they didn't know how to open a box manually. Some people don't, I understand that. What I don't understand is why was their first instinct not to contact me. I don't know.

 

As a customer who is also a merchant I really have no excuse for not writing reviews other than laziness. I know merchants want reviews. I know I want reviews, but do I do them? Not so much. I've got internets to look at!

 

I have never asked a customer to improve a bad review. I will, however, leave a comment on their review stating that I've fixed or attempted to fix whatever their issue was if it's a valid issue. Some aren't valid issues. One customer stated that a part of one of my builds was just a texture when it was in fact a sculpted prim. *shrugs* People are people. Enjoy the good, deal with the bad, try to write your own (good or bad), and move on.

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Anastasia Domenici wrote:

[...] 
What I don't understand is why was their first instinct not to contact me. I don't know.

IMO the answer is fairly simple. The Internet in general, and Second Life in particular, offers a massive amount of protection and safety. The customer is completely anonymous, even to people that might know them in real-life. This protection from recognition allows them to do something they cannot do in real-life: Vent loudly!

When you see a negative review that is loaded with such emotion-charged descriptions as "Ripoff", "Scam", "Thief" and worse, you realize the person posting it wasn't really speaking from a place of rational thought, they were just venting a pent up anger that they've had to keep inside due to the way society frowns on such emotional outbursts.

If they contact you directly, then they must obey the "Rules of Society" and speak in polite terms, not cuss and stomp their feet and throw a temper tantrum. So contacting you is no solution for their REAL problem: The need to let off some of that internal emotional pressure.

I know it doesn't help you get through the emotions you feel when you see a bad review full of angry, hurtful words. It only helps you recognize what was going on AFTER you get past the initial "WTF!?!" moment. That's also when you "Report Review" and politely ask them to remove the review because it clearly is off topic and not the sort of thing that needs to be left in plain sight.

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Heavenly Villa wrote:

Do designers feel its ok to ask a customer to change a review if they address the issue the customer raised?  Or are customers entitled to put whatever they want without any pressure being put on them by designers to change a review?

 


I'll address the issue, and may comment on the review ... it's up to the customer what they decide to do with their review.

 

I don't get all drama-llama if someone leaves a bad review.

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It's always merchants' fault no matter how hard they work for customers right.

Just admit it n let it goooooo. You can do it. 

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Anastasia Domenici wrote:

The customer immediately posted a bad review calling me a scammer because they didn't know how to open a box manually. Some people don't, I understand that. What I don't understand is why was their first instinct not to contact me. I don't know.

If I find something that bothers me so much that I want to leave a comment about it (I often don't bother) then I will try to make it factual and I will write it there and then as a review and then contact the merchant via IM.

If their IM's cap then that's their problem i'm afraid, there is an easy solution to it and it divides opinion but send offline IM's to email.  I dislike notecards and don't care to spend time faffing around making a notecard to drop on someone, it's silly.  IM is THE interactive communications method within SL.

Right so mini rant done, I will leave the review first and foremost because then it's done.  Simple as that.  If the merchant fails to get back to me then I don't have to think about keeping track of something that I wanted to comment on.  What I might do is include in the review, a comment that the merchant was contacted on <date> and awaiting reply.  That way others can see if the merchant is responsive or not.

If there's a suitable response, I have no problem changing the review to include an outcome and of course, it's a pleasure to do so.

The whole situation is made somewhat easier now anyway since reviews activity is notified to the merchant via email, again, if they fail to read that email and act on it then nobody else to blame really.  Even a bad review can't do that much damage in the time it ought to take an attentive merchant to notice that there was an issue even if the customer didn't contact first.

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Is it ok?  I have never felt a need to do so but whether it's ok is really subjective.  I think if you are polite and readily and cheerfully take no for an answer if it turns out that way, reasonable people probably won't be too upset with you even if they are little taken aback or perhaps uncomfortable about it.

 

For customers the review feature is there to give them a place to record their experience of buying that product from you and as a potential source of information about items they might want to buy.   I don't see why they would be expected or obliged to treat it as anything else.

 

For me it's a source of information about my products and/or customer service and the customer doesn't even owe me that much.

 

It might have bonus marketing value if the review is positive but that's a secondary effect of the review serving customers as a source of information, not the primary purpose.  Other customers are owed accurate information before I am owed free marketing because it's there to provide them with information; that's the point of it. 

 

Yes, it is up to the customer if they bother to take the time to give any feedback and the only obligation I feel they have is to not lie or comment in deliberately bad faith.  If the review honestly relays their experience of the product and shopping in my store, then it's more than I am entitled to and more than is required of the customer.

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I do respond to any IMs about problems with the products as soon as I get the message.  Sometimes I can only say, "I need to get back to a computer with a wired connection that can run SL before I can do anything for you, but I willtake care of it" but I do respond.

It's quite a bit of "work" for a 9L chicken with glitched perms, but it's the professional way to do it.

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I get very few reviews, and love it when somebody finally bothers. I go running from my email to see how it went, as they are as rare as hens teeth. With a negative one once (about some full bright on some gems which I fixed  and redelivered. (The items were mod, but I don't think it's my customers job to fix oversights)).  I added  a comment saying that the item was updated and replaced, and wouldn't bother asking the customer to change their review, as I guess that future customers can then read the history of what happened. If they read that there was an issue, and that the issue was fixed, I hope that's good info for them amongst the other 5 stars in my store.

I should review more often, but don't really shop much. But if I do, I try to say really precisely what is good about the product. Like stuff that might not be mentioned by the merchant, but stuff that people need to know.

Because a mass of ambiguous glowy 5 star reviews that say nothing (ie "Wow fabulous just what i wanted"etc) really mean nothing to me as a shopper. I assume that most of those are fake. But if someone has a smattering of great reviews, plus a negative fixed issue or two, I will read that as good stuff.

I get suspicious of stores with one or two 5 star peppy vague reviews with each item. Hhehe...as a merchant, I know it just doesn't happen like that.

 

 

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Heavenly Villa wrote:

I am just wondering what people think about marketplace reviews.   Specifically, do designers feel if it is ok or not ok to ask a customer to change a negative review to a positive one?  

Do designers feel its ok to ask a customer to change a review if they address the issue the customer raised?  Or are customers entitled to put whatever they want without any pressure being put on them by designers to change a review?

 

 

My view is if a customer raises an issue or concern, the designer addresses that specifically and does their best to fix it.  It is up to the customer if they then wish to change the review they put.    This is how I operate as a builder.

What are others thoughts?

I believe everyone should be able to leave their honest reviews of a product, without fear of repercussions from the seller. If we can't do that as customers, then the feature should be removed.

I recently wrote a lower-rating review for a product I bought, that fell short in a few areas, especially when compared to how it was advertised.

The seller contacted me in IMs pretty much scolding me for not reading the instructions, apparently 'misunderstanding' how the ad was written and what the product would actually deliver, and that he would be glad to give me a refund if I removed the review.

I wasn't so wanting a refund, nor was I that unhappy. I was just giving my impression and opinion of the product, something that didn't seem to be happening with the numerous 5 star raving reviews (but with no supporting statements why) that existed prior to mine. I used the product and didnt understand how people could give it 5 stars so easy.

Of course , I had no intention of removing my review, refund or not. Why should I have to for any reason? That's not how it works in my opinion. It is a review - defined as a critique or evaluation of the product. Especially after having a very condescending scold about how I should buy products in the future, etc.

The seller however said I would not get a refund without removing the review. Totally inappropriate. I didnt care about a refund, I cared about making my opinion of the product known, so that it could be improved, and if I hated it too badly then yeah maybe a refund.

After removing the review, the seller failed to refund in a timely manner anyway. Feeling I was being bamboozled, I put the review back up. The seller decided to attack and bully me intensely, even going so far as to post the original review online on his blog as if he was 'exposing' my lies on the subject. Now I was being portrayed as extorting the seller for a refund using a bad review to do it. Utter nonsense.

The situation escalated, and my review was removed presumably by LL.(did seller flag?) Thanks LL, I'm sure the seller will be quite happy having only mostly positive reviews on his product for the next buyer to find out.

So now I have a less-than-stellar product, no refund, and no review (that was originally  made without malice and represented my critique of the product).

I still own the product, should I repost a review? Probably not worth the risk to reputation, and probably my account. So the seller's tactic of bullying less than favourable reviews was a success in the end.

Therefore, I propose we remove the review function altogether. I can't trust that the reviews for a product are even accurate, after this experience. When you're looking at purchasing  a $L 6000 building tool from the marketplace, UMM NO I DONT THINK SO.

Way too serious.

When I write a review, it is my opinion on the product, and I should be allowed to write it.

The end result is that I probably will not be writing any more reviews on the marketplace, the most being positive, but I've had such a negative time with the less than 5 star reviews from sellers, its not worth using it.

It also makes me want to remove all POSITIVE reviews I've written as well, because you shouldn't have one without the ability to have the other as well.

I also don't believe sellers that have NO negative reviews up,due to my recent experience I cannot consider review sections valid anymore.

As a seller, if  I receive a bad review (I've only had one), I just deal with it as best I can, as patiently as I can. In this case, it was just usability issue created by not having Advanced Lighting on to see light intensity changes in the product I created.

The customer removed the negative review which pretty much was "1 star: Does not work", although I wish that he had rewritten or resubmitted his review after now figuring out how it worked, but oh well. The review gave me valuable insight and taught me about the issue for the future, so it was a win-win for both of us.

To me a review, good or bad,  is valuable information on how I can improve my product, what usability, scripting or practical problems may come up that I can't always be aware of, and the general popularity of the product and happiness of the customer.

I prefer any review over no reviews. Sometimes positive ones say nothing either. Its from your most critical customers that you learn the most about your product or service.

Having been in sales for most of my life, I understand that at most times, it will be the unhappy customers first who will voice their opinion, it just goes with the territory, and to not take it personally.

Its Second Life. It's supposed to be a leisure activity, not a huge serious drama that should cause both parties to get bent out of shape.

But hey, when a 'game' or 'virtual environment' and for some its economy is depended on for RL bill payments and mortgages, then stakes DO get quite serious.. at the cost of the experience of new users, who simply don't stay.

 

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I gave someone a bad review, but it was removed and I was not refunded. They flagged my review, I presume, and had it removed however I was not contacted and I only found out by accident when I saw the item again while looking for other products. I was partly to blame because I didn't read the whole description but I was genuinely unhappy with the product and the way I was treated. I would love to tell you the designers but I think they have more friends than me. Until you experience something like this it feels like a two way street but it is not. SL BUYER BEWARE.

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amindwithaheart wrote:

 I didn't read the whole description
 

Reviews trashing something because the buyer did not read the description will be removed.  Reviews which actually help other potential buyers identify shortcomings in the product are not.

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I recently had this exact same issue.  I purchased a product based on the modify permission.  The product showed up as no mod.   In addition to no mod, the textures where flashing and the roof top was not aligned.  The seller had placed in his bio that he only responds to note cards and only if you say please and thank you.  I dropped the seller and note card and waited.  After getting no response, I simply sent another note card.

I still did not get a response and placed a bad review on the product.  The title of the review was "Nice looking but no mod".  The body of the text stated that I purchased the product and it was not modify.  I stated that the textures were flashing and that I could not fix them because it was not modify.   Nothing more nothing less, just the facts.

The seller contacted me the next day with an IM saying "Who are you?"  I responded saying I purchased his product and described my issues.  He wrote back berating me for the review and saying I was not completeing the rez process and the script was making it no mod.  He also mentioned the review and that the building was perfect.  He said he was going to give me a new rezzer, which, I did not get.

I responed with pictures of the flashing texures, the UI of my viewer showing the no mod status and the empty contents.   I told him that I did not get the new rezzer and said that if he fixed it the issue I would give him 5 stars.

It took a little bit of effort, however, we finally got a working rezzer after about 6 showed up.  I fixed the textures and realigned the roof.  I am now happy with the product and true to my word I did go to give him 5 stars.  Here is where the trouble begins.  Linden Labs by thier own guidelines are not supposed to remove a review until a through review is done to determine if TOS or guidelines have been violated.   In this case, every single guideline was followed to the letter.  The entire process documented and yet the review was sitll removed.  How can you do a review without contacting both parties is beyond me.

I created a support ticket asking for the results of the review and the criteria for the decission to remove it.  I asked what was wrong with my review.  Instead of answering my questions Linden Labs responded saying what is done is done.  Go away and be happy.

This is a problem; Linden Labs refuses to follow thier own guidelines.  They refuse to enforce or honor thier liablities under the Terms of Service.  They make the rules but do not follow them.

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