Misconceptions Debunked — your questions (& our answers) about ProductReview.com.au

There’s more than 600 million websites on the internet. So how do you know you can trust ours for your next purchasing decision? Since 2003, we’ve worked hard to create the highest quality consumer opinion site for Australians, through industry-leading moderation processes & practices — which more than 4 million Australians each month rely on.

But we know that there’s some inaccurate assumptions about our platform — the reality is, in fact, the complete opposite most of the time! Here’s a few of the most popular misconceptions, why they’re inaccurate, and what we do in the background to prevent them from happening:

 

“Brands can see & filter reviews before they’re published.”

Companies & brands only know you’ve written a review after your review is approved & published. Even if you opt in to our Review Mediation service (where available), you will always have the choice of submitting your review at any time. As long as the review meets our Posting Guidelines, brands are never allowed to filter or remove reviews, even if they’re negative.

“Brands can pay for reviews to be removed.”

Definitely not! Our business model includes our Brand Management Platform, which helps brands better engage with and understand their reviews & customers, but we never accept payment to edit or remove a review on behalf of a brand.

“ProductReview.com.au gets paid to write reviews.”

We’re powered by our community, for our community! As a company, we don’t write reviews ourselves, nor do we get paid for the opinion or quantity of reviews (see our Operating Model). Each and every review you see on ProductReview.com.au is a genuine consumer opinion, so you can have peace of mind that each opinion is the real deal.

“Reviews that are posted aren’t screened — they’re obviously from bots or staff.”

Many people are surprised on what happens in the background to ensure only quality reviews are published on our platform, which you can read more about in our Moderation Process. But our proprietary content algorithm automatically identifies & blocks suspicious content, whether it’s from bots, or employees placing fake reviews. Our dedicated Moderation Team also audits review content around the clock to ensure quality.

While we receive thousands of reviews every single day, we do assess & screen every single one of them; and if you do come across the select few that make it through, you are invited to flag & report the review.

“Most people write a review only to rant because they’re angry or annoyed.”

Our numbers actually tell a completely different story! With review submissions averaging around 3.2 Stars, and overall opinion data neither being overtly positive or negative, members do share their experiences regardless of it being atrocious or astonishing. And we think that’s valuable, because it truly reflects the sentiment of the product or service. Our users keep coming back to ProductReview.com.au for its balanced opinions.

Tip: When browsing a listing, take the time to compare the most favourable reviews with the least favourable ones to develop a more comprehensive purchasing decision. You can do this by using our “Sort By:” feature.

“It’s easy for companies to put fake reviews on ProductReview.”

Not only do we have a sophisticated content algorithm that identifies and blocks fake & suspicious reviews, we also refer any instances of fake or “gamed” reviews to authorities & government bodies, like the ACCC. You can read more about what we do with them in our Moderation Process. Our reputation is built on your trust, so there is no incentive for us to encourage fake reviews on our platform. Additionally, we continually educate brands to engage with and learn from their genuine customer reviews to create better experiences, through our Brand Management Platform.

“I’ve had a bad experience with a particular product or brand, but they have a lot of positive reviews on ProductReview — these must be fake reviews.”

The numbers are most likely not sinister at all! Note that your experience may not be the same as other consumers, and your experience may be an outlier, so please keep that in mind. We encourage everyone to leave a review for products and services they’ve used — regardless if they had a positive or negative experience.

Also, brands may use incentive promotions to gather more reviews, such as giving away gift cards for every review, or running a competition for their customers who leave a review. As explained in our Incentivised Review Policy, as long as the incentive is equally offered to both positive and negative reviews, these incentives meets both our Posting Guidelines, and the legal guidelines of the ACCC. These promotions are known to generate hundreds of genuine reviews each day, which can add up in the long run. However, if offered in line with our guidelines, incentives would not change true overall sentiments.

“Some reviewers post only one review on the same day they registered, their reviews must be fake.”

Some of our users sign up when writing their first review, and forget to write additional reviews after their first one is published. But that shouldn’t cause alarm! Sometimes it takes a reminder for a reviewer to complete their review in the first place, however, a published review is a genuine consumer opinion all the same, and can be trusted (as long as it meets our Posting Guidelines). We encourage our community to keep submitting reviews on ProductReview for products & services they use; we run promotions from time to time to encourage this.

“ProductReview shares & sells personal information with brands.”

We’re proud to be beholden by no-one; we’ll never share your personal information without your knowledge. Brands never have access to personal information on your ProductReview.com.au profile (besides your public username & inputted location, as displayed next to your review). We only reveal personal information if required by a court of law, or if you explicitly provide permission to do so.

Regarding Proof of Purchase documents, we never share your documents you provide with brands or companies; we only use it to independently verify that you are a customer for that product or service, as we are an independent platform and do not have access to any customer databases or lists. To learn more about how we handle your documents, please read our article explaining our Moderation Process.