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Do you trust online reviews?

Categories: Business, Science & Technology

Online reviews of products and services can give you an idea of another customer's opinion before you put down your money, but can they always be trusted?

Yelp said it filters out 'drive-by reviewers' who post only once because that may mean they have a vested interest in the business.Yelp said it filters out 'drive-by reviewers' who post only once because that may mean they have a vested interest in the business. (CBC)Many online retailers - everything from Apple to Canadian Tire - offer customers an opportunity to review their products and some sites, like Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon, give you the chance to review vacation packages or restaurants.

The owner of a Vancouver electrolysis chain says that Yelp, the customer review website, has filtered out positive reviews about her company and skewed her Yelp score lower for no good reason.

Jennifer Desloges, owner of Jade Electrolysis, signed a monthly $350 contract with Yelp to enhance her business's listing on Yelp.com.

After asking her customers to weigh in, 17 of them posted glowing, five-star reviews. But Yelp says that reviews from users who haven't written many reviews are filtered out in favour of reviews written by regular users of the site.

"We are not a pin-up board - where you drive by and put something up and you leave. We are a community," said Yelp spokesperson Stephanie Ichimose.
    
Do you trust online reviews? Do you think that the filtering of reviews described by Yelp is fair? Let us know what you think in the comments below.



(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Business, internet, POV, Science & Technology, social media

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