Online customer review denied

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Carl53
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Online customer review denied

Post by Carl53 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:00 pm

I purchased a number of parts to replace the differential, transfer case and transmission fluids, filters and gaskets recently from a national retail supplier of automotive parts. Some of these were purchased from their online website since the part was not available locally. Subsequently I received an email asking for my review of two of the items, presumably to enhance the experience of their customers.

One of the parts, a gasket, which the website claimed to fit my vehicle, and I verified with the local store before ordering since it had to be shipped to home, did not actually fit. It was close but could not be adapted. Furthermore, it was not obvious that the part would not function until I removed it from the packaging which invalidated its returnable status per packaging documentation. I responded to the company's request for a product review as follows with a 1 star rating and the following review.
Close but unusable and not returnable.

Bought this gasket over two months ago but just got around to changing the differential fluid today. Gasket was too big to use. 1997 F150 4X4 with 5.4 L engine. Fortunately my friend had a tube of gasket goop. Out the cost of the gasket as it says it is not returnable once opened, and an extra hour or so.
I also included a photo of the gasket placed against the removed differential cover showing clearly how the gasket was slightly oversized.

Today I received a response from the company stating the following:
Thanks for your recent product review.

We value your feedback and will share it with the appropriate product category teams.

Unfortunately your review cannot be posted because it did not meet one or more of the following Guidelines which help to ensure that our reviews focus on the product quality and apply to the majority of site visitors.

- Cannot focus solely on vehicle fitment (because this only applies to your specific vehicle)
- Cannot contain inappropriate, offensive or inflammatory language or undertones
- Cannot mention competitors or brands that are not carried by XXXXXXXX
- Cannot mention specifics on pricing
- Cannot focus on employees or customer service issues
- Cannot reference a claim or lawsuit

We hope you will continue shopping with us and sharing your valuable feedback about our products.

Submit something new


Thanks again,
I was rather dumbfounded to receive such a response. I was not considering seeking a refund of perhaps $7.50 although it would have been quite difficult to ascertain the unsuitability of the gasket until the cover and gasket were actually aligned. I am tempted to just let it die and move on to one of the other suppliers. While I am mostly venting, to keep this actionable I am wondering what Bogleheads would suggest as to what, if any, further action be taken.

jadedfalcons
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by jadedfalcons » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:11 pm

I would've gone to the store and talked to them about it, taking both the new & the old gasket. I totally understand their return policy on the front side, but given the issue of sizes not matching, I would think somebody would have helped you out with it. I do a strong business in Stihl parts, and even though I think Stihl does an incredible job when it comes to replacement parts documentation, sometimes "it just don't work." I've never held a customer to a return policy in a case like that.

Except for a certain used car salesman, but I blame that on karma.

wilshuer
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by wilshuer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

It's funny they list "Cannot focus solely on vehicle fitment (because this only applies to your specific vehicle)" as that's a key aspect of an auto part purchase - does it fit?

I imagine it was kicked out due to some AI that scanned for key words, detected what it thought was against policy, and flagged. Highly doubt a person ever set their eyes on it.

Probably also detected the 'not returnable once opened', this invalidates the customer service issue.

I've had a few thrown out on Amazon, sometimes I've focus the language to get it through - only really for especially good or bad instances.

At this point, probably easiest to move on. You did your part to attempt to help the next guy, if they don't want to accept it, their loss. If you're so inclined, you might submit an online inquiry at the company's website to indicate a part mismatch. It will likely get filtered through to an actual person.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:28 pm

I had a similar issue on Amazon. I ordered a cell phone protective case, received a lady's wallet instead. When I tried to post that as a review, it got kicked out. One more reason I now look elsewhere to spend my hard-earned.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

barnaclebob
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:32 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:28 pm
I had a similar issue on Amazon. I ordered a cell phone protective case, received a lady's wallet instead. When I tried to post that as a review, it got kicked out. One more reason I now look elsewhere to spend my hard-earned.
Thats an issue with the seller, not the product. Your review was justly rejected. You can leave seller reviews too.

JohnFiscal
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by JohnFiscal » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:40 pm

okay, maybe unrelated. Once my review of a 2 gallon plastic "jerry" gasoline can was rejected by H*m* D*p*t. As a professional engineer, I found the product to be egregiously dangerous. Not the can itself but the government-mandated safety cap. The implementation of the safety cap was, in my view, extremely dangerous and could lead to grave personal, well, "grave". I titled my review "I bought this gas can so that you don't have to". I suppose it was my title that HD did not like.

crake
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by crake » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:47 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:28 pm
I had a similar issue on Amazon. I ordered a cell phone protective case, received a lady's wallet instead. When I tried to post that as a review, it got kicked out. One more reason I now look elsewhere to spend my hard-earned.
That is because product reviews are supposed to be about the product. Seeing a 1 star review because they sent you the wrong item does not help me ascertain if it is a good product or not.

I believe a similar case can be made for the OP's review. A lot of auto parts I have seen are advertised as fitting a wide range of vehicles. If the fitment information is incorrect it should be corrected. That is a completely different problem then the part fit and didn't work well. I would have emailed or called the company and told them their fitment information was incorrect and expected a refund. Based on the value of the item I would then decide how far to escalate it but if the company refused to correct the mistake I probably wouldn't shop there anymore.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:59 pm

crake wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:47 pm
A lot of auto parts I have seen are advertised as fitting a wide range of vehicles. If the fitment information is incorrect it should be corrected. That is a completely different problem then the part fit and didn't work well. I would have emailed or called the company and told them their fitment information was incorrect and expected a refund. Based on the value of the item I would then decide how far to escalate it but if the company refused to correct the mistake I probably wouldn't shop there anymore.
I see your point but don't agree. Sure, it would make sense to contact the supplier and tell them that it doesn't fit. But perhaps it doesn't fit a lot of cars. If that's the case, perhaps someone at the vendor should either figure out what it will fit or just not sell the product.

I can certainly understand the OP's disappointment. I would hate to take the truck off line for the weekend to fix the issue, having all the parts needed to do the job, only to find after the job is almost complete that a part doesn't fit. I could relate that to a simple job......say I'm changing my oil. I've got a Toyota type oil filter upside down on the top of the engine. To relieve pressure and let the oil drain into the pan before I remove the filter, I jam a screw driver in it. Now, I drain the oil, close up the drain bolt and go to install the new filter and fill the car with oil. But the vendor sent me an oil filter with a different screw pattern, so it doesn't fit. I'm screwed. I can't use the old filter because I jammed a screw driver into it and the new one won't screw on. You can bet I'd be unhappy with this vendor and would want to leave a review. I'd also expect this vendor to refund your money.
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Loik098
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Loik098 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:56 pm

The rejection upset you enough to write about it, so if there's a way to remedy this, I imagine you'll pursue it:

Have you tried to return to the product's website page and resubmit your review? If possible, use words that you're fairly certain won't trigger the automated rejection, now that you know what the rules are.

iamlucky13
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:52 pm

Carl53 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:00 pm
While I am mostly venting, to keep this actionable I am wondering what Bogleheads would suggest as to what, if any, further action be taken.
Are you certain the gasket was for your specific engine, not merely for your vehicle?

If so, I would contact customer service for a refund. If they refuse to recognize and resolve any mistake on their part, you can review retailers at https://www.resellerratings.com/ or you can consider filing a deceptive advertising complaint with the FTC.

You can also try re-writing the product review to avoid filtering.

I take false advertising very seriously. If they make claims about fit that are false, and then refuse to accept reviews that address the fundamental characteristic that gaskets have to fulfill, I have trouble figuring out what excuse they have. Although their review policy poses an exemption, the legitimate reason for such an exemption would be to justify removing reviews from users who order the wrong part. If used against reviews from users who bought the correct part, well...I refrain from further comment for the sake of civility.

FraggleRock
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by FraggleRock » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:52 pm

Name and shame here.
Review on Google, Yelp, Reseller Ratings, and Rip-off Report.
Last edited by FraggleRock on Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

McCharley
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by McCharley » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:06 pm

FraggleRock has it right! Name and shame and let Google figure it out. :beer

goodlifer
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by goodlifer » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:43 am

I don't even bother with reviews anymore. Yelp thinks that I am a fake reviewer (which I was not) and Amazon started deleting or hiding my 2 and 3 star reviews. Kohls rejects a lot of reviews, too.

If you want to bother to rewrite the review, you could say something like, "I was pleased with the quality, which is similar to OEM, but I was not able to use this on my 1997 F150 4X4 with 5.4 L engine."

barnaclebob
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:01 am

goodlifer wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:43 am
I don't even bother with reviews anymore. Yelp thinks that I am a fake reviewer (which I was not) and Amazon started deleting or hiding my 2 and 3 star reviews. Kohls rejects a lot of reviews, too.
If amazon is actually deleting your reviews then you are a bad reviewer. They have switched to only showing verified purchase reviews by default in most cases.

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celia
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by celia » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:09 am

I would repost on Yelp plus tell that the review was rejected by the manufacturer/ distributor. Make it clear that they now have 2 complaints against them :beer
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greg24
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by greg24 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:24 am

Web sites don't want to post bad reviews of their products, and do anything they can to stop them.

goodlifer
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by goodlifer » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:30 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:01 am
goodlifer wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:43 am
I don't even bother with reviews anymore. Yelp thinks that I am a fake reviewer (which I was not) and Amazon started deleting or hiding my 2 and 3 star reviews. Kohls rejects a lot of reviews, too.
If amazon is actually deleting your reviews then you are a bad reviewer. They have switched to only showing verified purchase reviews by default in most cases.
Wrong. I'm a verified purchaser and a truthful reviewer. I know how to write a review. I was in the top 6,000's on Amazon when I gave up writing. Sellers are requesting reviews be deleted. One was given a 3 star review because even though the material was good, the product stank so much for the first week that I had to throw it away. I even had 2 helpful votes when it was deleted. Most recently was a Cosplay costume for my daughter this past Halloween. I gave 3 stars because the colors didn't match the picture and the skirt had a gap in back that started at 1/2" at the waistband to 3" wide at the bottom (because the fabric was sewn angled) and then they added a flap of fabric at the waistband to cover it. Any breeze would have exposed my daughter's underwear, which is sub-optimal for a 12 year old. It was not listed as a sexy costume, and for $110 they should have included a proper skirt. It was then that I noticed that only 4 and 5 star glowing reviews were listed for this costume.

inbox788
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by inbox788 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:18 pm

I don't trust reviews anymore. Even places that used to be more trustworthy are having trouble maintaining integrity. It's a troublesome and time consuming process that many people don't take the necessary time. Often I would see a bunch of nice praises only to have the rating a 1 star, because it's number 1! Really makes the average useless. Then there are the paid and professional reviewers polluting the actual customers, sometimes most or all of the reviews are of questionable source. Often the language can give some hints, but they're getting more clever. And I've heard of competitors going in and creating fake bad reviews. And in this case, the seller is editorializing the reviews.

We're stuck between no information and bad information, and I'm not sure which is worse. Kind of where investing was before BH.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:56 pm

Honestly, the only actionable steps I see here are to a) find another source of the parts and b) send a letter/email to the CEO stating that due to their policy of not allowing online reviews about the fit of a part and not allowing returns once the package has been opened, you will no longer be purchasing items online from them.

mouses
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by mouses » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am

Carl53 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:00 pm
I purchased a number of parts to replace the differential, transfer case and transmission fluids, filters and gaskets recently from a national retail supplier of automotive parts. Some of these were purchased from their online website since the part was not available locally. Subsequently I received an email asking for my review of two of the items, presumably to enhance the experience of their customers.

One of the parts, a gasket, which the website claimed to fit my vehicle, and I verified with the local store before ordering since it had to be shipped to home, did not actually fit. It was close but could not be adapted. Furthermore, it was not obvious that the part would not function until I removed it from the packaging which invalidated its returnable status per packaging documentation.
This sounds very familiar. I bought a part from autopartswarehouse.com a few years ago, and it was slightly out of whack just enough so that it did not fit. My review was not posted and I didn't get a refund.

Posting a review on yelp is no guarantee that people will actually see it. I posted a polite, detailed, bad review of a medical person whom I think should not even be allowed to practice and although yelp accepted it, they hid it way down the bottom after ads and only gotten to by clicking on a link instead of at the top with the other person's (also very bad) review, because of "their algorithm."

mouses
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by mouses » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:21 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:01 am
goodlifer wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:43 am
I don't even bother with reviews anymore. Yelp thinks that I am a fake reviewer (which I was not) and Amazon started deleting or hiding my 2 and 3 star reviews. Kohls rejects a lot of reviews, too.
If amazon is actually deleting your reviews then you are a bad reviewer. They have switched to only showing verified purchase reviews by default in most cases.
If one buys a product which is unsatisfactory and returns it, one is no longer marked as a verified purchaser.

hudson
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by hudson » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:03 am

Carl53 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:00 pm
I am wondering what Bogleheads would suggest as to what, if any, further action be taken.
Consider filing a Better Business Bureau complaint. The product was bad; your money was good. I would not let them off the hook until I was satisfied.
I'd start writing letters and attempt to do "polite/just the facts" reviews everywhere possible.

I once had a $500 piece of equipment that was supposed to be returned to a major computer manufacturer; they were supposed to send me return info and a return label. I called 3 times over 3 weeks....they'd forgotten or didn't care. I needed the room and didn't want a bill showing up a year later. On the next call, I told them that I was writing a letter to the owner of the company. I got my info and label immediately.
Last edited by hudson on Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

michaeljc70
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:59 am

As you experienced, sites often have a laundry list of standards/requirements so they can remove bad reviews as they see fit under the auspice that your review doesn't "conform". It is their site and they can do just about anything they want.

What can you do? Well, first of all, I know it was an annoying inconvenience, but it was 7 bucks so I would forget it. If it will make you feel better, you can post it on social media, leave a Yelp review or something like that. On top of that, use another parts retailer next time.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:33 am

mouses wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am
Posting a review on yelp is no guarantee that people will actually see it. I posted a polite, detailed, bad review of a medical person whom I think should not even be allowed to practice and although yelp accepted it, they hid it way down the bottom after ads and only gotten to by clicking on a link instead of at the top with the other person's (also very bad) review, because of "their algorithm."
If you feel a medical professional is truly that bad, skip the online reviews and go straight to the patient complaint procedure at the state medical licensing board. Online reviews are not really a substitute for reporting to the licensing board when you experience egregious behavior from licensed professionals.

iamlucky13
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:28 am

mouses wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am
Posting a review on yelp is no guarantee that people will actually see it. I posted a polite, detailed, bad review of a medical person whom I think should not even be allowed to practice and although yelp accepted it, they hid it way down the bottom after ads and only gotten to by clicking on a link instead of at the top with the other person's (also very bad) review, because of "their algorithm."
Interesting. My wife's work had the opposite experience. Only the bad reviews were shown by default, and they were told something along the lines of because the business did not subscribe to Yelp's promotional service, they had no control over what was shown on their page.

Basically, it sounded very much like Yelp was trying to extort them to pay Yelp not to sort negative reviews first. No proof, but I remember thinking the conversation she described to me sounded like something out of a poorly written mafia film.

And here it sounds like you encountered a business that $omehow managed to get negative reviews $orted out of sight.

Edit - her work wasn't the only place that felt the same:
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/21 ... s-20130820

azurekep
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by azurekep » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:23 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:18 pm
I don't trust reviews anymore. Even places that used to be more trustworthy are having trouble maintaining integrity. It's a troublesome and time consuming process that many people don't take the necessary time. Often I would see a bunch of nice praises only to have the rating a 1 star, because it's number 1! Really makes the average useless. Then there are the paid and professional reviewers polluting the actual customers, sometimes most or all of the reviews are of questionable source. Often the language can give some hints, but they're getting more clever. And I've heard of competitors going in and creating fake bad reviews. And in this case, the seller is editorializing the reviews.

We're stuck between no information and bad information, and I'm not sure which is worse. Kind of where investing was before BH.
Another byproduct of online reviews is when a repair or service person has done good work for you and you thank them for their services, they now start pressuring you to write a review on Yelp. I avoid posting online reviews of any kind and just tell them I'll spread the word around about their services. I'm not sure they're 100% happy with that and I have to assure them that in our neighborhood, we trade the names of good service people amongst ourselves. I basically have to remind them that word-of-mouth is a good way to get new business.

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alpenglow
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by alpenglow » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:32 pm

I think the take-away here is that many online reviews are gamed, manipulated, and not to be trusted.

iamlucky13
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:31 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:32 pm
I think the take-away here is that many online reviews are gamed, manipulated, and not to be trusted.
Precisely. There's even a site (perhaps more than one) devoted to trying to identify misleading Amazon and a few other site reviews:
https://www.fakespot.com/

Unfortunately, I've seen a few products where the reviews seemed to too generic, and were surprisingly positive for the low quality merchandise I was looking at that Fakespot rated as highly likely to be legitimate. Maybe they really were, but I suspect some of the businesses that generate fake reviews may have already figured out how to trick Fakespot.

FraggleRock
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Yelp wants you to write more

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:35 pm

mouses wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am
Posting a review on yelp is no guarantee that people will actually see it. I posted ... because of "their algorithm."
The solution to that is quite simple.
Write lots of Yelp reviews.

Yelp wants people who review everything, good and bad, and write many, longer reviews.
Yelp does not want 501s or 101s and will dump those into the filter bucket.
Write lots of reviews and your review will probably come up out of the filter bucket. I know of an instance where this happened.
As far as I can tell, my 965 reviews are not being filtered: good or bad.

Katietsu
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Katietsu » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:40 pm

Then there are sites like LL Bean that apparently allow all reviews. My pet peeve is when a product’s ratings are skewed by the people who give a 1 to a pair of boots that did not fit them. Order a different size, don’t trash the product.

mouses
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by mouses » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:17 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:33 am
mouses wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am
Posting a review on yelp is no guarantee that people will actually see it. I posted a polite, detailed, bad review of a medical person whom I think should not even be allowed to practice and although yelp accepted it, they hid it way down the bottom after ads and only gotten to by clicking on a link instead of at the top with the other person's (also very bad) review, because of "their algorithm."
If you feel a medical professional is truly that bad, skip the online reviews and go straight to the patient complaint procedure at the state medical licensing board. Online reviews are not really a substitute for reporting to the licensing board when you experience egregious behavior from licensed professionals.
This would take a lot of my time, effort, and perhaps money, and possibly result in my being sued, and accomplish nothing for me personally. I know it might help others, but I am too old to devote a lot of effort to something like that. That's why I wrote the review, a much shorter no work way to warn people.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:33 am

mouses wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:17 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:33 am
mouses wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am
Posting a review on yelp is no guarantee that people will actually see it. I posted a polite, detailed, bad review of a medical person whom I think should not even be allowed to practice and although yelp accepted it, they hid it way down the bottom after ads and only gotten to by clicking on a link instead of at the top with the other person's (also very bad) review, because of "their algorithm."
If you feel a medical professional is truly that bad, skip the online reviews and go straight to the patient complaint procedure at the state medical licensing board. Online reviews are not really a substitute for reporting to the licensing board when you experience egregious behavior from licensed professionals.
This would take a lot of my time, effort, and perhaps money, and possibly result in my being sued, and accomplish nothing for me personally. I know it might help others, but I am too old to devote a lot of effort to something like that. That's why I wrote the review, a much shorter no work way to warn people.
I'm not sure what state you live in, but in most states a complaint to the license board is kept confidential. The board investigates the general nature of your complaint, not your specific situation. You cannot be sued if the doctor does not know who made the complaint.

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jharkin
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by jharkin » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:10 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:28 pm
I had a similar issue on Amazon. I ordered a cell phone protective case, received a lady's wallet instead. When I tried to post that as a review, it got kicked out. One more reason I now look elsewhere to spend my hard-earned.
Happened to me as well. Ordered a product, and what I got was obviously a counterfeit clone. Other reviews mentioned the same. I submited a review and it got rejected.


Since then I have found the fakespot website and use that to check any product Im going to buy at Amazon.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Online customer review denied

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:05 pm

Your review was a courtesy to them. So they could improve their service or their product.
Websites solicit reviews. It is to their advantage.
Now, that review will not be posted. You may skip reviews in the future or never shop there again.
This is the problem that businesses do not realize, they will never know how many customers they lost. Cannot prove the negative.
It is all about acquiring the customer. They had you. Now they have lost you. But they do not know that.

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