Vote Charlie!

Not fake news: Amazon ruined by fake reviews

Posted at age 29.

Amazon pioneered consumer confidence with their product ratings system, but my confidence in that system is greatly diminished. As if the SEO driven keyword soup product titles were not bad enough, many vendors now differentiate their products with false descriptions and claims backed by fake five star reviews. The products are often cheap enough customers likely don’t bother with returns or complaints, but at the same time I am surprised the fake reviews are submitted by accounts that did not first buy the product. It would only cost vendors the small Amazon fee to ask their employees to actually buy the products and give them back to the seller. Clearly vendors see no point in even that small expense since Amazon’s system enables fake, unverified reviews to drive search and sales. As it stands, you can only filter by verified purchase status and eliminate many of the fakes once you are on the product page. It’s a shame Amazon includes the fake reviews in the ratings by default and forbids filtering out the fake reviews from the product search.

Fake ratings for bad products: Galaxy S8 screen protectors

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a great phone, but the curved screen is turning out to be quite a hassle. I’m trying not to blame the phone for my tendency to hold the sides such that my fingertips touch the screen, preventing my intentional touches from registering. But simply protecting the screen is an even bigger challenge. I wish Samsung included a nice screen protector with the phone along with the other accessories I was surprised they included!

After some brief research, I decided to buy a glass screen protector like the one I had for my Nexus 6P. Although I cracked my last one, I loved how thin it was, and it had no bubble problems.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Screen Protector,AOFU Tempered Glass 3D Touch Compatible,9H Hardness,Bubble (1Pack) by AOFU

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The first screen protector I bought for my S8 claimed to be glass, but it was actually plastic. Quality control on Amazon is of course nonexistent. I relied on the somewhat good rating, though I had low hopes since I observed none of the screen protectors had the nearly five star ratings that are ubiquitous on Amazon these days.

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Had I looked closer, I would have seen that all of the positive ratings were unverified, and the only verified customer rating was a bad rating.

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That single bad rating was the correct one, of course, for the protector was actually plastic and very thick and did not stick well to the sides and got covered in debris and hair on top of being difficult and annoying to use. Looking again at the product page, I expected to see some mention of it not actually being glass but I think this is flat-out false advertising. Even the box for the product itself says glass in large letters across the front.

S8 Class Screen Protector SGIN, [2Pack Black]Highest Quality Premium Tempered Glass Anti-Scratch, Clear High Definition (HD) Screen Film for Samsung Galaxy S8(Full Screen Coverage) by SGIN

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I looked for another one to try, paying particular attention to descriptions of being glass. It seemed there were only two products I was somewhat confident were going to end up being glass, and one of them shipped from China while the other one was on Prime. Since I needed to return the crappy plastic protector soon, I went with the one on Prime. Upon applying that one to my phone, I thought it was going to be the one. The top extended all the way (covering the camera, but presumably not affecting it much), allowing you to swipe down the notifications bar without uncomfortably scraping your fingertip over the ridge as with the thick plastic protector. I soon realized the new protector blocked touch ability near all four edges, and it even made touching difficult in the middle of the phone. I had to push so hard to type, I frequently triggered and hit the pop up symbols. It was very frustrating. Despite swiping down from the top of the phone being more comfortable, something about the touch sensitivity actually made the swiping action much worse than the plastic one!

Again, had I looked closer and filtered by verified reviews only, I would have seen the lone sucker.

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glass-real-reviews.png

Give up

I could keep trying, perhaps giving the adhesive film style protectors a chance. But I am tired of this, and Amazon isn’t buying me tape and paper and time to deal with all the returns I have had lately. (I have four packages currently sitting by my door I need to mail.) So from hereon, I will go without protection. Life is short, and I want to spend it living.

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