So Much for Internet Reviews

Dec 11, 2013

Is it worth the time to post a review?
Credit Krasimira Nevenova /

Companies often ask consumers to write a review of their services after consumers make a purchase. But is it worth it? 

Well, so much for trusting Internet product reviews. By now, you've heard about the couple who wrote a bad review on the Internet about a website from which they'd placed an order that never came.

The owner of the site then told the couple that they were being fined $3,500 for the bad review. When the couple ignored the fine, the company reported to one or more credit-reporting agencies that the couple had an unpaid debt of $3,500. It ruined their credit for a couple of years. Now, it's going to court.

This story struck me because we had a personal incident with a bad internet review. After months of trying to find a discontinued part to fix our ovens, we had to spend thousands to order new ovens from the maker. 

They then asked us to write a review of their products and service, so, we sent an unflattering review of our difficult experience with the company and its products. They replied, "We appreciate your time to write a review for the double wall ovens. Unfortunately, your review did not meet our guidelines and will not be posted on our website."

I won't tell you the brand, because they might ruin my credit rating. But, suffice to say, so much for trusting product reviews you see on the Internet.

John Malmo is a Memphis marketing consultant who advises companies on their marketing and advertising. To ask Mr. Malmo your own question, visit