No more online product reviews for me

My new microwave oven. Isn't it lovely?

My ancient microwave oven died not long ago, so I went online to buy a new one.

Probably like you, I spent a fair amount of time — hours, I am embarrassed to confess — checking out various brands and features.  When I found a promising candidate, I read the reviews.

Not one of the possibilities emerged as worthy of purchase.  Most of the reviews were negative of the one that most tempted me:

  • Flimsy latch
  • Too noisy
  • Unreliable sensor
  • Burned popcorn
  • Beeping too loud
  • Beeping too persistent

In the end, I took a chance and purchased the same model, updated and a bit larger, than my dead microwave oven.  And I couldn’t be happier.

I, too, had trouble with the sensor, which detects when food is done cooking or reheating.  I also was bothered by the beeping.

That was until I read the manual, which told me how to fix the beeps with a push of the button and that I needed to use a porous cover to enable steam to escape when reheating food.  Who knew?  Clearly, the online critics didn’t.

How otherwise to explain the disconnect between their experience and mine.  Perhaps I’m naive — okay I am naive — but I finally realized that, by and large, only some combination of angry, ignorant or indolent consumers bothers to register complaints online.  (When it comes to exuberant reviews, their trustworthiness is, of course, always open to question.)

Despite the headline, probably I’ll continue to have a look at product reviews online, but I certainly won’t take them as gospel.

Tomorrow: Minds control

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

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3 thoughts on “No more online product reviews for me

  1. I’ve established the Angie’s List Fallacy, the notion that people like me, who don’t know any better than I do, can effectively recommend something that involves professionalism or technology. I call it the “I got a great idea kids! Let’s put on a show in the barn!” philosophy.
    I do exactly what you do: I buy what I had that always worked. Until it didn’t.


  2. Online reviews are notorious for being therapeutic for the author and of dubious value to the reader. With product reviews on Amazon, I can often see that the author shouldn’t have bought the product to begin with.

    Ever read restaurant reviews on Yelp? Price complaints on high end places (duh) and killing a diner for the exotic entrees (who orders anything exotic at a diner?).


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