Careful With Reviews

Amazon.com product reviews crack me up. I do look at them a lot of the time before buying something (which, if groceries were sold on Amazon, I'd never have to leave the house to shop again), but I've usually decided to make the purchase by then. If I've got that far, I'm just looking for an obvious reason NOT to buy something.

So instead of looking at the 95 of 100 reviews who think the product is awesome, I want to see why the other five didn't like it.

Almost always this do very, very little to sway my buying decision. And it's not because these people have issues with the product I deem as low risk or unlikely to apply to me (although, the person who complained about their network attached storage server not being able to work off a Linux server from a remote site was once instance where, yeah, it didn't apply - and I made half those words up), but it's because the complaint literally is not valid.

I pre-ordered a book once, can't recall the name, but it was still three months from release. One person had given it a negative review because they didn't like the author's last book after it was turned into a movie - or maybe it was because they were turned down for an autograph. I can't remember and both are about as relevant. Or not relevant, as the case is here.

Before I decided to read Hello Kitty Must Die, I read the customer reviews and they cracked me up. One person didn't like the book because it didn't have enough sex. (I don't recall seeing a promise of a ton of sex, either. However, read the book, it's fantastic.)

None of those things have anything to do with the quality of the writing in the book. They aren't concerned with how it was written or anything like that. And yet these comments contribute towards the overall rating of the book in a negative way, despite not really having anything to do with the book. Drives me crazy. I suppose the only way to counter that is to write positive reviews of my own? Sure, like I have all day to do that...

Perhaps my favorite negative review had to do with someone complaining about how Amazon is horrible because they had a delayed shipment on the book (or whatever it was). The reviewer explicitly said they love the book and would give it five stars, but gave it one because of the shipping issues.

What? How is that relevant to the product itself, which is the only think those stars are attached to? How is it the product's fault Amazon made a mistake? (For what it's worth, I have always been quite pleased with Amazon's customer service.)

Context people, context...

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