Princess Auto reviews questioned (Princess Auto responds)
January 19, 2015
Update: 25 March, 2015
This extended explanation from Princess Auto representative Evan Maydaniuk seems generally satisfactory to me.
I hope you are doing well, I am reaching out to you in regards to you concerns with the our Ratings and Reviews software. I am one of the project leads here at Princess Auto in regards to the reviews program. We receive thousands of reviews and questions during a business cycle. Therefore to handle this large amount of data, all user generated content, this includes reviews and Q&A, is moderated by an external company. This company approves or rejects content using a variety of codes, your particular review was flagged as a safety issue. This code causes the review to be rejected and then submitted to queue to be looked at by a Princess Auto team member.
This is where Estelle had forwarded your comments on to our buyers. The buyers would then look into the product and see if we should recall the item. Our buyers have reviewed the product and have decided the product is not going to be recalled. Given their decision, I will move ahead and post your review live to our website. It should be visible by the end of the work day tomorrow. Please note that we do take your comments seriously, we just need to make sure they go through the proper channels first.
On your blog you had mentioned that Princess Auto creates fake 5 star reviews, I assure this is not the case. All review content is generated by the public. Of course we do need to filter and reject some reviews temporarily as with yours, or permanently if it is vulgar in content or spam. Only active, non-rejected, reviews affect the final star count of the product. This explains why you saw no change in star rating with your negative review.
There is also two ways of affecting the star rating. The first and most beneficial way, which is how you have done, is to submit a written review. A written review provides an explanation for the for the star rating and does effect the overall standing of the product in terms of stars. The second way is to simply give a product a star rating, this does affect the overall star count, but does not give any explanation behind the rating.
I hope this clarifies things, please feel free to email me directly if you have any further questions.
Update, 20 March, 2015
Princess Auto is still at it with their online ads, plunking 5 star ratings on products they want to move. These stars are not backed up by verifiable reviews. One ad for a sprinkler claims 4 reviews, but only one short review was available to find. The other 5 star claimed one review, but I couldn’t find it.
I love the stores and the online catalogue service, but I have to conclude that their ratings can’t be trusted. There’s no basis for the claim.
(UPDATE: 25 March, 2015 In the context of Evan Maydaniuk’s letter cited above, I’ll back off the condemnation in the previous paragraph, Maydaniuk has demonstrated at least conscientious intent. I’ll wait and see.)
This is regrettable.
Original article begins here:
My son and I are loyal and frequent customers of Princess Auto, a Winnipeg hardware store which has enjoyed considerable success online and at locations around Canada including Kingston and Ottawa.
As a loyal customer I have submitted a number of reviews of products. I haven’t noticed that any haven’t appeared after a reasonable interval, except for the latest review of a 36″ log roller. Because in my opinion the product was dangerous if used as intended, I wrote it a negative review and recommended not buying it.
The review did not make it to the website. A couple of weeks later I received an email asking for another review of the same product. I wrote another, slightly amended to focus attention on the single defective component of the roller, shape of the hook. That was over a week ago. I checked today, and the site still claims a five-star rating of the product, based upon one review which it does not display.
This bothers me. Up until now I have had every reason to respect the staff and management of Princess Auto, and I believe there are a lot of Canadians like me to judge by the crew of geezers who routinely flood the store every second Tuesday morning to take advantage of the latest sales.
Store staff have helped me a great deal over the years with advice, special orders, and cheerful lay-aways.
The use of fraudulent online reviews doesn’t fit the culture of the organization, and I hope this rant helps to prevent the slide.
RR1 Portland, ON
Hello. Thank you for taking the time to review our product.
Your comments have been forwarded to our Buyer so that they can contact the vendor to correct the design of it to make it safer.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Princess Auto Ltd.
Winnipeg, MB R3C 2W7
Toll Free; 1-800-665-8685
Toll Free Fax: 1-800-265-4212