No Negative Waves . . .

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Like Donald Sutherland in “Kelly’s Heroes,” negative waves are viewed, well, negatively nowadays.

They shouldn’t be. Negativity is a positive benefit when the negative waves are directly towards something that deserves it.

I found this amazing item over at Computer Shopper.

Many of you have shopped at Newegg.com. This reseller lets you rate products.

Someone bought a CompactFlash card which didn’t work with his camera. He posted a negative comment about that, and found that it did not post.

Turns out that Newegg.com doesn’t generally post negative comments. As the article states:

The company maintains that its user comments are for marketing purposes only and that, as a store, it’s not positioned to officially evaluate items. What’s more, says Vice President Jay Tong, negative remarks from unscientific or unqualified sources expose NewEgg.com to legal liability with the product manufacturer.

Nonetheless, Tong says NewEgg.com plans to add a disclaimer alerting shoppers to the fact that it does not publish unflattering user reviews.

Here is the disclaimer you will find (which you have to click through to accept) in order to review a product:

Newegg.com is not a forum for product reviews. For product reviews, we recommend sites such as www.cnet.com, www.anandtech.com, and www.tomshardware.com. Newegg.com is a private site that conducts the business of selling computer hardware and as such, any specifications and information posted by Newegg.com regarding products for sale must be factual. However, customer comments in regards to their experience with said products are the opinions of the user. The customer opinion reviews are used at the discretion of Newegg.com as a marketing device for positive and constructive ways to share the benefit of the product. It is not used as a source for negative commentary as we cannot endorse the validity of any negative comment. Therefore, the Newegg.com site is moderated to remove any unproven biased negative comments. It is not the intention of Newegg.com to mislead any customer and therefore before proceeding you are required to click on the “I ACCEPT” button to confirm you have read the above statement and agree to its terms. Furthermore, you agree to release Newegg.com from any liability for any statements posted or removed from posting.

Mind you, there’s no such disclaimer should you just read the reviews.

Will someone please tell me why anything and everything said above about negative comments aren’t just as true about positive comments?

I’m not holding my breath.

This is complete crap.

That in itself is not amazing. What is truly amazing is that the company effectively calls it crap, too elsewhere on the website. From their FAQ:

Why does the website say 10 reviews but I can read only 4 reviews?

10 review means 10 people gave 1-5 stat rating, however, only 4 persons may have written comments. Most people just give stats, not comments.
We always check out all reviews before we put them on the site. They are a help to make a purchase but should never be the final say in making a purchase. One can never tell who the person doing the reviewing is, or what level of competency with the product they may possess. If we receive several bad reviews on an item, we simply stop selling that item, period. We don’t want to sell any items that are not a good value to our customers.

Hmmmm, all those “unproven biased negative comments” are good enough for Newegg to use in its buying decisions, but not yours.

Newegg is afraid of legal consequences from negative reviews? How come Amazon hasn’t been sued into another dimension?

Newegg has the right to not open themselves to those who want to sue their way to a stellar product. If they’re that concerned about it, the honorable, honest approach is not to have reviews at all.

At an absolute bare minimum, it should tell any reader of a review what it tells any potential reviewer (though why anyone with minimal sentience would want to read such . . . er . . . biased . . . reports after being told the policy is beyond me).

Big thumbs down on this one.

Email Ed

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