John Lewis is criticized for filtering their customers’ reviews – they post good ones and reject bad ones.
A Sunday Times investigation shows that the reviews with at least four stars and positive comments are posted on the website. However, two-star reviews with the troubles described are not posted.
The results of the investigation raise a question: can one of the best retailers in Britain be trusted now as they filter unsatisfied customers? In all other aspects the company is doing good – they have released a new TV ad for Christmas that features Buster the boxer dog on a trampoline.
The retailer’s website gets tons of reviews every day that need to be processed by the Bazaarvoice company. One of the main criteria of John Lewis is that the reviews need to be about the products, not about the service.
Within the Sunday Times investigation, a reporter left a comment about one of the king-size bed frames. The review said that the service was terrible, there were lots of troubles, and the frame wasn’t delivered for a long time. The review was rejected with a comment that it didn’t meet the guidelines of the retailer.
Another review about a highchair said: “Awesome service. Delivery was quick and there were no problems.”Although the review did not mention the product, an email said: “Your review has been moderated and is now live on johnlewis.com.”
Robert Shaw, 65, a retired professor from Twickenham, southwest London, had a similar experience. He ordered a £2,500 mattress in January. It was due to be delivered within six weeks but did not arrive until May.
When he tried to post a negative review on johnlewis.com, it was rejected because he mentioned service issues. To test his suspicions that negative reviews were being filtered out, Shaw wrote four glowing reviews that mentioned only service — and all were published.
“I am very disappointed by John Lewis turning its back on customers. It used to be a brand you could trust,” Shaw said.
The Competition and Markets Authority has taken action against five companies since February last year over misleading online reviews. “All genuine, relevant and lawful reviews should be published,” it said.
“Retailers should not filter out negative reviews and should have reasonable processes to check all reviews are genuine.”
John Lewis said: “Any reviews around customer service should not be published. We are working with our moderators on ensuring we apply this policy consistently and fairly.”