Should you be concerned with the Negative Reviews on Consumer Affairs?
Anyone over the age of three can Google just about anything. I have even googled the benefits of illegal drug use and found some benefits! My issue with random negative google searches is our curiosity of a bad experience, even for something we liked or wanted. We are willing to seek out such information even at the detriment of our enthusiasm.
In this age, technology has prep, cooked, and served information so fast; many people do not even think twice about the consumption. We gorge on the empty calories of alternative facts and popular opinions so much now, we have become intellectually lazy. The “recliner timeline” syndrome that has reduced the journalist integrity of writers and the critical thinking element of the masses to a Google “Keyword” Search.
Curiosity tends to direct our imagination and thoughts to negativity. I guess that is why I wave the red flag anytime someone cites negative reviews from sources like Consumer Affairs. They are not a government agency or a non-profit consumer watchdog group. They have a deceptive name that lures you into thinking they are something they are not to SELL ADVERTISING.
ConsumerAffairs uses deceptive techniques to trick you into thinking they are doing a public service but their objective is simple, get you to “click” their ads and MAKE MONEY! ConsumerAffairs provides consumer news and reviews while allowing brands to connect with its consumers. Negative Reviews on Consumer Affairs is likely to surface on the first search engine results page (SERP). Most people adopted reviews posted on this site as gospel without fact-checking or cross-analyzing any information with accredited sources such as the Better Business Bureau.
What’s interesting is typing a business name alongside one of the following tags: scam(s), complaint(s), and review(s), is this website usually ranks in one of the top three positions on Google.
Evening more interesting, Truth in Advertising published an article in October 2014. The title was “Who is ConsumerAffairs.com Really Advocating For?” The report includes a complaint from Unbeatablesale.com to the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program, a division of the Better Business Bureaus and National Advertising Review Council, that ConsumerAffairs “creates biased and negative portrayals of companies that don’t pay for its service called ConsumerAffairs for Brands.” Consumer Affairs – Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ConsumerAffairs.com (accessed August 19, 2017). The service collects reviews from customers and gives brands an opportunity to respond. The ERSP “determined that ConsumerAffairs not adequately disclose its paid affiliation with company members on its website and recommended it do it in a more clear and conspicuous manner.”
After reviewing ERSP’s recommendations, a banner disclosing paid affiliation or non-paying affiliation was added to the ConsumerAffairs website. ConsumerAffairs reported that, of the 115 paying companies, 80% of paying companies received a 3.5 star or higher rating and 20% of paying companies received a rating lower than 3.5 stars.
NOT BBB ACCREDITED
Check their local Better Business Bureau rating or their eBay feedback rating. Consider the length of time they have been in business and the total number of products and customers that they serve.