elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Fair play and Amazon Reviews, probably not reconcilable

I like to write reviews on Amazon since, let be true, Amazon is still the main window for books out there and I have the chance to connect with a lot of readers and authors through it. But my relationship with the Amazon users has not always been easy.

I remember one time when I complained since a lot of my reviews didn't appear right away; I discovered than that Amazon filters the reviews before posting them and if in your review there is one of the words they classified as "risky" then they have to be approved, otherwise they are posted right away. One of the words is "gay" and of course most of my reviews contain that word. Now don't get me wrong, most reviews appear after 12/24 hours maximum, but sometime they seem to be lost in the space. That time I complained and one of the Customer Service instead of answering my claim, suggested me to write "more meaningful reviews" (Also, please make sure you are providing your opinion on whether the items you are review are good or bad and the reasons why. It appears that the majority of your reviews are just the descriptions of the plots of the books (!!!!)). Of course I escalated the reply, I obtained a somewhat of "I'm sorry for the inconvenience" letter from a manager of the Customer Service, but sincerely it was disappointing and I wasn't in the mood to go on.

Then I reached the coveted tag of "Top 1000" reviewer (coveted not by me but apparently by so many other reviewers) and the real trouble started. I receive negative votes of my reviews with apparently no logic and moreover I noticed a trend: when I receive a negative vote I go to see the other reviews and most of the time, ALL the other reviews received a negative vote other than the last posted; and strange enough, most of the time it's not that the last posted review is on the different trend from yours, it's only that probably the reviewer would like to be among the three reviews that appear on the details page of the book without clicking on the "see more" link. I used to be upset by this behaviour, not since my aim is to be among those 3 reviews, but since sometime I really liked the review I wrote and it upset me to receive a negative vote. But I have also learned to not care too much, another Amazon user rightly pointed out to me that I have an high rate of helpful votes, and with all the reviews I wrote that is a good thing.

The other behaviour I don't like is when I receive a not so polite comment on a review from people that probably are trying to raise an argument not related to my review. It happened recently on a review I wrote for a Gay Romance. A commenter asked, with quite the anger in the words, if the author was a woman, since he believed the author was a woman pretending to write as a gay man. I then clicked on the other reviews and I saw he wrote a negative review for the same book, and of course I had received a negative vote on mine. Now, sincerely, what my review had to do with the anger of this other reader? It's quite sure the negative vote was from him, but again, what have I done or written to be worthy of his negative vote if not reading a book and liking it?

I don't expect any resolutive answer or advice on this post ;-) It was only a way to share some thoughts I have sometime.
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