More than one in two (58 per cent) consumers complain that their negative product ratings and reviews are not being published by e-commerce platforms, a new report showed on Tuesday.
Only 23 per cent consumers said that their negative reviews or ratings on e-commerce sites were published as it is.
Nearly 65 per cent consumers found the product ratings on e-commerce sites to be positively biased, indicating that sellers may be influencing ratings for their products to attract consumers and platforms are not proactively acting in such situations.
About 90 per cent of those surveyed said the e-commerce platforms should restrict low-rated products from sellers to be re-listed as another product, according to community social media platform LocalCircles.
“One of the top issues reported by consumers has been how sellers themselves, via friends and family networks and in some cases even via public relations and influencers get purchases organised which are designed just to rate and review the product highly,” said the report.
Such a practice gives an initial positive ratings and review boost for the seller’s products while it misleads the consumers, it added.
The single biggest issue with e-commerce ratings and reviews is where a genuine, verified consumer review or rating is rejected by e-commerce platforms under the category of “it does not meet our norms for ratings and reviews”.
“Many consumers, if they are shipped a non-returnable fake or counterfeit product or a different product altogether only have ratings and reviews as the mechanism available to them and express their dissatisfaction via the same,” said the report.
By suppressing this information shared by consumers, ecommerce platforms, most consumers feel are engaging in an unfair trade practice, it added.
Amid an increased adoption, reviews and ratings emerged to be an important tool for consumers while they shop online.
Recently, the Department of Consumer Affairs also initiated dialogue with e-commerce platforms to minimise fake or paid reviews from their platforms.
According to consumers, the three systemic changes — allowing consumers with verified purchases rating to review a product, allowing negative reviews/ ratings as long as the language is non-defamatory and sellers with negative ratings/reviews on a product should not be allowed to re-list the product as a new line item — can lead to driving up the quality of reviews and ratings.
“The government driving actions from e-commerce platforms on above issues can immediately lead to increased consumer trust in ecommerce ratings and reviews,” the report mentioned.