I’ve delved far enough into this endeavor to notice something which I have seen in MANY industries. That is, a lack of truly critical, negative and accurate reviews of many of the products!
Understanding the Issue
I could tell endless stories about this same tendency in other fields – for instance, I was in the heating equipment business for other 20 years and saw tens of thousands of customers buy things which were not suited to them…because marketing and sales efforts were a lot stronger than neutral and accurate information. A good part of my career was, and still is, spent in dispelling the myths and educating consumers about the realities of said products.
Open a boating magazine and you are VERY unlikely to find negative reviews about boats. The same goes for a lot of other items – and the reason is usually very clear…..CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Boat magazines make their money from the very same manufacturers whose boats they review. It’s not a stretch to say that a negative review could lead directly to lost revenues and profits. This is the exact reason why Consumer Reports is a non-profit and accepts no advertising. It’s the only way you can even attempt to be neutral….but there is more! Not only does a review have to be neutral, but it also has to be accurate. Consumer Reports has millions of dollars in lab equipment which they use to actually measure quality, longevity and other metrics.
In addition to the conflicts of interest, other human foibles enter into the mix. Two of them in particular are the $800 “turkey” theory and the tendency to look at products from only your own (or the reviewers own) point of view. Examples: