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The government’s consumer affairs department said in May will create a framework to curb fake reviews. Now, a recent survey by LocalCircles finds 58 per cent of consumers said e-commerce websites don’t publish their negative ratings and reviews.
LocalCircles said the survey received over 69,000 responses from more than 38,000 unique consumers in 284 Indian districts.
It found that 64 per cent of citizens check ratings and reviews on e-commerce websites. Almost 65 per cent find product ratings to be positively biased, likely indicating that sellers may be influencing opinion for their products. Only 18 per cent found ratings to be accurate.
A similar survey in 2019 found 62 per cent of consumers had found ratings for most products had a positive bias; 12 per cent said it was accurate. On an aggregate basis, 80 per cent of consumers who shopped on e-commerce sites have had one or more instances in the last 12 months where a highly rated product did not meet their expectations.
To the question on what has been the experience when they post a low rating or a negative review of a product on e-commerce sites/apps, only 23 per cent said that their opinion was “published as it is.”
Local Circle said the biggest issue is a genuine, verified consumer review or rating being 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 a mechanism to express their dissatisfaction. By suppressing this information shared by consumers, e-commerce platforms are engaging in unfair trade practices, say most consumers.
The percentage of consumers whose negative review or rating was held back by e-commerce sites has risen from 47 per cent from 2019 to 58 per cent in 2022. Further, the percentage of citizens saying their reviews are published has reduced from 27 per cent to 23 per cent in the same period.
First Published: Tue, June 28 2022. 00:34 IST