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24 March 2016 @ 11:59 am
What does 3/5 mean?  
I recently had the experience of purchasing an external hard drive from a scam trader on Amazon. After the hard drive failed to appear, and the store didn't respond to my contact, I activated Amazon's refund guarantee thing and got my money back. So far, so good.

Then I filled in Amazon's feedback form giving the store 1/5 and noting that the item had not arrived and they had not responded to contact. Then, because I had mild guilt that maybe something had happened and I ought to give the store more time, I checked out the rest of their feedback to find 95 reviews all of which said "Item never arrived. Seller didn't respond to contact".

I was mildly surprised about the number of reviews that had final "waah! what about my money?" sentences since getting my money back had been as simple as clicking on a couple of buttons. But what really flummoxed me was the people who had left more than 1/5.

Someone had left the seller 3/5 stars, together with the "Item never arrived. Seller didn't respond to contact" message. I couldn't help wondering what, exactly, a seller would have to do to earn only 1/5 from this person - email back an abuse filled screed? come around to their house and burgle it?

I would say answers on a postcard, only I don't really want a letterbox full of suggestions. Comments are fine though.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/187959.html.
wellinghallwellinghall on March 24th, 2016 12:37 pm (UTC)
That is very strange. The nearest I have come to it is leaving 3/5 for something that arrived a bit late and not in very good condition, and getting abused by the seller for not giving him a higher rating.
louisedennislouisedennis on March 24th, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'd say 3/5 was in the general ballpark of "late and substandard" or possibly where I'd had some kind of convoluted interaction with the seller (let me tell you about the time I tried to by chocolate Christmas tree decorations from Amazon - or possibly not, I suspect the story isn't that interesting) but eventually things were satisfactorily resolved.

I can't imagine leaving 3/5 when I've not actually received my package!
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on March 24th, 2016 01:12 pm (UTC)
It's the Polite English School of Complaining:

3 stars: item didn't arrive, no contact... but, hey, at least they didn't infect my computer with a hideous virus, so mustn't grumble, worse things happen at sea, it will all seem better after a nice cup of tea.

2 stars: item didn't arrive, no contact... and now they've stolen my details and emptied out my bank account, but, well, mustn't grumble, at least we've got our health.

1 star: item didn't arrive, no contact about the missing item... but two days later, they sent a horde of Vikings to pillage the neighbourhood, a dragon to burn my house and a demon to steal my soul. I'm not one normally one to complain, but this is really not on!

louisedennis: bookslouisedennis on March 24th, 2016 01:18 pm (UTC)
It occurs to me that should an Amazon seller ever send a horde of Viking to pillage my neighbourhood I would regret leaving this one 1/5 stars, since they were clearly better than the Viking lot.

I should bear this in mind in future.
parrot_knightparrot_knight on March 24th, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC)
That's English politeness to an extreme...
lukadreaminglukadreaming on March 24th, 2016 01:35 pm (UTC)
A lot of it is down to Amazon's relentless pushing customers to rate every cough, spit and fart. You can see that on 'reviews' of books where people give five stars for something they haven't read, but which turned up in the post ahead of the next Millennium.
louisedennislouisedennis on March 24th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
I do try to fill in the generic seller reviews (though mostly I give 5 stars and write "Obligatory comment" in the review box) but I think they are useful for people judging who they want to buy stuff from. I don't think I've ever left either a product or a packaging review - the whole concept of reviewing packaging seems inherently silly to me.
fredbassettfredbassett on March 24th, 2016 07:18 pm (UTC)
I get so cross about being asked to do more than give a star rating that I invariably back-button. I usually can't think of anything more to say, so I don't.
daniel_saunders: Marxistdaniel_saunders on March 24th, 2016 02:10 pm (UTC)
I had a reverse situation. I ordered a second-hand graphic novel that came with some torn pages and gave the seller three out of five, which I thought was generous - three stars rather as it was not advertised as new, but had been described as being in good condition. Next thing I knew I had an email from the seller giving me a full refund and asking me to retract my feedback, saying I should have contacted them first. I felt a bit bad, but I also felt like they were trying to bribe me to suppress what had happened, so I didn't change my rating. That said, ever since then when I've had a problem with a product, I contact the seller first before giving a rating - most give a complete refund and/or replacement copy.
louisedennislouisedennis on March 24th, 2016 02:37 pm (UTC)
I do always contact the seller on the rare occasions there is a issue (though with the Christmas Tree chocolate incident referenced above that turned into a somewhat tortuous and convoluted process and I half wished I hadn't bothered). In this case, especially having seen the other reviews, she was clearly a scam storefront set up for a handful of weeks in order to get in as much money as possible before Amazon closed them down.
a_cubeda_cubed on March 24th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
This shows the idiocy of Amazon starting their rating at 1, instead of 0. OK, for most non-computer scientists ordinal numbers start at 1 (*), but evaluation starts at 0, or perhaps even -1 for cases such as this where you believe it's actually a deliberate fraud.
louisedennislouisedennis on March 24th, 2016 02:50 pm (UTC)
Well, I didn't know it was a scam until I looked that the rest of the feedback which was after I left mine. TBH, at that point I was somewhat relieved since up until then I was worrying that I might have missed the package or some such, though my working hypothesis (given the lack of response to contact) was that they were in the process of going belly-up. However the uniformity of the feedback and the fact it had all arrived in the past 3/4 days pretty much convinced me that the store had been a scam from start to finish.
parrot_knightparrot_knight on March 24th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
0/5 would be a welcome option, though I can see Amazon thinking it might deter traders.