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The Tyranny of Feedback

by trevor. Average Reading Time: about a minute.

Recently I have been drowning under a tsunami of negative feedback caused by an unwise move to a new international courier.  This feedback has closed down one account and is in danger of closing another.  This is my life they are ruining!

This incident has made me reflect just how unbalanced online feedback systems are.  Even a small amount of feedback can badly effect a retailer but there are few mechanisms, mediated or otherwise, to stop customers leaving unfair feedback, or providing a mechanism to get resolve the issue.  Anyway, here are some ideas on how the system could be improved

Give us a chance to put things right

Prevent customers from leaving negative feedback until they have given the retailer an opportunity to resolve the issue, through a refund or otherwise.  Too often the first we hear about a problem is the negative feedback

Only allow negative feedback in certain specific circumstances

Negative feedback should only be allowed for transaction where the customer was badly treated, not just because they didn’t like the item, which is what often happens

Right of reply

eBay + Amazon these days don’t allow sellers to leave negative feedback for sellers. I do understand why they did this, but there should be some way which bad buyers can be flagged e.g. allowing sellers to flag a buyer as someone they don’t want to deal with in future. If the buyer gets too many flags they are kicked off the platform

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