When you're thinking of trying out a new product it can be a good idea to read some consumer reviews and reports before buying. But with so much free exchange of information on the Internet you can never be sure if what you're reading is true. You could be reading a report on Oakville banquet halls that is actually based on past customers or you could be reading a fabricated document put out by that company or one of its competitors. Here are some tips for judging customer reviews.
Pay close attention to who is running the website you are using to get your reports. There are many different sites out there with different mandates about who is allowed to post and comment. If you're looking for a global SIM card to use during business trips you may want to find a site that caters to products used at work. If you're interested in a new household cleaner for your bathroom the same site might not be as useful to you.
Check to see if the website has an About Us or Mission Statement page. This will tell you who their intended audience is and if the site has any affiliations with other companies or websites. If you are looking up commercial mortgage solutions, for example, you want to make sure you are on an unbiased site. You will have reason to be weary of a site that is owned by a major mortgage firm.
Sites like ConsumerReports.org even have a No Commercial Use policy that states that their reports are not to be used within advertising campaigns for any company or brand. They also have detailed explanations of how their research is conducted. Take the time to read this information. It will tell you how relavant that Mississauga teeth whitening service is for you.
A site like Epinions.com works under the premise of collective reviews from a number of different consumers. With these types of reviews you'll want to read several before forming your own opinion on the product. Again, you're going to want to look for people who are using the product for a similar purpose as your intended use. If they are a musicologist reviewing an African music CD for its authenticity that might not tell you much about the sound quality or musicality of the pieces.
Remember that no matter what the source, reviews are always just one person's or a group of people's opinions. This means that no matter the source you can never be sure if you will share that view. Consumer reviews are a great tool for online shopping but should never be taken as fact.