Putting You Behind the Wheel: HighYa’s Under the Hood Tips for November, 2015

Editor’s note: Each week, our newsletter features a section titled Under the Hood. There, we talk about how we do things here at HighYa and offer a “peek behind the scenes,” if you will. Once per month, we’ll gather all of these tips and post them here on our blog. Want to get our Under the Hood section (and much more), hot off the presses? Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Why don’t my reviews get published right away?

A reader recently asked: “Why don’t my reviews get published right away?” Great question!

Here at HighYa, we’re focused on reviewing highly unregulated products within the nutritional supplements, anti-aging and skincare, As Seen on TV, and other industries. And to be honest, it’s often like the Wild West.

What do we mean?

Some of these companies use questionable practices as the backbone of their business model, with the sole aim of selling very poor quality products, providing even worse customer service, and making a lot of money in the process. And to them, submitting fake reviews is simply a part of marketing.

Because of companies like this, fake reviews are a real, ongoing problem, something we’ve written about it many times—and about the real impact they have on consumers. In fact, 20% of reader-submitted reviews are flagged by HighYa’s system as fake!

To this end, we know that the best way to achieve our mission is to deliver the most genuine, trustworthy reviews to our readers, which involves a 2-step process:

  • First, all newly submitted reviews are analyzed by our proprietary algorithm.
  • Then, a highly trained (human) editor manually checks each and every review, and crosschecks the information it contains.

In general, this process takes about 5 business days, which is why there’s a delay between when you submit your review and when it’s available on HighYa.

Remember, we’ve always got your best interests in mind!

“As Seen on TV” Products: Looking at the Numbers

We’ve reviewed 565 “As Seen on TV” products, so we thought it would be interesting to share some statistics about them (numbers are accurate as of the time of this writing):

6,743 Consumer Reviews:

  • 4,573 – 1-star (68%)
  • 413 – 2-star (6%)
  • 254 – 3-star (4%)
  • 413 – 4-star (6%)
  • 1,090 – 5-star (16%)

Based on these numbers, here are some fun (and useful!) facts:

  • The top complaints for ASOTV products are usually poor quality, long shipping times, high (and non-refundable) shipping fees, billing errors, poor customer service when requesting a return, and frequent up-sells.
  • Cookware/kitchenware products generally receive higher ratings, as it seems they tend to work as advertised.
  • On the other hand, electronics tend to come with lower ratings, since most customers claim they don’t work as advertised.
  • Because they seem to work for some customers and not others, beauty, health, and home products tend to fall somewhere in the middle.

Anti-Aging Skincare Products: Looking at the Numbers

We love sharing interesting and useful facts and figures, so this week we thought we’d continue the trend.

Here at HighYa, we’ve reviewed a lot (more than 150) of anti-aging skincare products that are sold only online, which have received a total of 2,351 consumer reviews. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1,761 – 1-star (75%)
  • 66 – 2-star (3%)
  • 23 – 3-star (1%)
  • 116 – 4-star (5%)
  • 385 – 5-star (16%)

Wow! This means that 78% of consumer feedback for these types of products is negative! But what are customers so upset about? Common complaints include:

  • Overblown claims (doesn’t work as well as the company claims). Or, in many more instances …
  • Complete failure to work (many even experienced unwanted side effects, such as skin reactions),
  • Sneaky auto-ship subscriptions that are difficult to cancel. And even if customers believe their subscription has ended, they’ll often continue receiving regular shipments anyway.
  • Billing errors (sneaky upcharges, receiving products your never ordered), and
  • Terrible customer service. This often includes rude service staff who might yell at you, make you think the whole thing is your fault, or even hang up in your ear.

What can we learn from all of this?

  • Keep your expectations realistic. These products almost certainly don’t represent some kind of revolutionary scientific breakthrough (despite their claims otherwise), and they’re definitely not going to make you look 20 years younger in a matter of minutes. Or, at all!
  • Only buy from reputable brands and retailers. If you encounter an anti-aging product sold only online, avoid them altogether.
  • Always—always—read the Terms & Conditions before entering your credit card number or pressing the submit button.

Update My Review

Exciting news! We’re thrilled to announce the release of our new “Update My Review” feature. What’s this?

Now, you’ll be able to update your review after posting!

For example: Let’s say you originally left a negative review for a product, but the manufacturer was quick to solve the problem. Or, your first review was positive, but since then things have gone south and you’ve experienced poor customer service.

In either instance (as long as you have an active HighYa account), you’ll be able to log in and:

  1. Navigate to the “Reviews” tab on your dashboard.
  2. Locate the review you’d like to update. At the bottom of the review, you’ll find an “Update My Review” link.
  3. Click on this link and you’ll be redirected to a page where you can change the rating and edit the text.
  4. After you’re happy with your changes, click on the “Update My Review” button, which will save your edits. As with all of HighYa’s other reviews, your update will be checked by our system and published shortly.
  5. After your update is published (you’ll receive an email confirmation once this occurs), your original review will be displayed underneath, although it will not be counted toward the product’s overall rating.

But why are we doing this? As the HighYa community continues to grow, more and more readers like you are using the site as an effective way of resolving your issues. A “direct line” to the company, if you will.

And in most cases, this can help turn a poor experience into a positive one, although this certainly isn’t always the case.

Either way, we want to make sure that all of HighYa’s reviews are as accurate and up-to-date as possible, and this is the best way of accomplishing it. Plus, we want to make sure that companies who go above and beyond to satisfy their customers are recognized for their hard work.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this new feature, be sure to let us know. We love hearing from you!

Dmitry Ozik

As a co-founder of HighYa, Dmitry focuses heavily on consumer issues & smart financial/health choices. He lives in Seattle with his wife and three very active boys and loves books, family life, hockey & entrepreneurship. @DmitryOzik