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user reviewsUser-generated content that rates hardware, software and consumer products of all kinds, as well as entertainment (novels, movies, TV shows, etc.). Starting with Amazon.com in 1995, user reviews on the Internet have had great influence on people's purchases. There is a much greater tendency to believe a user than the sales pitch from the manufacturer.
There Is a Downside
User-generated reviews have become so popular that merchants are constantly asking their customers for their opinions. For example, after a package delivery, customers often receive an email immediately asking them to rate the experience. How does one rate a delivery just because what was ordered was received? Does that rate five star excellence? Merchants hope it does so they can show a high point average. In addition, people who have bad experiences with products tend to leave comments far more than the many who had a satisfactory experience. All ratings have to be taken with a grain of salt. See user-generated content and Web 2.0.