If you spend a lot of time shopping on Amazon, you may also take advantage of the option to review the products you buy into. You also likely spend even more time reading the reviews of others hoping to find some motivation in your decision-making process. Doing so, you likely noticed that you were able to comment on the reviews of others. However, that isn’t the case any longer.
Amazon has quietly been changing various things across the website over the last few weeks. One of these is the layout of the checkout screen. Another is the removal of the comments feature for reviews.
If you take a look at the bottom of any consumer review, you will find options like the ability to vote the review as helpful to you or report it as abuse. This was also where you would have found the ability to leave a comment or view the comments of others (if there are any). Maybe someone didn’t agree with something said in the review, or sometimes it also gave the company behind the product the chance to reply to show they are watching.
However, in this case, that option has been completely removed from Amazon’s website leaving just the option to vote as useful or report it (as well as a permalink option to link directly to that review with its own URL).
There is nothing abnormal about the feature since many retail websites allow the option to respond to reviews. It can be a really helpful feature for both sellers and consumers. However, in this specific case, it isn’t much of a loss. We have spoken about this before, pointing out that Amazon’s comment system within the reviews was kind of a pointless feature. Only because it wasn’t executed properly. It had a lot of potential but the most important feature was missing. Which was the ability to receive any form of notification whatsoever when someone left a comment on your review.
So users could comment all they wanted, but the original person who wrote the review would never know. This includes if the company/seller behind the product left a comment. Unless the buyer has some reason to look back at any of their own reviews, they would never know there was a comment there. This kind of defeats the purpose of even having a comment system.
Apparently, Amazon felt the same way about the feature. Their only two options were to improve the comment system or remove it. They decided to with the latter of the two options. Then they did so quietly like they usually do when they make changes like that. Kind of like when they randomly removed the option to upload images to reviews last year without telling anyone and then quietly added it back nearly two months later.
If you notice also, customers are unable rmark a negative book or product review “helpful” in deciding whether to pursue the book. Thus the book or product contiues to give a false impression of positive interaction. It makes me mistrust the comment/ ratings of Amaazon even more. I mean, are they even publishing negative reviews? These are the reasons Amazon is struggling with falling stock value.
Nice post great information thank you so much.
I so miss this feature. It drives me nuts that they removed it. Kind of like Youtube no longer showing how many dislikes something has. These companies are always trying to hide the negative of everything. Nothing to see here folks. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Please do believe the BS being spread about instead.
I will never forgive Amazon for removing the comments on reviews. There were so many wonderful, enlightening discussions on books…a lot of people put a lot of thought, time, and energy into what they wrote there…and they just took it upon themselves to delete it all. So disgusting.
Well this is what digital communism looks like. First, the system starts off as a popular movement. I remember years ago when Amazon was merely another start-up with reviews and the comments were huge and alive with talent. Sure, it was like the Wild West in the Information Superhighway (as the Internet was called) but the threads were there forever.. Forever? Well, believe it or not, in the 1990’s, digital philosophers imagined the internet as a form of digital cryogenics . So you post a comment and after you are gone your comment (digital footprint) is there forever. As with the communism example, where life is very cheap, you dispatch millions of voices with click of a button!
BRING BACK THE COMMENTS! I have commented several times to point out important errors or out of date complaints.
> So many buyers disappointed from their own failure to read the description “It was smaller than I expected” or one star reviews because “I bought the wrong size” / “the shipping carton was squashed”
> Or reviews are obsolete because the product was improved yet old reviews cannot be comment on.
> Or “It failed, now I am stuck with a broken item” when the manufacturer provides a very good warranty.
It was nice to notice which vendors replied to bad reviews and which ones didn’t. That said a lot about the vendors.
This would not have been so bad if they could have added a like AND dislike to each review so at least the best reviews could be upvoted.
Out of frustration, i’ve resorted to the only non-socialist avenue left to us by amazon, and that’s the Q/A section. But that’s awkward because nobody seems to catch on to the reason WHY i’ve resorted to Q/A. Here’s an example: In Q/A, I once asked “I don’t know why a one-star reviewer’s doctor advised cortisone vs. splint, as in my experience the shot wore off too soon and i wound up with worse pain than prior.” Well…par for the course, a know-it-all so “kindly” gives this tip: “Here’s how it works – first you try the splint, next step is cortisone, and eventually it requires surgery.” But frustratingly, Q/A didn’t even enable me to respond to THAT!
Judy – OF COURSE you got that response! It’s a Q&A section right? It’s a place to go where people are supposed to be posting questions and people are then supposed to answer them. Therefore whatever you entered was seen as a question and sent to people who, and rightfully so, thought that there was a question in your statement and one of them (not a Know-it-all but someone trying to HELP YOU) answered it.
As much as I sympathize with us all about how Amazon has slowly started peeling back customer’s ability to tell others about what the product is really like, no one would have expected that you were using a question area to force your opinion out into the open and you shouldn’t have reasonably expected them too.
Blame Amazon. They made it so you have to do it. I’ve tried to explain my issues in the Q&A and got the same issue Judy had. I think they are bots.
I pulled my card out from Amazon and not shopping with them anymore if I don’t have to. Too bad OR is such an anti business police state we used to have TONS of business and this was long before Covid when they all went out and before Amazon was really noticed.
In fact we are one of Amazon’s earliest customers of their post book store era when our state OR made businesses pay far too much tax and they promptly gave Kate Brown the middle finger and left.
Then OR slowly became a ghetto state filled with like minded people except for the few like us whom are trapped with no way out due to living here a long time and no resources elsewhere.
This is a great method! Certainly better than nothing.
I concur. You’d think if everyone started flooding the Q&A with things like that, they would bring replies to reviews back. I doubt they would though. They don’t seem as though they give any thought into this kind of thing. They would likely just respond by removing the Q&A section too. I am glad that little bits of competition have been popping up to challenge Amazon. They have a long way to go and it will be difficult as Amazon is such a Mt. Doom to climb due to the crazy foothold they have on online shopping in America. It’s possible though. Then again, they are all just going to do the same things that will eventually piss us off then if not already.
You could have 2 amazon account…One to post the question in Q/A. The second one would be your answering account.
I’m greatly dismayed that Amazon has removed this very valuable feature. No longer can you respond to reviews asking for additional information, correcting and helping the reviewer who might have been mistaken in his assessment or workings of the product; pointing out irrelevant and dishonest reviews.
I absolutely agree! The new generation of employees of Amazon & elsewhere have become so callous and sneaky! The comments feature used to enable US THE PEOPLE to educate each other experientially. But all that technocrats are interested in these days is money, money and more money. And if people are educated, that might impede their sales! Uh, uh! They can’t have that! Thus, the muzzling of US THE PEOPLE. This world is regressing at the speed of light!
Agreed, so many people leave crap reviews that need feedback! Like one star stating ‘too expensive’ when they chose to purchase! A particular annoyance of mine is on book reviews when people leave a one star review due to the book arriving damaged, when the review is supposed to be about the quality of the writing in the book! Aargh!!
It’s not just Amazon doing this shady shit. LOOK UP The Great Reset. It’s real and Covid was the thing they needed to ensure people were on the same page. The elites don’t care about your damn health!!! We are their pawns and they have decided it’s ‘check mate’ time.
Kinda unfortunate as I always found them useful to learn more about an item. And at one time there were notifications as I just found an old email telling me of a reply in a review for a tire I bought years ago in 2016. Under Bad Decisions, I’d rank this right under IMDB removing all the forums and taking with them all of the history and behind the scenes info with it that wasn’t documented anywhere else. A burning of the Library of Alexandria if you will. Don’t think I’ll buy as much from Amazon, if at all, anymore.
The best thing about being able to reply to people’s comments was when there were inaccuracies. Often people would reply and their review was nothing to do with the item in the sense of quality and how it performed. It would be to do with it being lost in the post, or or package damaged etc. They were supposed to be reviewing the item and not the service of it being delivered.
Another good thing about leaving comments was to help others. If they hadn’t got the hang of something, or missed a button on how to make something work or adjust it; many people would help by giving them that information.
I had a message pop up just yesterday that Amazon was removing all of my reviews and that I didn’t follow community standards. I was appalled buy the insinuation that I was in cahoots with the seller. Omg I am furious. Trying to commute with their customer service is next to impossible. As much as I use and love Amazon I am ready to can itm I am sickened!
Jeff Bezo’s has stepped down the year before I believe but before that he had less and less of a hand since their glory days when Amazon was innovative like Google once was.
The young liberal idiots are now in charge that are taught to love communism and hate the free market. Enjoy the (beep) show you all voted for in order to hold your nose against Trump: so I don’t want to here ANYMORE whining about control freaks unless of course you like me voted against them.
Actually, back in the day (about 9-10 years ago), Amazon did notify you when a comment was posted on your review. I got them regularly. They must have disabled it at some point (I can’t recall if you could turn that feature off or not — I recall looking into that, but not the result.)
I quite happy they ditched this feature though. I don’t agree with all of of Amazon’s decisions by a long shot and I’ve been on the wrong side of an egregiously bad practice of theirs once, but there was never anything worthwhile in those comments — just people attacking each other and and generally behaving badly. In other words, doing exactly what the vast majority of people who spend a lot of time online do. It’s nice Amazon decided giving these people another place to spread their invective served no one.
Anyone who wants to use comments for their flame wars has plenty of opportunity to do so elsewhere.
Always a busy body do gooder to give us a little sermon. Thanks.
I have noticed that Amazon has made a LOT of concerning changes over the last year. Comments on reviews is absolutely one of them. Giving us less in the realm of product research that lets us make sound decisions. Also, there has been an massive increase in international sellers offering products that feature less quality while competing at the same prices as other US companies. That has to be a HUGE markup leading to mass amounts of profit. If the consumer isn’t any wiser, that’s just free money for them. Then, there is the HUGE increase in international sellers that get away with blatant lies about their products that Amazon does nothing about. Take “bone conduction headphones” for an example. Many of them are fake and are conductive at all. They just feature a tiny speaker pointed toward or “close” to your ear that everyone close to you can hear. They lie about specs and compatibility as well as all sorts of stuff like being “#1 in a specific category” or “the world’s first type of product” when there are a number of others just like it that have been out before it. They are allowed to say whatever they want to get you to buy their product and never get penalized for it. Amazon is turning into a “everyone gets a trophy” strategy while cutting back everywhere they can to save a dime. Even though they are one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. They really need to be regulated on many levels.
I despise Amazon and its totalitarian minded behaviors like this. Never did I think that after shopping there forever I’d be making a slug like Bezos the richest in the world. Last month that eco-monster quickly laid waste to 60 acres of CO2 consuming climate change decelerating forested space in my community to build another of his now countless van depots. Why so impatient people could get their stuff two or three days faster? I try shopping at ebay to get for blu-rays and other things, but I hate myself for being one who helped a pig like Bezos take over the world.
Thank you for the link to their VERY buried Feedback page! Of course, when I’ve tried to use it, I invariably get “We’re sorry, but we are unable to process your contact at this time. We’re investigating the cause of this problem now and hope to have it resolved shortly.” I’ve saved your link, though, since it is impossible to find otherwise. Thanks again.
bring back comments. comments add so much value to amazon, and a careful reader can usually distinguish nonsense from good sense.
This is so obviously corporate-speak and we’re all Amazon whores. The comments enabled a sort of online community to happen. Many people used it heavily. If you wanted to be notified about responses to your comments there was an option to indicate that. The net result was that the comment dialogue had a considerable effect on whether or not a product was purchased. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon had some kind of algorithm which showed that the comments dissuaded customers from making a purchase. The fact that they snuck this in with no notice to sellers or buyers is truly scuzzy.
Agree with the online community and using comments heavily— I would often learn more about a product by reading the comment threads than the reviews, and reviewers often expanded and updated reviews in the comments, too. And the notification feature worked fine!
What burns me up is that countless people spent countless hours contributing valuable knowledge to the comments (myself included), only to have all that disappear on a whim, without any warning, and with very lame rationale. I sure won’t be wasting my time contributing anything to Amazon’s knowledge base any more.
Actually, the comments were what convinced me to buy some things I wouldn’t have just based on the review, because it was in the comments that other buyers would post fixes to the issues mentioned, or point out that it was just user error! Also when a product had issues, but a manufacturer responded promptly and let me know that they stood behind their product.
I’ve been annoyed at not being able to comment on reviews so looked up why and it brought me here. Their official reason is that comments wasn’t used but I used it a lot and most reviews had comments on them. It’s one of the reasons I liked amazon reviews so much. The extra discussion after the review it’s self often tells you a lot more about the product.
I’m sad to see it go, because it was a great chance when reading reviews to see if people disagreed with the reviewer. The seller comments were also nice. There’s no way to flag reviews as not helpful either, only to report as inappropriate.
I used to use the comment system a lot for things where a reviewer would, for instance, give a bowl a one-star review for not being big enough to use for soup when the item description clearly stated that it’s a four-ounce bowl, or where they would rip apart a side table for being too short when the description clearly states that the table is only 18 inches tall. It was a great place to point out that the reviewer’s arguments were invalid because the item clearly was as described. When I’m searching for something like a snack bowl, it irritates me to no end seeing review after review complaining about this 4 oz dish not being a massive soup bowl.
Amazon is a lot like Google now sadly. They have taken that route. If it weren’t for them being a monopoly they’d be out of business but I think they know that. We didn’t use Antitrust and Trump didn’t pressure anybody to use Antitrust so here we are! It helped cost him his election as Google censored anything we see or hear.
If you listen to the full speeches of Trump you’ll quite quickly see what I mean.
Horrible choice for consumers. But it increases the bottom line of the greed-centered richest person in the world, the evil genius Bezos. Scumbag.
Bezos isn’t even in charge and hasn’t been for a long time. It’s a lot like complaining to Bill Gates about ruining Windows 10 when he left sometime between XP and 7. I think when Vista was being developed. A women took over.
Bill Gates is the vaccine and global depopulation guy now and talks out of the sides of his cheek.
Also during the development of 8 most of the Microsoft PC workers were fired and replaced with Nokia people. As you can see Windows 10 is literally a phone on a PC garbage.
Tracy, thank you for this excellent little article. I was so mad when the comments went away, I thought maybe I had changed something accidentally in my settings because it was beyond thought that Amazon would get rid of the comments and not even say anything! Earlier in the year I found myself unable to upload pictures after finally deciding to add them to my reviews. Again I thought it must be me, tech is not my thing. I also noticed that when someone answers my questions, I can’t even thank them!
Is there even somewhere/someone at Amazon that I can even complain to about this? Please let me know if so. I am sure there are lot of people that dislike it but don’t have time & wouldnt even know where to look to complain either. Amazon is such a behemoth, does it even matter what a majority of users might think? I get the impression they dont, we are locked in for the ride now. I mean, holy smokes, how could they get rid of leaving picture reviews??? Those are consistently rated the most helpful. I dont know who is steering the ship there but someone is making terrible decisions.
You can try https://amzn.to/3sZ5oFb which will take you to their buried feedback page. I can’t say how often they pay attention to the content from that or if they read any of it at all. However, I do know they are watching and see stories like this when they develop. They just have never commented on this one.