fixed reviews?

We're always open to a little constructive criticism.

Feb 27th, '09, 13:53
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Joined: Feb 27th, '09, 13:49

fixed reviews?

by sconesandtea » Feb 27th, '09, 13:53

I rely heavily on this site when making decisions on which tearooms to visit. I have high suspicion that a high number of positive reviews were 'fixed' or false reviews after visiting the tearoom myself and having a horrible experience (with the same owner who serves as her own waitstaff mentioned in the glowing reviews). Is this possible? Do I need to be weary of too many positive reviews on a tearoom, could the owners repeatedly entire positive reviews on themselves?
Is there anything that TeaMap can do to investigate or correct this problem?
Last edited by sconesandtea on Feb 27th, '09, 14:45, edited 1 time in total.

Feb 27th, '09, 14:38
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Probably not 'fixed' (rigged)

by Intuit » Feb 27th, '09, 14:38

More likely, you experienced erratic quality in service / management, and sometimes in product quality, depending on who is working, eh?

Haven't you had the same thing happen with repeated visits to a particular eaterie?

I sure have. No excuse for bad service or product, but its worth considering that the issue might be transient.

I've also had mixed luck with teas from reasonably well known tea shops, in person and through internet purchases, recently. I attribute this trend to global economy and competing interests within the supply chain, where they opt to sit on product in warehouses until demand picks up. You can do that with blacks and oolongs.

Stop-gap teas are appearing on the market, greens and oolongs produced in Vietnam that are of highly questionable quality, but are peddled in China and Taiwan as various sought-after varietals to uncaring purchasing agents.

Another example is tea vendors pushing 'substitute teas', hoping you won't notice the difference in what you order versus what you've been sent.

A late January purchase of a breakfast tea that I have bought in the past and has had rave reviews (on the sellers website) is a classic example. The sellers product probably may be out of this tea, and I was sent the last of an old batch of another much cheaper blend.

Whatever the reason, what I was sent is obviously past its prime. It's really bland, and very obviously not what I had ordered (I was sent a crappy CTC blend, instead of a whole leaf blend ordered, that I have gotten from them last year). It will probably be pitched soon if I don't get a reply from their customer service group soon. No use taking up shelf space.

I know this company is capable of better product. Other sellers have been out of this product for months due to component tea shortage.

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Feb 27th, '09, 19:40
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by Herb_Master » Feb 27th, '09, 19:40

One big clue is generally how many posts that the poster has made.
While nothing precludes a genuine first time post you can generally take more epectation from someone who has posted dozens of posts (or hundreds) in other forums.

Someone who has joined in the recent past and has a single post (or very few) can occasionally/possibly be treated with a tiny dollop of scepticism

Feb 27th, '09, 19:56
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by Intuit » Feb 27th, '09, 19:56


The poster who uses the handle 'sconesandtea' has posts elsewhere.

I just answered the question for general purposes. There has been question raised on the utility of the teamap reviews, if I recall correctly.

A more sobering issue is the number of small businesses, including tearooms, that are closing due to the declining economy.

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