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Anps says

Actually 5 star rating can’t be for as you say exceptional products, since you have to define what is “exceptional”. This by my opinion is relative on the advertisement of the item. So lets say I publish an item that can add images and crop them and advertise it as it is. For the buyer that wants exactly that and the item delivers as promised this is exceptional.

You have to keep in mind that every review that is given is not totally objective, since themes are not subjected to a test tat will review every aspect of there use.

The feedback is for authors so they can asses the situation of bad ratings and try to improve on them.

As the extortions by withdrawing the support goes this are exceptions and they usually happen when clients demand above and beyond support (keep in mind that support is not mandatory) And before for example if a client is not satisfied with support (which is not support but refusal to do custom job for free and be tied to constant demand for urgent fix which is an add-on on Sunday 23:00 ) they can give you 1 star without you knowing what happen, this time we can actually now what happen, tough client can still give false review.

And I don’t even want to start with extortions on rating base if we do not do what they demand, this time we at least have a tool to measure the rude factor.

cheers

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An-Themes says

^ +1 Wise words!

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tommusrhodus says

But what about 5-star ratings that aren’t genuine? Personally I think compulsory feedback should either be applied across the board, 1-5 stars, or just for ratings at the extreme end of the spectrum, 1 or 5 star ratings. And why is the associated feedback, which would be extremely useful for customers, available only for authors?

Hmm, well I guess for now the currently compulsory ratings system does make sense in helping authors improve items though: 1 – 3 star ratings would imply that the item does not meet expectations, mandatory feedback on those ratings means that authors have a much better opportunity now to improve their items in areas that may need improving.

4 – 5 star rating would imply customer satisfaction, so essentially there’s no real reason that feedback has to be given here. That being said if a small review was required for 4 – 5 stars then we could also get a decent idea (as authors) of what we’re doing right.

As for helping stop false ratings, obviously this update doesn’t do this, neither for 1 or 5 star ratings, though I would say this is a step in the right direction, even if it’s not all the way there yet.

Lastly, for now, I think Envato have made a wise move keeping this feedback from buyers (for now), I think to make this public straight away without first reviewing how this is used would be a poor choice. Remember that bad reviews also reflect badly on Envato. Now I’m not saying bad reviews should be hidden, far from it. I just think that for this initial phase, keeping reviews for authors eyes only will allow Envato to make sure this system works well in terms of the way it is used.

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familychoice says

But the buyer can just find another author to do business with if the first one is being difficult. It’s the author who needs to watch himself in most cases because his reaction to feedback can attract more buyers or scare them away.

Depends on the product. I’ve had to bite my tongue and accept comments bordering on the abusive from one author (as have quite a few of his customers) when reporting bugs, as the product is unique. In this instance rather than get into a dispute I shut up and put up, though if another author comes along with a better product I’ll drop this one like a hot potato.


Actually 5 star rating can’t be for as you say exceptional products, since you have to define what is “exceptional”. This by my opinion is relative on the advertisement of the item. So lets say I publish an item that can add images and crop them and advertise it as it is. For the buyer that wants exactly that and the item delivers as promised this is exceptional.

I don’t consider a product that does what it’s advertised to do as being ‘exceptional’, and this is not what the word ‘exceptional’ means anyway. I would expect ALL products I buy on here to work as advertised, and a 5-star exceptional rating would be for products that stand out above the competition and provide that bit more.

Exceptional is very easy to define and not at all subjective as you say. For example one author is updating and improving his product at such an incredible rate that it really now is exceptional value. It’s not the same as similar products on the market which though work as advertised, don’t provide the extra value and features that this authors plugin does. In this example it would be an insult to rate his product the same as his competitors.


As the extortions by withdrawing the support goes this are exceptions and they usually happen when clients demand above and beyond support

I’ve had support withdrawn on several occasions (as have other customers of the same products) simply because I was reporting bugs and ‘wasting’ the authors ‘precious time’. I’m sure there are plenty of examples on both sides so you can’t make a sweeping generalisation over this.


That being said if a small review was required for 4 – 5 stars then we could also get a decent idea (as authors) of what we’re doing right.

And provide customers with more of an idea as to why an item is so highly rated.


Now I’m not saying bad reviews should be hidden, far from it. I just think that for this initial phase, keeping reviews for authors eyes only will allow Envato to make sure this system works well in terms of the way it is used.

How can you judge how the information will be used by customers, if it’s not available for customers?

Now this new system has been introduced I will no longer rate my purchases. If 5-star ratings can go unquestioned, bad feedback hidden from view and customers bullied into justifying their ratings then it’s not a system I can now trust, or want to participate in.

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pzUH says

Better get rid the rating system & comment section completely…

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Creattive says


I guess they first want to see how well the reasons for low star ratings turn out. Imagine you have a fully working item and many customers just don’t have any clue about what they buy or how to use it properly and they rate it 1 star with a comment like “this item does not work at all”.

I can also imagine (and have experienced) having bought a product the customer discovers it has bugs, and lacks documentation so they have to contact the author for support and fixes which fail to materialise. If they then add their feedback (hidden from everyone except the author) what guarantee do they have that it’s going to be fixed, or that they’re not going to be blacklisted by the author for affecting their ratings?

By making the complaint visible to everyone there’s more chance it’ll be fixed, and potential customers alerted to the issues the product has.

As I said, it might be that envato wants to test first how well these reviews are written. If they are stating what bug it is exactly, therefor really adding valueable information, this can be made public. I can only guess here, so that was my approach on answering the question why there is no public feedback.

What I said was just one case, the case where the item works fine and the buyer makes a mistake, but his review is not as rich as anyone reading it can tell if it is really a faulty item or not. And I think this is the case envato (and authors) is afraid of when making this public.

I’m not saying all items here are bugfree and everybody having problems is dumb.

Then, in your initial post, you were talking about adding reviews to 5 star ratings because

After all there are just as many rogue 5-star ratings as there are 1.

I told you that a review wouldn’t help here as – unlike with false 1 star ratings – you don’t have to bring up a good reason why you rate this 5 stars. You can just say it works, even though you are just rating this thing up because it is your own item.

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MSFX Moderator says

haven’t read all the replies but who would give a fake/ungenuine 5 star rating?

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KingDog Envato team says

Remember that this is just the latest in a list of possible improvements and changes to the ratings system. What you see now is in no way being written in stone as the be all and end all of ratings. We’re introducing changes and then monitoring the results for further improvements. Thanks!

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Anps says

I don’t consider a product that does what it’s advertised to do as being ‘exceptional’, and this is not what the word ‘exceptional’ means anyway. I would expect ALL products I buy on here to work as advertised, and a 5-star exceptional rating would be for products that stand out above the competition and provide that bit more. Exceptional is very easy to define and not at all subjective as you say. For example one author is updating and improving his product at such an incredible rate that it really now is exceptional value. It’s not the same as similar products on the market which though work as advertised, don’t provide the extra value and features that this authors plugin does. In this example it would be an insult to rate his product the same as his competitors.

I do not agree since you do not rate the theme in comparison to another theme since no theme serves the same purpose therefore “exceptional” is relative.

I guess here we can agree to disagree :)

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familychoice says

As I said, it might be that envato wants to test first how well these reviews are written. If they are stating what bug it is exactly, therefor really adding valueable information, this can be made public. I can only guess here, so that was my approach on answering the question why there is no public feedback.

It’s not a comprehensive test though if feedback is hidden from customers, because we will react differently knowing it’s not going to be made public and only shown to authors. For example I won’t bother, and I’m guessing a lot of other customers will do the same.


haven’t read all the replies but who would give a fake/ungenuine 5 star rating?

According to authors on other threads, many rogue 1-star ratings are made by rival authors, so it goes without saying that the same thing can apply to 5-star ratings.

I’ve seen products with appalling feedback in their comments section, yet they still have 5 stars in amongst the low ratings. Why? What was different for these customers (assuming they were genuine customers and not author accounts) in their experience compared to the majority of low ranked ratings?

As with rogue 1 star comments, in this instance it would reveal to customers (and other authors) why the product attracted such high ranking from a small group of users.


Remember that this is just the latest in a list of possible improvements and changes to the ratings system. What you see now is in no way being written in stone as the be all and end all of ratings. We’re introducing changes and then monitoring the results for further improvements. Thanks!

My reply to Creattive applies here, I can’t see how you can properly test a system without incorporating all factors into your test. You also haven’t asked customers for their feedback or thoughts on this, which should have been done considering previously private feedback is now going to be shared with authors – a potential privacy issue.


I do not agree since you do not rate the theme in comparison to another theme since no theme serves the same purpose therefore “exceptional” is relative.

Of course it’s relative. You stated you thought a product that worked as advertised should be rated as exceptional, whereas I consider that an essential requirement of any purchase from a tin of beans to a new car. Exceptional for me means ‘well above average’, so for a theme or plugin this would mean the author was providing more support, updates and/or features than similar products at a similar price.

Rating a product isn’t an exact science and it never will be. Lack of support for a plugin purchase might not be an issue for some users who don’t bother to update their CMS or theme, but for those that do it will be. Similarly those extra whistles and bells that make a product exceptional for me might not be of interest to another buyer who doesn’t use them.

The point is if you rate a product that simply works as advertised at the very highest rank then there’s no higher rating available for similar products that provide much more value and features and authors that go out of their way to be helpful.

If feedback is made public then our 5 star ratings can praise the hard work of an author and show potential customers what a great purchase they will be making.

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