The internet has conquered the world. These days, you can access most products and services without ever leaving your home. However, the explosion of online transactions has multiplied internet fraud. For this reason, online consumers have no idea who they can trust. This is why online reviews have gained such prominence. The number of professional reviews has grown exponentially over the years. Individuals with expertise in the most popular products and services on offer have noticed that the average consumer needs help to navigate the complex waters of online transactions.
As such, they have stepped forward to provide some much-needed guidance, using their vast knowledge and experience to help consumers differentiate between good and bad purchases. However, shockingly enough, few customers use expert reviews to make purchase decisions. Quite a few studies and surveys performed over the last decade have determined that over 80 percent of all customers use consumer reviews to make purchasing decisions. And this makes sense. While the advice of experts has some value, it is easier to trust the opinion of other ordinary customers that have not only utilized the product you wish to purchase but also seen fit to share their experience.
This trend should have obliterated fraud on the internet, particularly in the pharmaceutical realm. But fraudulent internet pharmacies have actually grown in number. Why? The answer is simple: illegitimate online drugstores realize that patients have more trust in the reviews of their fellow consumers than they do the educated opinions of experts. They have responded to this pattern by generating fake customer reviews that can steer naive consumers into their arms. Every consumer review you encounter isn’t necessarily fraudulent. But the number of fake reviews has grown to such a point that medical experts have begun to wonder whether online pharmacy reviews can be trusted at all.
Do Online Reviews Actually Matter?
While it is true that people pay more attention to customer reviews than they do expert reviews, some voices think that this issue is being blown out of proportion. They are not convinced that customer reviews have nearly as much sway as everyone presumes. You need to realize that transactions on the internet are highly risky. The threat of fraud is waiting around every corner and you have no tangible means of proving that any of the pharmacies you encounter are real. You have no way of knowing for certain that they will deliver the drugs they have promised. Once you make the payment, you have to rely on faith that the pharmacy in question will honor its promises.
There is nothing more dangerous than a counterfeit drug. It will either poison you or fail to work, in which case your disease will go untreated. Internet pharmacies are simply too risky. But people have to use them because online medical stores are the only source of affordable medicine in certain parts of the world. That being said, many such patients are not ignorant of the risks that medical stores online attract. The only way they can ensure that the pharmacies they have chosen are genuine is to read online pharmacy reviews from other consumers. However, now that rogue pharmacies have begun to manipulate them, you cannot afford to wholeheartedly trust customer reviews, not without carrying out additional investigative work.
How to Identify Fake Pharmacy Reviews?
This is the question savvy patients have begun to ask. Is there a way to spot and then avoid fake reviews? Well, you have a few options on hand:
You need to consider the source. Never trust consumer reviews that are located on the very website whose products and services are being reviewed. These are easily faked. Find an independent source of reviews, a website that has a track record of verifying the reviews they publish. BBB is one example. First of all, any online pharmacy with a BBB rating is probably legitimate. Secondly, BBB goes to great lengths to confirm that every reviewer is legitimate. They expect all customers to first confirm their email addresses. This is because some fake reviews are written, not by nefarious pharmacy employees, but bots.
Additionally, they will reach out to the pharmacy being reviewed to confirm that the reviewer in question is their customer. TrustPilot is also quite rigorous about the reviews it permits its users to publish. Find a source of reviews that you can trust and rely on them for all your pharmaceutical reviews.
Some people don’t read reviews. They simply look at the star rating and move on but that is a mistake. Read the comments of the reviewer. Fake reviews are often too long or too short, exaggerated in the stance they are taking and also vague. Fake reviews also tend to repeat themselves. Prioritize reviews that sound like they were written by customers who actually used the pharmacies in question. Look for the detail in the personal experiences they narrate.
Fake reviews either have no names attached to them or the identity of the reviewer cannot be verified. Make sure that every review you read has the customer’s name attached to it. Some websites will permit you to contact the customer for further information. This sort of feature tends to put potential customers at ease.
Pharmacies that have too many reviews should earn your suspicion. More importantly, watch out for pharmacies with too many positive reviews. This is a red flag. The date is also very educational.
Some sites have reviews whose dates suggest that they were written long before the pharmacy was even created. In other cases, the dates suggest that multiple reviews were posted at the same time. This is never a good sign. If all else fails, if you can’t tell whether a customer review is genuine or false, try to read as many reviews from as many sites as possible. This will increase your chances of building an accurate picture of the pharmacies that have drawn your interest.
Customer reviews are honestly the best way to differentiate between trustworthy and untrustworthy internet pharmacies. But fraudulent online drugstores have corrupted them, mixing so many bad reviews into the good ones that it has become all but impossible to tell the difference. While some of the steps outlined above can help you spot fake reviews, most consumers lack the expertise required to accurately identify every single fake customer review they come across. For this reason, you are better off finding a trustworthy source of online pharmacy reviews and sticking with it. This is the only way to steer clear of non-genuine customer reviews.