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Reviews with ratings but no comments

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by Dodros, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I have noticed that my resources have received more reviews lately and suspect that the number has grown in response to urgings by TES to leave a review after downloading resources. All well and good, but the majority come with a star rating but no explanatory comment.

    I have received comment-less ratings recently for my resources ranging from five stars to one star. In the case of the 5-star ratings, I would have welcomed feedback about the age and ability ranges of the students working with my resources and perhaps some pointers to what could be further improved. In the case of the one 1-star rating for a resource I had previously received very positive feedback for, I was left wondering why such a low score had been awarded without any reason why being given. I replied to the "reviewer", but my request for feedback has remained unanswered for three weeks.

    Has anybody else experienced this? I propose that any reviewer leaving a "one-star" rating should be prompted by the software to give the author some constructive criticism/feedback to explain a low score in the same way as eBay won't permit negative feedback to sellers without explanation in the interests of fairness to both parties.
  2. shd132

    shd132 New commenter

    I agree, it's very frustrating. I've received a comment-less three star review today so I've asked the buyer to contact me using my shop's email address.
  3. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    I think that the 'star only' system was introduced by TES to encourage more people to leave feedback, with the thinking being it's (slightly) quicker than also leaving a qualifying comment.
    However, I agree that this is quite problematic, especially with middling/negative ratings. In these cases, a star rating alone is clearly not a helpful indicator as to what the resource is all about in terms of content, value and quality.
    I do think the purchase to review ratio is improving, but it's still super low.
    During the author consultation last year it was discussed that incentivising reviews with 'TES credits' would be a good way to get more qualitative feedback for resources but there doesn't seem to be much from TES about any improvements to the platform at the moment...
    leonorbt, penyrheol1 and mathsmutt like this.
  4. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    When you reply to a review the original reviewer is not able to reply to you so there is no point in asking them questions. If it is a 1 star review with no comment, contact TES authors@tes.com and they can remove it.
    mathsmutt likes this.
  5. eyrejk

    eyrejk New commenter

    What I find particularly irritating is people who leave a poor star rating, and no comment, on resources which are free.
    andorian, leonorbt, bt9216 and 2 others like this.
  6. shd132

    shd132 New commenter

    Yes! Like, why would you? I had what I would describe as quite a nasty review once for a free resource. The reviewer had uploaded no resources of their own, and later seemed to disappear from the site. I just don't understand people like that.
    lilybass and mathsmutt like this.
  7. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Until recently I thought that the little-known 'conversation' feature in our profile was only accessible by TES authors o_O. I have since learnt that it is also visible to other TES members :D.
    Sadly however, it is so well hidden :confused: that I doubt many people have found it and/or use it to communicate with their reviewers. I believe that if it were in a more accessible place, it would enable reviewers to not only see it but also respond to our questions ;).
    Not only that, but something that we have been asking for before... prospective buyers :rolleyes: would be able to contact us with questions prior to purchasing and/or prior to leaving a negative review.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
    labellaroma, shd132 and mathsmutt like this.
  8. shd132

    shd132 New commenter

    I've had a comment-less 1 star review this evening from a student, no less.
  9. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    Report to TES and they can delete it.
  10. bt9216

    bt9216 New commenter

    I have been finding the no comment 3-1 star ratings really frustrating recently and have considered removing free resources from the TES because of this. I have asked these users for feedback but have not received a reply. If the rating is 3 or less, there should be a comment to assist in improving the resource or no rating left and TES really needs to update the system so that this is the case.
  11. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    The review system does not allow them to reply directly.
  12. bt9216

    bt9216 New commenter

    Thanks, but maybe this is a feature that could be added? Or maybe a private message sent to a buyer or someone that has reviewed a resource like on other platforms such as ebay, amazon etc?
  13. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    The best way to get people to leave reviews with comments is to offer them something in return for their time and effort. Sounds crass I know, but the whole 'leave a review and contact me for a freebie' thing does work. It creates a lot of extra work for you - and you have to chase it up - but - you end up getting into a dialogue with teachers on email, then often they will review whole bundles of resources, if you offer a very hefty discount in return (remember you are asking for their time).
    I also create custom resources and bundles for teachers - on the understanding they will review them afterwards. Again, a lot of effort - but it works. Since I started doing this it has really helped.
    Remember you are asking for honest feedback though - not 5 stars (although if your resources are great they will give you that anyway). Some of mine have left 4 or even 3 but I've still had to then send them free things, because I said I would :S
    It would be far easier if reviews were incentivised with credit by Tes (like on that other site) but until then the best thing I've found is to make leaving them more appealing to buyers. Teachers are very busy and unless there's a reason to review, most won't bother. Even then out of all my downloads, I've had 0.02% reviews - I think that's a really good rate. Many of my purchases have 20 or so separate resources in too, so I have no idea what the end % works out to, but it's lower than on (the other site) where I have a lot less purchases but every review is incentivised.
    bt9216 likes this.
  14. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    We have requested this but no news as to when this will happen (if at all). When relying to reviews it is best to keep it polite and not to try asking for feedback as they can't reply with the present system. Instead give a standard answer, something like "I am sorry you are not satisfied with the resource and thank you for taking the time to review it". That way other teachers know you read the feedback and are more likely to trust you.

    I have see some authors be really rude to people that leave poor reviews and it never makes them look professional and damages their reputation. It is hard not to take it personally, if you get a low review, but it is best to take on board what they are saying and improve the resource if necessary (not always necessary but sometimes worth having a think about) and then try to forget about it. Easier said then done but you can't let one person's opinion upset you. I don't think there is much point in trying to get into a discussion with people about their negative reviews, they generally won't appreciate it and you will just end up getting stressed.

    If they leave a 1 star review with no comment TES will usually delete those if you email them.
    bt9216 and EC_Resources like this.
  15. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    Exactly this. If you respond positively and do all you can to help, then any reasonable person will remove the review anyway. They certainly won't if you're rude!
    bt9216 likes this.
  16. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    I definitely feel like reviews are picking up. I think buyers don't just look at reviews but also how you as a seller engage with them. Often buyers want to be part of that conversation. Once I got a fairly middling review on a resource and a day later I got a detailed review from another buyer who challenged the previous review and praised the resource, almost as if to jump to my defence! I think as sellers we have an important role to play in terms of fostering feedback, both good and bad, but it would be great to see some sort of incentive for reviewing as this would really boost purchase to review rates for sure.
    bt9216, nwilkin and EC_Resources like this.
  17. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    This was an issue that was already on our radar and as such we have implemented some changes with regard to reviews.

    It is now compulsory for any new 1 or 2 star resource reviews to be accompanied by a comment. We have also explicitly stated that any issues with the website and download process should be reported to us and not left as a review.

    Please read the announcement here.
    Dodros, MosaiK and nwilkin like this.
  18. andorian

    andorian New commenter

    I have noticed that the harshest reviews come from members who haven't uploaded anything themselves and I agree it's frustrationg (annoying!) to get a low rating, but no explanation.

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