It’s happened before and ended up backfiring pretty badly on the tea company in question. The best thing to do is report any instances of sabotage to the mods so they can deal with it.
It unfortunately does happen sometimes. But as a number of members have mentioned you should just report users you suspect are gaming the system to me (jason at steepster.com) and we’ll deal with them directly. That’s the most efficient way to handle things and prevents the members from getting in flame wars with spammers.
Just an update from my part. The “sabotage” is happening big time in an obvious way. I mean come on rate every company in the high 90s but one company every tea you give them below an 79? Yeah. I’ve even seen some people buy the exact same tea from two different companies and review one poorly. Even when it actually is the same tea from the same supplier just sold by different companies. Ridiculous!
Is it terrible that I want to know (but still don’t) which company this is about? Gah!
I just thought the same thing Sil! I don’t think I’ve rated anything from Adagio over a 79, but I know there’s other stuff I’ve rated lower than that.
Good Grief that’s pretty cheesy. Any companies who do that/are considering it: DON’T! You will probably eventually get caught and it looks really bad for you and will lose you ALOT of business.
Does the title of this thread make anyone else think of this: “Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage!!!”
spill the beans….
The last ‘Vendetta’ I saw was from a tea blogger and it was a personal crusade against a well respected tea company which I reported to Jason. It was really childish and evil.
I’ve never been contacted by anyone to do sabotage and there is only one company that I’ve ‘never’ had a good tea from that I just leave alone and don’t comment on at all. I think that’s fair and not mean.
I’ve also made it clear to the companies that send free samples that this will not guarantee a high rated review. Free tea does not equal a free ride from me. I know you guys feel the same way!
I will rate a tea low whether it was free or I paid for it, but I try not to harp on and on about it, and most teas get a 60 + from me. For a long time I only used the top 40 to 50% of the scale but have recently realized that is not fair either, implying that all tea is at least okay. If I really hate it and can’t even drink it, it gets a low number. See my Strawberry Matcha review for proof of my oddball tastes, heh. I am the ONLY person who didn’t like it, but it didn’t seem honest for me not to put that out there even though it might make me look callous. I paid $15 for it and can’t stand to drink it, and the rating reflects that. It could go up over time, but for now it is what it is.
I completely agree, Uniquity. It has to be allowed to use the lower end of the scale. It’s what it’s there for. If I get something that I don’t like for one reason or another I will give it a low score and try to explain why I disliked it, which ingredient it was I didn’t like or which quality about it I didn’t like. For me that’s the most honest thing to do.
Some people will rather leave off a rating if they didn’t like something, but I believe it’s more honest to include it. If using a low rating would supposedly ‘unfairly draw a tea’s rating down’ then leaving it out would only result in drawing the rating in other direction, equally unfairly because it only takes the people who liked it into account. After all, this is why the site rating is not calculated from a straight average, so that one or two people disliking an otherwise popular tea doesn’t result in the tea’s site rating taking a nose dive.
(Which is also why this sort of sabotage is both childish and a waste of time anyway, because it doesn’t significantly affect the rating, and users are smart enough and experienced enough with tea to understand that one person’s dislike doesn’t mean it really is that awful.)
I think I know who you are talking about Bonnie. I had a chance to talk to a few of them. There’s around 4-6 bloggers that have pure hate fore at least 5 companies, some I love myself included. I ended up noticing ego, envy and hatred. And well, hatred is nothing more than envy with anger.
Bonnie, I think I noticed the blogger you were talking about. It was so obvious this person had a vendetta but it looks like the tea company defended themselves well. There was also someone who posted multiple ridiculous rants against a company on Steepster-I didn’t pay any attention to them they were so over the top.
What goes around comes around. My philosophy and that of our company is to always take the high road even if someone takes a shot at us. When you purposely try to bring someone down, eventually people will notice. You can’t hide it. Hope I never have to deal with it and feel bad for anyone that does.
This is sad, but well there are many reasons for this. Sabotage maybe one of them, but the truth is that many things could be happening.
There’s also the ‘fan boy’ complex, which is basically not accepting that some other company may have some tea that is better than your preferred company.
There’s also company VS vendor. To me this is not sabotage, but rather that a company will have several people tasting and sourcing teas. You’ll get all sorts of tea, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ depending on taste and even quality. Where as a vendor usually sources teas that that person likes, and as been told ‘when you buy my tea, you taste what I like, what I’ve chosen’. Hence you may have ‘favoritism’ with the vendor that shares your interests.
But as mentioned by others, just report suspicious behaviors. Just like Bonnie I’ve seen bloggers blindly hating and accusing other vendors, for many reasons… hate, competition, greediness, envy, etc. Usually the same people attacking the same companies. Just try by yourself and support the companies that you deem worthwhile.
Where can I sign up to get paid to review teas? Actually, a company that has excellent tea shouldn’t feel the need to pay anyone to upvote them (or down vote anyone else). If it’s only companies with terrible tea that would be paying, maybe I’ll pass. Terrible tea makes me sad.
I know, huh, you’d have to pay us a lot to drink blech tea!!! Not worth it and everyone would know soon enough. There goes your taste reputation! Do you really think we WANT to be known for having a BAD tasting palate?!
Yeah… I want to get paid to review teas. I do receive free samples to review, but, I do so with the full understanding (in writing) that the reviews will be honest. No guarantees, and if I don’t like a tea, I will say so.