Kristin said

Something fishy with the top teas today

If you click on Teas, the first 2 highest rated teas on the list are:

1) Teas that were just added on the 28th
2) Have 3-4 ratings, with no comments. I also noticed that they have other teas all with 3-4 ratings and no comments:
http://steepster.com/companies/chamana
3) Different company names, but similar boxes (on further investigation, both belong to http://www.amigos-international.org/en/)
4) tea bags!

Looks like someone is gaming the system. I don’t know where/who to report this to.

24 Replies
Cofftea said

the 4th point doesn’t mean anything to me- but yeah the 1st 3 are suspicious.

Kristin said

I don’t remember ever seeing a tea in a bag at the top. Usually loose teas are much higher quality. Therefore it is odd.

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hummmmmmm

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Perhaps because they were recently added!? Maybe that has a little bit to do with it too!?

Check this out…
http://steepster.com/teas/chamana/12017-chamana-fucsia
and
http://steepster.com/teas/chamana/12016-chamana-azul
and
http://steepster.com/teas/inti-zen/12015-ilumine
and
http://steepster.com/teas/chamana/12014-chamana-amarillo

But they are 3,3,1,2 ratings

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I find the ratings without comment confusing. I almost wish it wasn’t possible to rate without comment. Seems like anyone can anonymously ding a tea just to get another one to move up in the line, even when it is one that has high ratings from people willing to identify themselves and say why they liked it. Probably could work the opposite way as well. But more importantly, anonymous ratings without comment aren’t helpful to me in deciding whether to try something. If I don’t know whether the person’s tastes are similar to mine or why they liked something or don’t like it, I don’t have enough info to go on.

Cofftea said

I agree!

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Kristin said

Figured out how to report this problem. I’ve added it to their support area.
http://getsatisfaction.com/steepster/topics/someone_is_gaming_the_rating_system

Cofftea said

Or you can just send a PM to Jason. It’s much easier than the getsatisfaction.

Kristin said

As a software engineer, I appreciate bug tracking systems. :)

AJ said

I usually just email him if I see anything suspicious.

And this is definitely suspicious. Teas get anonymous ratings all the time, I’m sure, but for a tea to receive enough from completely honest Steepster users to bump it up to first place just seems far-fetched. We love our tasting notes.

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Thanks Kristin!
:)

Kristin said

It just makes me really mad!

Yeah…if it’s not legit…then it needs to be dealt with…I agree…

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Lori said

I noticed it as well….And in the big picture, how do they rank the teas anyway? When I first joined Steepster, the teas ranked as 1, 2, 3, etc. were consistent but within the past 3 weeks..the ranked tea list has been unpredictable and odd…

SoccerMom said

I noticed the same.

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S said

Thank you Kristin! This kind of stuff always makes me angry :[

S said

[Kristin, not Kristen!]

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Doulton said

I would like these ratings to be meaningful, as well. I buy a lot of tea and I am far less inclined to buy from merchants who are seemingly pimping their own products. I also want to know, generally speaking, if people are reviewing a free sample from the tea company—as opposed to a sample from another person or a sample that they purchased on their own.

And I thought that there was a default rating of something like “70” and that the more ratings a tea got the more the default changed. I think I read that on the Steepster blog.

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