The World Cup kicks off today, and with an estimated £2.5 billion set to be spent across the UK if England make it through to the final (don’t laugh), we’re here to make sure that you don’t score an own goal when it comes to parting with your hard-earned cash.
The run up to this year’s competition has been plagued by fake reviews flooding popular travel sites, with businesses from Macclesfield to Moscow looking to get a piece of the pie by any means necessary.
But how do you spot a fake review?
According to research by Cornell University, we can only spot fake reviews 50% of the time, which means we have about as much chance of getting it right as England do of winning a penalty shootout. Despite this, there are some tell-tale signs that we can look out for to help sort the fact from the fiction, and safely navigate our way through the World Cup.
Getting your kit on
Before you go anywhere this summer, you need to look the part. As ever, England launched a new home and away kit prior to this year’s tournament, and even if they are a little pricey, they have been selling like hot cakes.
So that you’re not left disappointed before the World Cup has even begun, be sure to check customer reviews to find out who’s competing best on price, quality and delivery time. By using companies that display transparent and detailed feedback, you can select an official kit safe in the knowledge that it will arrive in time for kick off, and that you haven’t paid over the odds.
Watch out for fakes
Counterfeit products are everywhere during the World Cup, so to make sure you’re wearing the same kit as your England heroes, use reviews to check for signs of poor quality. Don’t just believe what you read on a company’s website – and if there’s any doubt, take a look at their Google rating, or their companies reviews page of Feefo, to see everything customers have had to say (both good and bad) on the company.
Fuelling your passion
Now that you’re kitted out, you need to warm up before the big game. Thankfully when it comes to the World Cup, warming up usually means tucking into some delicious pre-game grub, rather than a series of painful stretches.
Pubs and restaurants up and down the land will be bursting at the seams when England kick off their campaign come June 18th, so you’d be well advised to plan ahead!
You head online to find somewhere that shows the match and the perfect spot for a celebratory (hopefully) bite to eat. Low and behold, you stumble across a host of establishments you’ve never heard of, all with a string of five-star reviews.
If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is (Lionel Messi is the only exception to this rule). Five-stars across the board and a constant stream of glowing praise may look good on the surface, but nobody is perfect. If you can’t spot any issues or negative reviews then you have your first red flag that the business maybe censoring, or even removing, bad reviews in order to boost their ratings.
Another useful trick is to check the dates of the reviews. If you’ve noticed that your local pubs and restaurants have suddenly been inundated with positive reviews in the weeks leading up to the World Cup, then there’s a chance that these have been written by fake, or heavily incentivised, customers to intentionally boost their reputation and maximise business during this busy period. Make sure that you get a better overall picture of the business by reading a variety of reviews written over the past six months (at least).
With England sure to be crashing out early, as a nation we’ll need somewhere to go to console ourselves and forget about football for the rest of the summer. Where better than the internet to forget about your troubles and do a spot of online shopping! In fact, we think we’ll buy that rugby ball we’ve always wanted (we always preferred rugby anyway).
If you do find yourself drowning your sorrows in a spate of online retail therapy, make sure what you’re buying doesn’t leave you as disappointed as the England team. There are some common giveaways when it comes to identifying fake reviews. If they are choc-full of emotional admiration, or lacking detail or specifics about a product, they may have been written by people who have never bought, or even used the item in question.
If you’re worried that a review might be bogus, look out for signs of verification. Some retail websites place symbols such as a tick or an ‘approved’ badge next to the reviewer’s name to show that they’re a legitimate customer. Alternatively, do some research into the reviews platform a business is using. Some reviews companies, such as Feefo, take special measures to ensure that the feedback they collect is genuine, so you can be sure that you’re being guided by real opinions and experiences.
Tackling fake feedback
The World Cup is a tricky time for consumers. With everyone vying for your attention and looking to cash in on the biggest sporting event of the year, it’s hard to know who to trust.
We are committed to showing fake reviews the red card, so keep an eye out for the Feefo logo whilst shopping around this summer. We invite customers to leave a review only after they have made a genuine purchase, which means that where you see the Feefo logo, the feedback you’re reading is the real opinions of real customers, just like you!