industry reps posing as appliance owners?

stovetopApril 27, 2013


First I'd like to say I LOVE the garden web's forums. And I pose questions here from time to time. But my husband is much more cynical. I just recently posed a question regarding Liebherr refrigerators and he's all over me for any review that seems too positive. Or anyone that posts a lot. To give him credit, he's an expert in tech field with software development/design so he's pretty savvy to trends and behind the scenes in internet useage/traffic etc.

So I pose this question: Is Garden Web a pretty legit site for good ole honest homeowner opinion? Or are there a lot of industry people posing as homeowners or just blasting out great reviews about their particular product?

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It's pretty good - I've been hanging around for over 10 years since I remodeled my kitchen. There are a few vendors and repair people who are very upfront and very helpful. Occasionally we get people trying to sell something and some trolls but they're readily identifiable. Some homeowners are very passionate about their purchases and sometimes come across as industry types.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:19PM
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What are the marginal sales gains by posting a lot on GW?

Even for small companies I don't think it is very much.

They may post once or twice but usually betray themselves with way way over the top reviews.

The best sign of success for a consumer goods company is when your customers become advocates for the brand.

Look at Porche or Corvette or Viper owner boards. Do you think industry types are there night and day posting how great their cars are? had a blurb about how Samsung was paying college kids in Taiwan to post positive reviews about their phones. Full time adult employees of appliance companies engaging in full time guerrilla marketing sounds a bit far fetched.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 3:51PM
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It's been my take that the people who "post a lot" are genuinely trying to be helpful, and they tend to comment on a variety of things, not one particular product. Besides, GW is rather addicting, so it's hard to fault anyone for posting a lot.

It might be kind of helpful, though, if GW had a "see all posts by so-and-so" feature. But for the most part, I think the posts that are pushing a sale are fairly easy to spot.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:19PM
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It is interesting but one could always tell when a positive review is written by a sales rep or someone who stands to gain from it. The language is different, no matter how hard they try.

As PPs said, it would probably be a very inefficient use of company resources to have someone hanging around GW and posting away. Folks who post a lot have been *around* for awhile and have asked very specific questions and/or posted pix of their houses, etc. And "regular" industry representatives (like Trevor, for example) clearly identify themselves.

However, if I were an appliance company, I'd monitor this site day and night, so to speak, for great feedback that is often found here. And I think some of them improved their CS based on GW complaints.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Hmmm stovetop, I posted how much I love my new Liebherr on your other thread...maybe I'm one of those your hubby thinks is a rep? Well, I'll assure you, I'm just a happy owner trying to be helpful to someone who asked. I also post positively about my Bluestar Range and Silgranite sink, maybe I rep those too? I have posted many pictures of my recent kitchen makeover, and it's not an appliance store ;) I agree with eleena, a reps review is easy to spot, and they often will compare two or more products, and even bash others, where most of us have not owned the others to compare to. So tell your hubby he can cross me off the suspect list!:)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:05PM
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Thanks all! You have confirmed my feeling that Garden Web is an honest home-grown forum. I will convince my husband, he's a pretty reasonable guy when presented with some valid comments/opinions. I think he's just seen it all in his line of business.... And I readily admit to posting this topic just so I can show him how "real" garden web forum is!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:41PM
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Like already mentioned, you can kinda tell the industry reps who have an agenda, i.e. trying to push their brand. Having said that, there are a few in the industry on this forum who offer great advice and do not try to push a particular brand, but do have inside scoop. In particular I miss - I don't know what happened to them - Antss, Guadalupe, and DCUnited. Sometimes sharp-tongued, but boy, did they know what they were talking about.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Lately, we've been giving a pretty hostile responses to anyone suspected of being a shill or an advertiser. They get spotted pretty quickly and I've seen numbers of threads where the second or third post will be the one word response: "spam." Folks here will report abuse and rules violations, too.

Also, the "cynicism" of stovetop's husband might be getting misinterpreted. With him having tech background, I can understand his being cynical about people who post a lot --- I've stopped going to a lot of tech sites because of the "fanboy" problem that seems to poison the usefulness of sites. GW's overall level of civility and helpfulness will seem unusual to those not familiar with this place.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sat, Apr 27, 13 at 20:24

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Like anything opinions must be weighed with a little reason. Some people openly admit they have a bias we all do. For example mention a discussion of open or closed burner ; )

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:20PM
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This post was edited by jolb57 on Sun, Apr 28, 13 at 1:00

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Oh lord, please, no, not again! :>)


Well jolb has pulled the post to which I was replying. Don't know why. Jolb made a harmless joke about the endlessly ongoing open-burner versus sealed-burner debate. My line above was what I thought was a humorous reply. I added the the emoticon to make it clear that I was joking. Hope I didn't offend.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sun, Apr 28, 13 at 18:00

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:55PM
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One way to spot an appliance salesman or dealer who is here to sell, rather than help is , on every post, they will leave the URL for their website, (Anthony) for example, and I'm starting to get "Suspicious" about a certain female poster here now too.

Trevor never leaves a link to his business, and He really has helped a lotta folks. I do wish that the posters in the business, would really help out more in some cases.

(1) The wolf Oven Porcelain, what are they seeing in their business?

(2) Liebherr Fridge Problems, especially the ice maker, but the whole fridge , "In General", what are their customers saying?

(3) Miele Oven Temp Problems, Is the problem now fixed?
Did any of their customer's complain?

(4) How do the above sell? That gives us an idea of how likely we are to have a problem, an appliance that sells a lot and has a couple complaints, is "more than likely" less problematic that an appliance that only a few are sold but has the same number of complaints.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 9:00PM
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I really wish there were a link, like there are on most forums/bbs, to see all posts by a particular user. I'd like to see if every post by someone is promoting a particular company. Also, to get an idea of someone's style or find pictures they posted of their kitchen, etc. It would be really nice to be able to see a list of all of my posts too.

Off topic: does the notification system work at all? I've never once seen an email from gardenweb so I have to keep refreshing the threads I've posted in (yes I've checked "allow other users to send you email").

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:07PM
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You can do a search for the posters name, and it will show all the posts they have made, Unfortunately, it shows other posters too, so it does take a bit of time to sort it out.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:41PM
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I bought my first home 7 yrs ago and have slowly been replacing appliances and studying various 'new to me' experiences.(old home)...pruning 50yr old japanese maples, etc. Google search always links GardenWeb so i have read on and off for years. Just posted recently to try and help some simple fridge fixes. Not sure about here but my husband and i are kinda cynical when it comes to honest reviews. It is pretty clear. I'm frequently on a design forum and when someone asks a clear question and a response is not at all a helpful answer, but a way off direction to another product and blunt, it should be carefully discounted. (?) Not always but it sounds off. A few years ago when my fridge was working flawlessly and i saw some here with a few problems, i would have thanked them for the heads up, not just say bluntly, "mine has been working lovely...It has been a great and cold/frozen experience!" haha. (i was not posting then, but did pay attention)
-Yes it can be head spinning making choices when it can be a 10 year or more mistake/regret. That is why we research and get confused. I just finally replaced my double wall oven and did not listen or agree with GW at all. Just did what i wanted and hope for the best. (not installed yet but waiting in the garage) but anything is better than the 30 yr old Roper that cooks only in the back 10 inches and often fires up on its own when off. : (

Someone here loves their Leibherr, another has made it their life journey to say over and over all over the web how they hate it. I've asked that the hater stop it and get it fixed because it WILL perform as it should. The lover should just pay attention and realize that something very simple could go wrong and answers are available to avoid any headache.
Like any reviews or opinions, knock out the high and the low and listen to substance...
(and get an extended warranty, lol)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 12:46AM
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Most of the reps identify themselves and are trying to help those who are having problems the elux rep- Chris Polke ( or something close to that) monitors the forum looking for elux problems and lets you know how to contact Chris never tries to sell but works the backend making consumers happy.
I wish a few othe reps would be pro-active. Wolf- are you out there?
As others have said, the group helps monitor the spam.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:40AM
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I've been with Gardenweb since 1998. Been on this forum for 5 years, when I did my own kitchen.
I was one of the Leibherr enthusiasts on the original thread referred to.
I have to say, I now feel as though any contribution I may make, even though it is based on my genuine experience, is now being questioned, and I am feeling less willing to contribute here, if my comments are thought to be suspect.

Forums like this thrive because people are willing to share their experiences. When those experiences are called into question, there is a risk that members stop contributing as willingly.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Please ignore and keep posting. I love your posts, they are very helpful.

OP was merely conveying her DH's concern which she did not share - or she would not have asked, I think. As I understand, her DH knew nothing about GW and his concern was legitimate, so to speak. I was slightly concerned too in the beginning - after all, one cannot trust everything one reads on the Internet - but after hanging around for awhile, I learned to discern.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 4:57PM
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I do think negative posts tend to be overrepresented, like in any type of forum (Yelp, anyone). And unlike Yelp or the like, there is really only anecdotal evidence. I agree, though, that having a simple way to see how many posts a person has made and some sort of "kudos" mechanism would help us sort through the posts.

I do know another manufacturer monitors the site; after I posted on my negative experience they quickly contacted their distributor and pushed them for a solution. However, I don't want the site to be a series of complaints, and will think twice about posting that type of thing again.

In my company (not an appliance manufacturer), we have a social media policy that frowns on any type of activity like false postings.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:15PM
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I'm glad it worked out for you gooster, but I'm not sure I agree with your "Think Twice policy now".

If folks keep Mum about their problems, how is that going to help out a new appliance buyer? All the posts he sees are "Rosie Scenarios", so He jumps in and buys, then has big problems, then suddenly a little leak here, "well I had the same problem with mine", "Yeah Me too", etc etc, by then it's probably too late?

I think we should just "Tell it like it is here", be honest, You got good news, like Sara the brit, great, that's important too, but if you have news that is not so great, maybe it is showing up a problem that may be developing?

"To Me", at least, that is what helps folks the most here in GW, just "Tell it like it is"!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:02PM
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RE: sara_the_brit_z6_ct

Gosh! I hope this post hasn't changed your view on whether to post or not! That was not my intent. What I really wanted was to prove to my husband that gardenweb isn't your average "reviewer" forum...(for instance I'm way more cautious of postings on "consumer reports" forums). When I post questions in the gardenweb forums I look forward to reading the responses. It definitely makes me think of aspects that I hadn't considered (ie your comment on the ease of use with Liebherr's freezer draws).

AND the amount of response is always amazing... I've posted in other forums and never see any kind of traffic as I do here.

This I think is the beauty of this forum... the immediate feedback and the differing perspectives that otherwise one would not have given a second thought! So please keep posting! Your comments were appreciated!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:22PM
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I've used GW for years, just now starting to post. Very clear it is real people with real knowledge and research, and needing help for making expensive decisions. Ultimately we make our choices, but have better information to help that process.
-DH and i were talking last night about how we still like our fridge even with some recent trouble-shooting. It really is a hard working 24/7 appliance. So i decided to share...

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:42PM
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