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View Full Version : Handango Reviews "fixed" ??


rrmccabe
11-02-2005, 07:49 PM
You be the judge.

Here is my correspondence with Handango about a product I purchased and reviewed (fairly).

Rich


Review
Rating: 3 out of 5
One line summary: More Glitz than functionality
Description: I bought this and it has he best interface on the market,
but when it comes down to functionality seems to get confused often. I
have removed it and am running Hitchhiker which has a couple quirks but
always functions well getting me online. I honestly would pay $100 for
a TOTL wifi solution. Hoping Hitchhiker finishes off their great start
or Companion comes out with an all new release.
Product ID: 163641

>>>Apparently Handago contacts the developer before posting...

-----Original Message-----
From: James Beninghaus [mailto:[email protected]] Posted At: Friday,
October 28, 2005 11:57 AM Posted To: Reviews
Conversation: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion
Subject: RE: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion


Hi,
Could you give this reviewer my email address?

I would like to understand the things they want to see in Wi-Fi
Companion that would make their experience better.

James Beninghaus
Director of Engineering, WLAN Products
Socket Communications, Inc
[email protected]
The description of the review submitted by:
Rich McCabe from Des Moines, IA
For: Wi-Fi(r) Companion


-----Original Message-----
From: Reviews [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 2:33 PM
To: [email protected]
Cc: James Beninghaus
Subject: RE: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion


Thank you for submitting your review. The developer would like to speak
with you about the problems you experienced with Wi-Fi Companion. Below
you will find the email address of the developer.

[email protected]

Thank you for contacting Handango!

Kind Regards,

Tarah Polattie
Marketing
Handango, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rich McCabe (IWH) [mailto:[email protected]]
Posted At: Friday, October 28, 2005 2:43 PM
Posted To: Reviews
Conversation: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion
Subject: RE: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion


Why is it rejected?

I see the developer wants to talk to me, but I thought the reviews on
your site (the same ones I base my purchases on) were unbiased?

Do you only post favorable reviews?

Rich McCabe
Computer Technologies
From: Reviews [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 4:08 PM
To: Rich McCabe (IWH)
Cc: Reviews
Subject: RE: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion



Hello Mr. McCabe,

This review was rejected because it conflicts with the stated
guidelines.

To write a review, you must have purchased the software. Issues with
trial versions will be sent to the developer for notification.
Reviews must fairly evaluate the functionality of the software. To make
reviews helpful for other customers, please support your evaluation with
details and facts.
Reviews that discuss price might not be posted. Because the price of an
item can change, please refer to products in terms of value rather than
price.
Reviews that discuss bugs in the software might not be posted. These
reviews will be forwarded to the software developer for resolution.
Do not include URLs, phone numbers, names or postal addresses.
Reviews that mention competing products or Web sites other than
www.handango.com will not be posted.
Profanity, obscenities or strong language of any kind are prohibited.
Derogatory comments on any race, religion, political or social group are
also prohibited.
Reviews are not a method for accessing Handango Customer Care and will
not be posted. Your experience with Handango is important to us. To
contact the Handango Customer Care Team, please visit Handango Customer
Care.

Handango values the opinions of our customers and strives to post
unbiased reviews, both positive and negative, that abide by our
guidelines. If you have any further questions about the reviews
guidelines, please feel free to contact me. Thank you!


Kind Regards,

Tarah Polattie
Marketing
Handango, Inc.


________________________________

From: Rich McCabe (IWH) [mailto:[email protected]]
Posted At: Friday, October 28, 2005 4:13 PM Posted To: Reviews
Conversation: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion
Subject: RE: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion


Wow,

Thats amazing. I still dont know why you rejected it.

I purchase a product. I dont write anything slanderous or profane.

I give an honest evaluation that is middle of the road and you deny it?

I would appreciate a real response to why this was rejected

Rich McCabe
Computer Technologies


-----Original Message-----
From: Reviews [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 4:39 PM
To: Rich McCabe (IWH)
Cc: Reviews
Subject: RE: Rejected Review for Wi-FiR Companion

Hello Mr. McCabe,

We don't disagree that your review was honest and helpful. It sounds like you might have been dealing with a software bug. In those cases, we give the developer a chance to address the issue (i.e.: fix the
application) - instead of or before posting the review. We believe that notifying the developer and giving them a chance to amend the situation
is ultimately the best result for the reviewer and future users.

Thank you!

Kind Regards,
Tarah Polattie
Marketing
Handango, Inc.

________________________________

From: Rich McCabe (IWH) [mailto:[email protected]ting.com]



Tarah,

OK, I last week I sent a message with issues to the email address you listed below. I still have not received a response.

Do you still feel my review should be rejected?

If you are not going to accept fair reviews, what use is your review section.

Please advise

So to date, I have not got a response from Handago OR the developer whom wanted to talk to me. Think twice about the reviews you read on their site. It appears they only post the ones they want !

Rich

Jacob
11-02-2005, 08:57 PM
It appears it's definitely stacked against having any critical reviews appear.

If they don't post reviews based on evals then a review from a user who purchased the product is more likely to be positive because they obviously liked it enough to buy it.

If it is a bad review from a user who purchased it, it's likely to sound like a bug - so it goes for approval to the developer.

They should allow eval reviews. They should also post all negative reviews and notify the developer!

Then allow you to add a note after the fact to your review so you can be encouraged to say "Hey, the developer contacted me about this and it was fixed!"

Cybrid
11-02-2005, 08:59 PM
"Reviews that mention competing products or Web sites other than
www.handango.com will not be posted."

Your review did mention hitchhiker. :lol:

As an aside I read through what they've written in their review rules and it seems to be fair.

Would you want a competitor to fake nasty posts about your software? The system allows a little bit of protection for developers who otherwise might not use handango to distribute their 'wares. It'd mean anyone with the slightest axe to grind would post all sorts of garbage.

rrmccabe
11-02-2005, 09:27 PM
Yea thats one of the problems/benefits of the web. It an easy soapbox for anyone even if they are wrong.

But, as you can see my review was middle of the road. I did not really beat them up hard and just stated my thoughts. If those types of reviews are not accepted (or ones worse) then you can see what value their review section has.

In a nutshell, protecting the developer unprotects the user in this case because it gives us a false sense of security about what we purchase.

I have spent HUNDREDS (yes thats right) of dollars with Handago over the last few months and an equal amount with PocketGear. From now on PocketGear will be enjoying my additional business.

I am a MCSE so I know a little bit about networking and TCP/IP. I went to the trouble of replying to the developer explaining why the software did not work and what I had to do to make it work. Guess they are not interested in my response after all.

Anyway, just thought I would post the actual correspondence bewteen me and Handango and let all of you form your own opinion on how fair they are.

Best,

Rich

Duncan
11-02-2005, 09:51 PM
Handango do post negative reviews - I've even seen a case where the bad reviews outnumbered the good.

The guidelines seem quite reasonable and the reason the review was rejected is obvious. Can't see the issue here (with the exception that reviews of 'non-feature limited' evaluatons should be allowed).

rrmccabe
11-02-2005, 10:03 PM
the reason the review was rejected is obvious.

Yes, I think because Socket Communications (developer) is a preferred vendor. I doubt they even read the review in its entirety before contacting the developer.

Their rejection had nothing to do with the fact I mentioned hitchhiker. They were just protecting the relationship that has more value to them.

Rich

Cybrid
11-02-2005, 10:11 PM
Yea thats one of the problems/benefits of the web. It an easy soapbox for anyone even if they are wrong.

But, as you can see my review was middle of the road. I did not really beat them up hard and just stated my thoughts. If those types of reviews are not accepted (or ones worse) then you can see what value their review section has. I disagree but to each his own. An opinion is just that.

In a nutshell, protecting the developer unprotects the user in this case because it gives us a false sense of security about what we purchase.

I have spent HUNDREDS (yes thats right) of dollars with Handago over the last few months and an equal amount with PocketGear. From now on PocketGear will be enjoying my additional business.As you are perfectly within your rights to do so. Perhaps it might be fair to also review Pocketgear's review policy. It may prevent the expected suprise.

I am a MCSE so I know a little bit about networking and TCP/IP. I went to the trouble of replying to the developer explaining why the software did not work and what I had to do to make it work. Guess they are not interested in my response after all.Perhaps they are in the process of fixing and as such have not seen the need to respond until they have the means to fully address your needs. As an MCSE, I'm sure you could understand the full implications of applying a fix better than I.

Anyway, just thought I would post the actual correspondence bewteen me and Handango and let all of you form your own opinion on how fair they are.

Best,

RichAnd we should all be thankful for that. As you say. The internet is a soapbox for all. I will listen to your assessment and continue to form my opinions as I deem fit. It is good. I admire your attempt to be earnest and fair in your review.

Duncan
11-02-2005, 10:15 PM
the reason the review was rejected is obvious.

Yes, I think because Socket Communications (developer) is a preferred vendor. I doubt they even read the review in its entirety before contacting the developer.

Their rejection had nothing to do with the fact I mentioned hitchhiker. They were just protecting the relationship that has more value to them.

Rich

No. They have rules - your review broke them. If I were Handango I would also ban reviews that mention and praise competitors products. You appear to be making the mistake of thinking that Handango is a general review site - rather than a shop.

rrmccabe
11-02-2005, 11:25 PM
Cybrid,

You might be right about PocketGear being the same way. I really dont know. Good point though. As we both agree, I just posted it and everyone else can form their own opinion ;)

Duncan,

I always am skeptical of reviews as you just dont know everything about the person reviewing them. Could be the competitor trying to build up his product while tearing down the competition.

I dont know if you are aware of it, but with Handango you have to have purchased the software to write the review. That in itself should help validate reviewers a little. At least keep people from randomly jumping websites writing bogus reviews.

I have no idea why you think they should ban reviews that mention competitors products. I think it should be monitored to make sure it really isnt slanderous, but how are readers supposed to "set the bar" for a decent products to purchase. Should have I said "OK, WiFi Companion works 50% of the time, so its 150% better than nothing" ? Wow, 150%.. What a great product !

I think to have a fair review its totally acceptable to compare. And in retrospect, I may have broke the rules referencing Hitchhiker (which you might note I said had a couple quirks too)

If you read Handago's response their refusal ended up not having anything to do with me breaking the rules. They started off with a canned response and utlimately said "In those cases, we give the developer a chance to address the issue (i.e.: fix theapplication) "

In the end, the product (which was expensive) works poorly. The developer who was interested that they might be getting a black mark, was not interested enough to follow up with me.

And, I dont know what you mean about me comparing them to a general review site and not a shop? Whats the difference. Are you saying a shop is a biased review site and thats OK? There should be no difference. A review is a review.

Thanks guys for your response. I appreciate your opinions as well. I agree, their is no perfect solution but you can only monitor post so much before you ruin the original intent.

Rich

Duncan
11-03-2005, 01:37 AM
And, I dont know what you mean about me comparing them to a general review site and not a shop? Whats the difference. Are you saying a shop is a biased review site and thats OK? There should be no difference. A review is a review.

Not at all. A review at Handango serves the primary purpose of enabling people who have a product being able to say why they like it - while also offering fair comment on shortfalls - as a sales tool. It isn't a review site - it is a site that allows reviews for the purpose of encouraging people to buy. Sellers would be rightly miffed if the shop selling their product posted reviews slagging off their product or saying 'buy xyz instead'. It isn't about being biased - it's about having a different criteria to, say, PPCT.

Some may argue this render the system untrustworthy - but then by readin the reviews I do learn something - I learn why people judge it a good product - and when few reviews are posted, or niggles are pointed out that would put me off, I learn that the product may not be worth my while.

If I want a full critical review - even comparing to other products - I'll goto a trusted website.

It is no different to the way reviews quoted on a software box serve a different purpose to those in a PC magazine, or film reviews on a poster to the those in a review mag.

Now I realise that companies like Amazon have a much more liberal system - but two minutes spent looking at customer reviews of the latest 'Why Republicans Smell Like Rotten Eggs' or 'Democrats Want to Eat Your Children' type books will show you why such freedom is a bad idea...!

Where I really take issue is with you calling Handango reviews baised or fixed - they aren't. The reviews are generally honest (though we all know that some are clearly faked by friends of the creators) - they are just chosen by a selective criteria (that Handango are open about).

rrmccabe
11-03-2005, 02:21 AM
"Not at all. A review at Handango serves the primary purpose of enabling people who have a product being able to say why they like it - while also offering fair comment on shortfalls - as a sales tool. It isn't a review site - it is a site that allows reviews for the purpose of encouraging people to buy. Sellers would be rightly miffed if the shop selling their product posted reviews slagging off their product or saying 'buy xyz instead'. It isn't about being biased - it's about having a different criteria to, say, PPCT."

A review is a review. If you are removing bad reviews in an effort to sell more product thats is covering up. Kinda like a used car lot putting stop leak in an engine to sell it.

"Some may argue this render the system untrustworthy - but then by readin the reviews I do learn something - I learn why people judge it a good product - and when few reviews are posted, or niggles are pointed out that would put me off, I learn that the product may not be worth my while"

I personally learn more from reading a review that says this widget did not work as well as XYZ did.

"If I want a full critical review - even comparing to other products - I'll goto a trusted website."

Well next time I will go to a "trusted website" compared to.... ?? An untrusted one.

"It is no different to the way reviews quoted on a software box serve a different purpose to those in a PC magazine, or film reviews on a poster to the those in a review mag."

I am afraid we dont agree there. Its a user review section. If not, it should say read what positive reviews our customers had. warning, excludes negative reviews"

Now I realise that companies like Amazon have a much more liberal system - but two minutes spent looking at customer reviews of the latest 'Why Republicans Smell Like Rotten Eggs' or 'Democrats Want to Eat Your Children' type books will show you why such freedom is a bad idea...!"

Agree with you on that one sir :)

"Where I really take issue is with you calling Handango reviews baised or fixed - they aren't. The reviews are generally honest (though we all know that some are clearly faked by friends of the creators) - they are just chosen by a selective criteria (that Handango are open about"

Hmmm, not sure I did? I think I ended the subject line with a question mark ??? Fixed might not be a good term. Biased. You bet !

I have since searched the reviews and although not the norm, they are full of reference to competing products. Did a search for the mail program I bought from them and there is post after post comparing WebIS to @mail version 1.0.



And finally, I think the reviews there are honest too. I just think a bunch of other honest ones that effect the bottom line of handango are missing

Rich

Duncan
11-03-2005, 02:40 AM
A review is a review. If you are removing bad reviews in an effort to sell more product thats is covering up. Kinda like a used car lot putting stop leak in an engine to sell it.

Needless to say I disagree. They aren't removing anything - just being selective in what they post. BTW - looking at the WebIS Mail reviews I noticed several negative reviews - and several with lists of niggles. They may be strict in their guidelines - but that doesn't mean only positive reviews get through.

I personally learn more from reading a review that says this widget did not work as well as XYZ did.

But that is unrealistic. The developers are not going to stand for that and I wouldn't blame them.

Well next time I will go to a "trusted website" compared to.... ?? An untrusted one.

A website that I trust to give good critical reviews - as opposed to an overly biased 'sponsored' website (like the completely made up 'Fred's Axim') or one whic is out to sell stuff to me.

I am afraid we dont agree there. Its a user review section. If not, it should say read what positive reviews our customers had. warning, excludes negative reviews"

Negative reviews aren't excluded - and again - Handango is a shop, not a review website.

I have since searched the reviews and although not the norm, they are full of reference to competing products. Did a search for the mail program I bought from them and there is post after post comparing WebIS to @mail version 1.0.

Oh dear. You'll kick yourself. You will...! WebIS Mail, when in version one, was called... @mail...! People are comparing the current product with its past incarnation. Not, therefore, the best example...! :)

rrmccabe
11-03-2005, 02:53 AM
Oh dear. You'll kick yourself. You will...! WebIS Mail, when in version one, was called... @mail...! People are comparing the current product with its past incarnation. Not, therefore, the best example...! :)

Ouch, haha. Yep I did. But still have seen a few others. As I said its not the norm.

And your comment "They aren't removing anything - just being selective in what they post" Uh.. OK ;) and "Negative reviews aren't excluded - and again - Handango is a shop, not a review website." Oh yes they are. When they have a review section, they are a review website.

I guess we agree what we disagree and that Handago is not a good review site.

Cya

Rich

Cybrid
11-03-2005, 08:29 AM
Oh, this could get incendiary right quick. :oops:

The way I see it.
Handango is attempting to be fair in several opposing interests. Yours vs theirs vs developers. It is in their best interest to compromise.

If a company were to allow any review unmonitored, the abuse could be rampant. This leads to lost sales.

They notified the developer about the situation and requested a mediatory response. This is fair to the developer. it allows them the chance to respond positively by finding a solution.

The developer did request contact with you. This I believe to be fair to you and other consumers. He is willing to fix the problems. This may take time. There is no magic bullet. It is in his best interest to keep happy satisfied hopefully repeat customers.

How is it not fair?

They are merely asking for the opportunity to allow the developer to address your needs.

Would you rather have them post your review and then have the possibly very nice and affable developer address those issues and provide you with the update making you very happy and a believer yet unable to change your review.

rrmccabe
11-03-2005, 03:45 PM
Cybrid, I agree on most accounts.

I too think its in their best interest to compromise. But they are trying to satisfy three parties. Customer, Developer and the Sponsor. The last two being the same. I think its the Sponsor they are most concerned about.

I am not sure how it could lead to lost sales. There might be some instances where thats the case, but I for one we be inclined to purchase from a company that has inbiased reviews. That said, I fully understand the whole unmonitored review thing.

Yes, they contacted the developer and he requested to contact me. But, the fact remains the developer never followed through.

They asked for the opportunity "to allow the developer to address my needs" and I have gave them that opportunity. And they did not do that.

So now we have a product that does not work properly and a person representing the company (cant say its the whole company) that does not follow up.

You said....."How is it not fair?" Well do you think the way it worked out is fair?


"Would you rather have them post your review and then have the possibly very nice and affable developer address those issues and provide you with the update making you very happy and a believer yet unable to change your review"

Thats a good point. I would feel bad if I made a post that was later rectified. But I guarantee you I would have followed up my post with an adaboy if Socket had done what they should.

I have learned one thing. I will pay more attention to review sections in the future. Handango is NOT unbiased in their reasoning for what they post or refuse to post. This is not something I think is right even though I understand why they do it.

Rich

Cybrid
11-03-2005, 09:13 PM
Cybrid, I agree on most accounts.

I too think its in their best interest to compromise. But they are trying to satisfy three parties. Customer, Developer and the Sponsor. The last two being the same. I think its the Sponsor they are most concerned about.

I am not sure how it could lead to lost sales. There might be some instances where thats the case, but I for one we be inclined to purchase from a company that has inbiased reviews. That said, I fully understand the whole unmonitored review thing.

Yes, they contacted the developer and he requested to contact me. But, the fact remains the developer never followed through.

They asked for the opportunity "to allow the developer to address my needs" and I have gave them that opportunity. And they did not do that.

So now we have a product that does not work properly and a person representing the company (cant say its the whole company) that does not follow up.

You said....."How is it not fair?" Well do you think the way it worked out is fair?


"Would you rather have them post your review and then have the possibly very nice and affable developer address those issues and provide you with the update making you very happy and a believer yet unable to change your review"

Thats a good point. I would feel bad if I made a post that was later rectified. But I guarantee you I would have followed up my post with an adaboy if Socket had done what they should.

I have learned one thing. I will pay more attention to review sections in the future. Handango is NOT unbiased in their reasoning for what they post or refuse to post. This is not something I think is right even though I understand why they do it.

RichAnd I agree with most of what you say. I guess what it boils down to is you expect the developer to have fixed it by now.
You also think that since the developer has not fixed it by now. Handango should post your review. October 28, 2005 11:57 AM to the day of posting this thread Nov 02, 2005 10:49. 3 business days. Cool. :lol:

Patrick Y.
11-04-2005, 02:57 AM
What's wrong with Socket Wifi companian anyway? :?:

dhettel
11-07-2005, 07:26 PM
Well you might want to read here, for one problem. (http://www.socketforum.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3509) Again I also got a request for more info, and after responding to it that was the last I have heard. It's unlikely to affect many, but for those who have the problem it will stop a connection.

David

Birdiestyle
11-08-2005, 08:13 PM
As a developer, I know Handango is doing what they need to do.

Why?

Because, the majority of reviewers come in one of two forms:

1. Either they genuinely are addicts of the program

or

2. They are there to make the company lose business because they have a "beef". Most of these people that fall into the 2nd category, never write favorable reviews of other products. This is their solution to what they are having trouble with, instead of contacting the developer directly to give them the problem, and letting them have the oppertunity to address it. Did you write the company first?

Now, why is this what they have to do. Because if it is something that can and will be resolved with the next minor software release, well then you have a review sitting there detracting from sales, that no longer has anything to do with anything. I used to have a lot of these.... I fixed every problem in a poor review the same day as I recieved it, and yet the review still stuck around for years....

So the main reason:

Handango does not have the resources to handle reviewing all reviews on a regular basis to remove all outdated reviews.

And yes, they are a 'Store', they want you to buy something! Pocketgear is the same way.

jpf
11-09-2005, 02:17 AM
Lawyers, polititians, handango... different targets, same bs.