Apple's Online Store Quietly Kills User Reviews and Ratings


It used to be that if you loved—or hated—an Apple product, you could leave a review and rating on the company’s online store to gush, vent, and rave for the world to see. Not anymore. It appears that Apple has deleted and disabled customer reviews and ratings over the weekend from its U.S., UK, and Australian stores.

The news was first spotted by AppleInsider. It’s true that, right now, if you look at product pages online you won’t find any ratings or reviews. However, you only need to take a peek at the WayBack Machine to find that they did seemingly vanish overnight sometime between the evening of November 16 and the next morning. Take this Apple Pencil product page from the 16th—the reviews are still there. But if you take a look at the same page from the 17th, that section is completely gone.

It’s highly unlikely that the disappearance is a site glitch—especially not as the homepage is currently telling you to “Make someone’s holiday” by shopping for Apple gifts. What’s more likely here is that Apple isn’t keen on negative reviews embedded in the “Buy” sections of its products turning away potential customers during the holiday season. Gizmodo reached out to Apple for comment but didn’t immediately receive a response.

It’s hard to tell if this is a policy that will be rolled out across all of Apple’s offerings. You can still leave reviews and ratings for content in the iTunes Store, but comments and ratings were never an option with Apple TV, including its original content. While everyone knows that you should tread user review or comment sections with caution, but it is cowardly of a company to arbitrarily shut them down without providing any reasoning. In those instances, it often looks like a company is afraid of valid criticism or feedback from a loyal user base. Just sayin’.

Today's Vocabulary

1. arbitrarily (adv)
in a way that is
based on chance rather than being planned or based on reason

2. tread (v) 
to put
your foot on something or to press something down with your foot

3. embedded (adj.) 
fixed into the surface of something

4.  glitch (n)
small problem or fault that prevents something from being successful or working as well as it should

5. rave (v) 
to speak in an uncontrolled way, usually because you are upset or angry, or because you are ill

6. vent (v) 
express a negative emotion in a forceful and often unfair way

7. gush (v) 
express a positive feeling, especially praise, in such a strong way that it does not sound sincere

  1. In which countries does the article say there are no Apple Store reviews?

  2. When did the customer reviews start disappearing from Apple Stores?

  3. What kind of reviews did Apple always allow on its website?

  4. What causes the disappearance of comments?
  1. What do you know about Apple?

  2. What do you think of customer reviews?

  3. Why do you think Apple removed the customer reviews section?

  4. Are online stores better than real stores?

  5. Do you ever write or read customer reviews?