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People power: The rise of online reviews

Wondering if it is worth your money? Nowadays it is easy to find out.  

The rise of the internet means every business and every product is under scrutiny. Review websites allow customers to publicly share their experiences, be they good or bad.

For those who provide excellent customer service and goods that live up to expectations, this is great for business. Anyone cutting corners could quickly find out the power of a bad review.

Here is a rundown of some of the different customer review websites you can access to find out other people’s feedback before committing to an experience, purchase or even a job. 

Hospitality and service providers

Hungry? Going on holidays? These crowdsourced review sites will help you plan your itinerary.


Perhaps the biggest site of its kind, TripAdvisor publishes feedback on hotels, restaurants and recreational experiences around the world. Reading about what other people have enjoyed or hated can be very helpful when planning a holiday and deciding what to spend your money on.


Similar to TripAdvisor, Yelp focuses on restaurants, cafes and other local businesses. You can review your mechanic, your favourite coffee hangout or your hairdresser, giving them a rating out of five.

Word of Mouth

Need an accountant, a landscaper or a plumber? Find someone locally and check out what other people have to say about them online. Word of Mouth lets you leave a star rating and a review about local businesses including builders, day spas, panel beaters and more. You can even request a quote from a service provider.


There is so much choice when it comes to household items! We have all had the experience of bringing something home, only to find it doesn’t work or only gets half the job done. 

Improve your chances of getting it right by checking out online reviews.


Want a new vacuum cleaner but don’t want to get sucked in by a lemon? Check out what people have to say on ProductReview before making your decision. The most popular categories on this platform are cars, washing machines, weight loss products and coffee machines.

Appliances Online

Customers give their feedback on Appliances Online based on value for money, build quality and ease of use before leaving a comment about their experience with a product.

You can search through hundreds of household appliances, including ovens, fridges, electronics and barbecues. The platform even lets you directly make a purchase.  

Real estate agents

There's a huge number of real estate agents out there and they often seem to promise similar services. Review websites will help point you in the right direction. 


A quick search on RateMyAgent will reveal a number of local agent profiles as well as star ratings and feedback on what their most recent customers thought of their service.


Customers leave comments on OpenAgent describing their property buying or selling experiences. When you visit the website, you can elect to leave your details and an advisor will call you to discuss who might be the best choice in your area.  

Medical practitioners

When you put your health in someone else’s hands, you want to be assured that they know what they are doing. Checking out other people’s feedback can help you decide who to make an appointment with.


Looking for a dentist, general practitioner or massage therapist? WhiteCoat can point you towards someone other people find reliable.

Ratings and reviews are based on how long it takes to get an appointment, listening skills, the treatment explanation and how likely the reviewer is to recommend the practitioner to someone else.

WhiteCoat lets you search from dozens of medical-based professions, including chiropractors, acupuncturists, osteopaths, dieticians and even surgeons.

Arts and entertainment

Choosing what to watch or read has been made a lot easier thanks to the feedback of the masses. Of course, this is an area where there are almost countless review options to choose from. Here are just a couple to get you started.


Decide whether that title is worth your money by checking out the book reviews on goodreads. You can connect to your friends via this platform and keep up with what they are reading before offering your own thoughts about the crime novel you just finished.

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes offers reviews from the general public as well as official TV and movie critics. You can see what people are saying about what is currently showing at the movies or what is available to stream, download or watch on TV.

According to a recent study, Australians are some of the most digitally influenced shoppers in the world. The Deloitte report found that more than 65% of us will take the time to check out what people have to say about something online before we make a purchase.

The above websites, as well as review platforms provided by sites like Facebook and Google, have helped to put the power firmly in consumer’s hands. The benefit of these platforms is access to instant consumer feedback for reviewed businesses, giving them the opportunity to respond and improve what they are offering. 

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