PSA – Le Col reviews – take with a large pinch of salt
Bought some Le Col stuff earlier on the year after I got some discount vouchers.
Since then, they kept pestering me to write some reviews. So I did, over the Christmas break.
Got an email this morning from Le Col saying:
Our staff has read your review and values your contribution even though it did not meet all our website guidelines. Thanks for sharing, and we hope to publish next time!
This was for a four (out of five) star review that stated the following:
Very good indeed. Decent fabrics, nice fit. It’s not quite up there with the very best in terms of finish, but discounted is great value.
Here’s the product I was reviewing:
So, nowhere on the Le Col sales site does it mention to a prospective buyer that their reviews are moderated (by Le Col).
I understand that reviews are murky, and a retailer needs to protect itself from the unscrupulous. But this was a four star review! And in no way dodgy, offensive or ill informed. Was a fair opinion based on buying (and keeping) the product that they asked me to review.
Moral(s) of this story is that:
1) I won’t buy from Le Col againPosted 7 months ago
2) If you think Le Col is over-priced kit, you’re right!
FFS ordered my daughter a jersey 15 hrs ago, although was massively discounted.Posted 7 months ago
Interesting. They do appear to have some sub-five star reviews on that link, it must have been the value for money element of your review that offended them. Unlike some manufacturers, they must expect to sell at least some at RRP. But 190 quid for thermal tights is Rapha money.Posted 7 months ago
I paid £46 for the jersey that had an rrp of £120 so I see it as an opportunity to see if their gear is premium quality without having to pay the premium price tag.Posted 7 months ago
Playing devil’s advocate, they probably just didn’t like the word ‘discounted’?
Partly because it ‘dates’ the review by making it only relevant to a point in time, but also because a lot of brands will be anxious to avoid a reputation for being a discounter as it permanently devalues the brand, not helpful if your business model is based around maintaining a premium RRP! (rightly or wrongly).
I’d bet that if you had removed the reference to being discounted, the review would have been accepted.Posted 7 months ago
It’s still highly unethical to not publish a review clearly written in good faith by an actual customer though.
I wonder if it’s even legal?Posted 7 months ago
Love the fact that Web page states ‘selling fast’ in red down the bottom.Posted 7 months ago
Define fast, and they wont be, not at £190.
For that much money you have a choice from every brand and could probably get something close for half that
Isn’t it always possible to get Le Col stuff for cheaper than RRP? I have some of their kit and it’s quite good, but there are always Strava challenges, email sales and other random ways of getting cash off. Nothing I have bought from them has been at RRP and I never would because I get so many offers on STrava or through my mailbox that it’d be tricky to pay full whack for it 🙂
I wonder if it’s even legal?
Not sure how it could be illegal to curate reviews, it’s their website, they publish content, and I’d be surprised how it would be possible to make them post content they didn’t want to.Posted 7 months ago
I wonder if it’s even legal?
It’s on their own site. They can publish/not publish what they want.
The only jeopardy for them in not publishing is this thread.Posted 7 months ago
It’s on their own site. They can publish/not publish what they want.
IANAL but I’m not sure about that. Having an online review system on your website implies it is an honest indicator of quality/service etc – gaming the system is deliberately misleading customers surely.Posted 7 months ago
Not one bit surprised, astroturfing is everywhere.
grum – gaming the system is the system.Posted 7 months ago
I once got called by a french car manufacturers dealership after I gave their servicing drop off experience a 4 star rating, the nice lady that had checked me in and taken my key called to ask why and said she would be in trouble for ‘only’ getting 4 stars. She was pleasant/polite as expected but 5 stars was for exceptional (or something like that) and the 2 minute interaction was just good/fine as I’d expected, not sure what would have made me think wow that was exceptional. It was a very awkward conversation but must be horrible to be questioned by management for anything below 5 stars.Posted 7 months ago
Having an online review system on your website implies it is an honest indicator of quality/service etc
Actually, having looked into it a bit further, you may be right.
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) in theory should prevent this. Enforcement doesn’t seem very likely, though.Posted 7 months ago
It was definitely the reference to discounting – I’ve left reviews for some kit I bought and tucked away in the T’s & C’s they specifically say not to discuss discounts.
From the reviews I’ve seen and left it looks like they’re happy for people to discuss the value of an RRP product though, even if it’s to say something relatively negative.Posted 7 months ago
i had a review knocked back for some brake pads. I wrote the review because the service was very good, i’d had some questions about something and they’d been great with the answers. Turned out they wanted the pads reviewed not the service, which seemed odd as the pads would only either do what i expected or not, whereas the service was the good part.Posted 7 months ago
It seems increasingly common. I had some Adidas shoes that came with laces that you could cut to length (a version of speed lacing) being a tool I cut them too short. In my review I said (paraphrasing) “measure twice and cut once, but it would be cool if they included a spare pair” my review was blocked as it was “user experience” rather than “product review”Posted 7 months ago
Instabanger style bike brand in moderating reviews shocker, well I never!!
Essentially your review says, it’s OK gear for what I got it for in the sale but there’s not a hope on this earth I’d pay your massive RRP. Now think about that for a minute, if you owned a brand that trades on being “top end” and “exclusive” would you allow a review like that to appear on the webpage?Posted 7 months ago
nickc sorry bit I would agree with themPosted 7 months ago
Al, yeah it seems about right, I wasn’t complaining really, just that modding reviews seems more and more common for some sitesPosted 7 months ago
Premium price does not mean premium productPosted 7 months ago
I have a few club mates/cycling buddies have/had le-Col kit. None of them have any praise for it. Seeing the kit in person and being worn it’s anything but premium!Posted 7 months ago
I have some bib longs and a winter soft shell by LeCol and they are certainly up there with castelli and Rapha quality.Posted 7 months ago
I think this is pretty common.
I left a moderate (and very polite) 3/5 review for some audio software I purchased the other month. It was ok, but had some flaws and I figured other users might want to be aware before purchasing. But the review was never published. I think this is just par for the course on private company websites now.Posted 7 months ago
I once got called by a french car manufacturers dealership after I gave their servicing drop off experience a 4 star rating, the nice lady that had checked me in and taken my key called to ask why and said she would be in trouble for ‘only’ getting 4 stars. She was pleasant/polite as expected but 5 stars was for exceptional (or something like that) and the 2 minute interaction was just good/fine as I’d expected, not sure what would have made me think wow that was exceptional. It was a very awkward conversation but must be horrible to be questioned by management for anything below 5 stars.
My wife works for Kia and this happens all the time! The Koreans can’t accept that people won’t give 5 stars, and culturally the UK doesn’t often rate everythig as excellent when it’s basic stuff done right (unlike say the US, where you tip even if the waiter deffecated on your plate in front of you). Causes all sorts of issues as the Koreans want to “investigate” dealers who don’t get all 5 star reviews, which is basically every dealer in the UK.Posted 7 months ago
My wife works for Kia and this happens all the time! T
Yeah, it’s increasingly common. Know of a few places that ask customers to rate their experience out of 10. Anything less than an 8 is considered ‘negative’. MadnessPosted 7 months ago
We seem to be in a world where “good” is no longer good enough. We seem that have forgotten what good actually means.
When it comes to people leaving reviews of service on a product, that does frustrate me as I don’t care if a delivery driver left your parcel out in the rain.Posted 7 months ago
I had the same… bloody annoying wrote a good review basically saying it was great kit on a par with castelli or assos and a bargain with the ubiquitous strava 50 quid discount codes…. I got the same knock back. The pro bib tights are brilliant for £79 quid …. I wouldn’t pay £190 though!Posted 7 months ago
Someone send them a link to this thread so they can explain themselves?
Obvs I’m far too busy to do that myself.
😉Posted 7 months ago
I’m taking two things from this thread:
1) People actually believe website review sections.
2) Le Col (who I’d never really heard of) make nice stuff. I want some £190 bibs for £79 please. How do I get that? No such thing as bad publicity, eh?Posted 7 months ago
Yup, plus 1 for plus-one.
Club mates use Le Col stuff and only rate it as OK,fine if you get it discounted.
Their winter gloves perform no better than the sets that Aldi used to sell.Posted 7 months ago
I wouldn’t want to pay £190 for £79 bibs though. Le Col look like a marketing confection.Posted 7 months ago
Bib tights were 125 in the sale with a strava discount of 50 quid plus a few quid for postage… they are super comfy and warm to be fair! Le col get kudos for allowing the discount off already reduced kit tooPosted 7 months ago
Le Col look like a marketing confection.
That’s exactly it.
Happy enough to use social media and web puff to: create a brand; build unjustified margin and capture customers but unwilling to allow those same channels to bring reality to bear regarding their less than transparent business model.
I sincerely hope that people are not people paying £190 for those bibs. They are not worth it.
It’s the double standards / hypocrisy that get me wound up about these ‘Instabangers’ (nice phrase which I’d not heard before @steve_b77).
I’ll try again and write a review saying that the stuff is overpriced, and give them a 2 star review based on RRP. I won’t mention discount.
Will be interested to see if their web standards allow the mention of comparable brands for RRP? Gore, Castelli, Rapha – all better products IME.
Online reviews can be unreliable, but there are brands out there doing it right (CRC and Wiggle reviews are seemingly honest as I’ve never had a one star review rejected).
The only thing in defence of Le Col is that they at least told me the review was rejected, rather than have it disappear into the ether. And they do have other low ratings on the site, albeit none that I can find regarding poor value…Posted 7 months ago
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