An Amazingly Accurate Amazon Review of a Product I Paid For

I love living in the desert. But my sinuses don’t. This desert makes my sinuses as desiccated as a lunch of sardine sandwiches. Or a bowl of corn flakes without milk. Or a sprinkle of salt on the underside of a snail.

But not quite as dry as my jokes.

I thought I’d do something about it, so I went on Amazon and found the Seneo 3.0L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier with Sensor Control, Auto Swing for Whole Home and Office. (What a mouthful.) It has a 4.5 star rating, so I bought it.

The Seneo 3.0 L humidifier, which I paid for with money.

The Seneo 3.0L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier with Sensor Control, Auto Swing for Whole Home and Office, which I paid for with money.

I read customer reviews on it, before the purchase, but after I received this product I discovered that some of the reviews weren’t as accurate and informative as I hoped they would be. Some of these reviewers admitted that they were given a free product in exchange for their review. Huh? Isn’t that bribery? Well I guess that should have been my tip-off. I’ve since discovered that many companies offer free or discounted products in exchange for submitting an Amazon review.

This is apparently a growing trend, and I suspect that this reduces the quality and reliability of product reviews. I’ve been a loyal Amazon customer for many years, partly because of their customer review feature. But after this experience I’ll be more circumspect about any products I purchase through

Anyway, I wrote my own review of Seneo’s humidifier, which I posted on Amazon as follows:

I Have Not Received a Free Product for this Review

This big white beast will pour out a Sacramento tule fog at it’s strong setting (Level 3), and a gentle spring mist at it’s weak setting (Level 1).

The online product description says it will support 12 hrs continuous use at the strong level, and 33 hrs at the weak level. But I can only get 7.5 hrs at the strong level, and 21 hrs at the weak level. At Level 2, I get about 13 hrs.

It makes a low whirring noise, which I find slightly annoying. But what irritates me most is a loud knocking sound it occasionally emits. I think this occurs when it draws water from the removable tank. This noise happens about every 20 minutes, and startles me from a light sleep, even when I’m wearing earplugs.

It displays a readout of relative humidity which seems inaccurate, because it is always at least 15% higher than the readout from another humidity gauge in my bedroom, even when I initially switch the machine on. This leaves me wondering if the manufacturer is trying to fool me into believing the machine is doing a better job than it actually is doing.

The humidity level is displayed in large, very bright white LED letters, along with the temperature reading (in Celsius) of the water inside. This display cannot be turned off, and it’s so bright I had to construct a cardboard shield to block the light, so that I can sleep with this unit turned on.

This unit will not raise the relative humidity level in my bedroom, unless I keep the door and the windows closed. Otherwise, in order for me to feel like I’m benefiting from it, I must be no further than two or three feet away from the humidifier.

I can only pour 2.75 liters into the water tank, in spite of the claim that it has a 3.0 liter tank.

The instruction manual is skimpy, in my view, and written in comical pidgin English. I had to figure out some of the features on my own.

I have not received a free or discounted product in exchange for this review. Therefore, you need not suspect the accuracy and detail of information I have provided.

Categories: Reviews

7 replies »

  1. There is something to be said about honesty… and not being in anyone’s pocket. I think these are all valid points that I would consider before buying it. And the disclaimer at the end just adds to the believability of the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. What I noticed in the Amazon reviews, is that the most glowing reviews were from those who admitted to receiving a free product for submitting an “honest” review. But I don’t doubt their honesty so much as I suspect a bias.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I started doing Amazon reviews for free/discounted products about 4 months ago and you’re completely right. There are a TON of shills out there just writing positive reviews in exchange for free junk (and a lot of it IS junk).

    The temptation to “take it easy” on a seller’s product is definitely there. I follow a reddit thread (/r/producttesting) where experiences reviewers are quick to remind us “newbies” that we don’t review for the seller, we review for the buyer! So many reviewers forget that (or just don’t care)/

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for keeping reviewers honest. Amazon has been going through and deleting “shill” accounts and erasing their reviews, so I hope we’ll see a better quality of “free item reviews” than we have in the past.

    Also, I really enjoy your writing. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind thoughts. I’m sure some reviewers, such as you, who received discounts, are able to remain objective. But like you say, there’s a definite temptation to review for the seller rather than the buyer.

      Actually any review, whether good or bad, should be taken with a grain of salt, in my view, because it’s impossible to tell what’s actually motivating a reviewer.

      Liked by 1 person

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