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M&S have rejected my 5-star review as unpublishable

(64 Posts)
LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 08:26:46

Before anyone points it out, I am aware this is by no means an end of the world issue, but I confess I am scratching my head here.

I bought some jeans from M&S - my first new jeans in a while, as I have very painful abdominal scarring from recent surgery, which makes it difficult to wear anything with a waistband.

They needed to be comfortable. They are. I was pleased - so much so that I submitted a 5-star online review, as follows:

Brilliant jeans

Really pleased with these - they live up to their billing of softness, stretch and fabulous fit & comfort. Outstanding value for money. Unfortunately I have been too slow off the blocks to get a second pair in a different colour, as they are so popular and currently sold out. Will keep checking back though.

I subsequently got an email saying, to my surprise, this had been rejected as unpublishable by reference to the relevant guidelines. An inquiry to customer services has not yielded enlightenment - the emailed response says “Please be reassured that we don’t reject negative reviews but we do have some rules about writing them...we may refuse to publish any reviews that contain any wording that could be viewed as offensive”.

AIBU to be baffled? What am I missing?

LovingLola Mon 25-Feb-19 08:29:00

Could the person who reviewed it possible have mistaken ‘blocks’ for ‘bollox’??? That is the only thing I can think of ....

GoldenSyrupLion Mon 25-Feb-19 08:29:20

Did your phone autocorrect 'blocks' to 'bollocks'?

VictoriaBun Mon 25-Feb-19 08:29:27

Could they weed out certain words. I'm wondering if ' unfortunately ' could have been seen as negative.

KnockMeDown Mon 25-Feb-19 08:29:51

The review either above or below yours was unpublishable, and some one inadvertently clicked on yours instead. An administrative error, in other words.

sandgrown Mon 25-Feb-19 08:31:58

Have they taken "slow off the blocks " as a negative reference ?

Butchyrestingface Mon 25-Feb-19 08:32:34

I agree with PP that 'blocks' may have been transformed into 'bollocks' by a naughty phone. Rather like the idea of saying 'I have been too slow to get off the bollocks'. smile

There's certainly nothing offensive there but I wonder if they don't like the fact you've said their product has sold out? <gropes>

NicoAndTheNiners Mon 25-Feb-19 08:32:38

Not sure why they've rejected yours but they rejected a perfectly polite but negative review I tried to leave once. I said the material was thin and overall quality was shoddy. They said that was subjective! Odd as I've seen similar reviews.

thecatsthecats Mon 25-Feb-19 08:34:47

The fact is says they are sold out is - sort of - negative? I guess their argument is that they could think it was confusing if someone saw it when they weren't sold out.

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 08:35:00

Thanks for your thoughts. There was no autocorrect issue - the review is reproduced exactly as above in the rejection email.

WontYouDance Mon 25-Feb-19 08:35:29

Out of interest, can you link to the jeans? I have trouble with waistbands due to surgery too so am intrigued!

Whisky2014 Mon 25-Feb-19 08:35:53

Just submit it again. Maybe someone clicked the wrong box to say if it was publishable or not..?

LadyOfTheCanyon Mon 25-Feb-19 08:36:59

Well assuming they will come back into stock at some point, that part of the review is irrelevant to what you thought of the jeans.
Perhaps resubmit a review focusing solely on the positive?

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 08:39:51

@WontYouDance they are the Sienna Straight Leg Jeans.

Gunpowder Mon 25-Feb-19 08:39:58

That’s ridiculous. Even if the review was in any way negative they should still publish it, but it isn’t! I think the most likely explanation is KnockMeDown’s (that the review above or below was dodgy.)

WindsfromtheNE Mon 25-Feb-19 08:41:01

Nothing in your review which should stop it being published. Mind you I never trust M &
S reviews. They once refused to publish one of mine when I pointed out that 3 pairs of opaque tights described as 'navy mix' were actually one pair each of brown, black and navy. No mention of the other two colours in the description. That would surely be useful info for someone buying them confused

SoupDragon Mon 25-Feb-19 08:41:27

I think its just because the bit about them begin out of stock etc is not about the product as per their guidelines and irrelevant. Remove that and it would be fine.

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 08:41:38

I did wonder whether the rejection was an admin error but, since customer services responded to my follow-up query with an email about negative reviews and offensive wording, I am guessing not.

DecumusScotti Mon 25-Feb-19 08:41:48

Could it be the reference to items being out of stock?

The guidelines state:

In addition, if you wish to share feedback with us about product selection, pricing, ordering, delivery or other customer service issues, please do not submit this feedback through a product review. Instead, contact us directly.

Comments on stocking issues might come under that, even though it was innocently meant.

JenniferJareau Mon 25-Feb-19 08:47:33

It’ll be the issue of stock levels that will have made the review rejected. It will be seen as not relevant to the purpose of the review which is to critique the item.

missbattenburg Mon 25-Feb-19 08:55:19

I once had a hilarious conversation with M&S in which I explained that I had nor received a parcel and they tried to argue it had been signed for by "porch"

When I explained I wasn't called porch and didn't have one they tried to say one of my neighbours must have it.

When I further explained my immediate neighbours were not called Porch they told me to ask everyone in the street!

I said I would if they could show me the signature "porch" to prove it had been a person who had signed the name. They couldn't. I tried suggesting it had been delivered to the wrong address and left in someone else's "porch" but they weren't having it. The women on the end of the phone literally said "It's been signed for "porch" so there is nothing M&S can do. You will have to find out who Porch is".

So, OP. I am guessing some people can be a bit too literal about some things...

Piffle11 Mon 25-Feb-19 08:55:34

I had a review rejected by Very once: I reviewed a Radley bag and said that although it was a gorgeous bag, the colour was in fact fuschia pink and not red, as it appeared and stated in the description … I was advised that commenting on the specifics was not allowed!

BrokenWing Mon 25-Feb-19 08:56:31

Even if the review was in any way negative they should still publish it

Lots of shops block negative reviews. I have sent polite and factual negative reviews about products before (not to M&S) and they either get rejected or just don't get published. Take all reviews with a huge pinch of salt.

BarbaraofSevillle Mon 25-Feb-19 09:00:29

It's probably due to the comment about stock levels, which they seem to be absolutely hopeless about, epsecially for average sizes.

It's like they are completely oblivious to the fact that most women are probably somewhere between a 10 and a 16.

I'm a size 14 and like to get jeans from M&S and am constantly frustrated about the lack of jeans in my size. I stand there open mouthed in astonishment if they are actually in stock, and there are actually some sizes available between 8 and 18.

I'd love to know why they are so bad at this. Do they just get (for example) 100 of each size and stand back in astonishment when the common sizes last about 2 minutes and the size 22s languish for ever and a day?

BarbaraofSevillle Mon 25-Feb-19 09:01:47

Well if shops block negative reviews, that renders the whole reviewing process somewhat pointless.

CottonBlanket Mon 25-Feb-19 09:04:34

I spent 50 quid buying two pairs of cotton rich joggers. After two washes one pair had seams unravelling and the both had actually shrunk after washing.
I left a poor but honest review, with one star rating.
The bastards wouldn't publish it. I was so shock and I've refused to buy anything from them since.

HennyPennyHorror Mon 25-Feb-19 09:04:36

Why do you care so much? I work as a community social media manager. Basically I skim read and sometimes delete negative comments on the social media accounts of various brands. Now and then I make a mistake.

This is what's happened here.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 25-Feb-19 09:04:52

'Unfortunately' is an auto-block word on quite a few review sites, sadly.

But in this case, your review breaches M&S' guidelines as they see stock issues as being a customer service matter. If you republish without mentioning that they are out of stock, it will go through. Bit bizarre.

ScotchBonny Mon 25-Feb-19 09:07:07

M&S once blocked a review of mine as it mentioned the word “crotch”. I was referring to the measurement from the waist to the crotch seam (which was about 14 inches! hence the mention as the sizing was mental). Once I made the word into crotchseam with no gap it was allowed.

As for their stocks of sizes - they’ve been marketing those new jeans with all their might so I went into the nearest large branch. Not one size 10 or 12 and hardly any in a 14. Millions of 20s and 22s, loads of 8s and 6s. Shocker on average size selling quicker than the smaller and bigger ends of the scale.

KindleAndCake Mon 25-Feb-19 09:07:54

I've just ordered 2 pairs OP, thanks to your great review smile

CottonBlanket Mon 25-Feb-19 09:11:28

I subscribed to Curlee Box and the first box was really late in arriving. Waiting over a week, almost two weeks.
Posted on their Instagram requesting for them to chase up my box, and saw a couple of similar posts with perfectly polite posts wondering where their boxes where as well. Logged back onto IG and all posts were deleted! I wrote a message saying poor form, it's better to address complaints than sweep tuem from view..that was deleted as well.
I cancelled the subscription. I find it really in bad taste that no time is spent to reassure customers in regards to their belated orders, but instead just lazily delete from view so only gushing comments from weeks ago remain.

BejamNostalgia Mon 25-Feb-19 09:12:33

I think it’s because you have put the word ‘billing’ in there.

People sometimes use the review system to review the company, rather than the product. You might have seen examples of this on Amazon, someone will review, say a steam mop, complaining that their card was charged wrong, or slating a book they haven’t read because the courier company lost it.

They’ll have words which are filtered out to avoid that like ‘billing’ or delivery.

I bet if you take the word billing out, they’ll accept it

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Mon 25-Feb-19 09:13:39

I've had this before on Check a Trade - I was leaving a completely positive review, and got a terse rejection message suggesting it had been rude or defamatory in some way! I presume it's just "computer says no".

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 09:13:47

@KindleAndCake I am not a stealth marketer, I promise grin. I hope you like the jeans.

If they really are rejecting glowing reviews on the basis that they don’t like customers saying “unfortunately they are sooooo popular that I can’t buy as many pairs as I want” then there it is!

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 09:16:40

@BejamNostalgia - ah - “billing”. Hadn’t thought of that possibility.

HappyLife21 Mon 25-Feb-19 09:16:56

It's probably due to the comment about stock levels, which they seem to be absolutely hopeless about

My god this is so true, spent an hour wantering around a large M&S looking for a 34C bra. Clearly I am too much of an outlier to cater for!!!

Kneehigim Mon 25-Feb-19 09:20:33

MN is a bit like this. You said they were out of stock. Ban.

bsc Mon 25-Feb-19 09:20:58

Why are you surprised that companies lie in the social media? That's what it's for... hmm

LuckyLou7 Mon 25-Feb-19 09:26:48

Take out the line about the jeans being out of stock and your review will pass the test.

You sure you're not on commission for these jeans? wink

Hoppinggreen Mon 25-Feb-19 09:27:34

I got an Amazon review rejected because I said that the item arrived damaged but that the company had reacted quickly and efficiently to get me a replacement. I also said that the product was lovely and a good price
I can’t remember the wording but it was something to do with the fact that I was supposed to review the product not the customer service .
It was odd because it was a really positive review

BlueMerchant Mon 25-Feb-19 09:36:03

Definitely the reference to stock! I'd bet my M&S jeans on it!

SchadenfreudePersonified Mon 25-Feb-19 09:36:39

Maybe some officious little jobsworth of a computer saw the word "unfortunately" and went no further?

Poodloo Mon 25-Feb-19 09:38:25

I've followed the link to the jeans.... read the reviews. There are other reviews on there which mention stock levels and other negative reviews. No idea why yours is deleted!

thecutecouple Mon 25-Feb-19 09:41:07

If it is not an adminerror, is it because you are saying they are sold out-out of stock and they don't want customers getting the impression the shop is badly stocked.

Frangipane Mon 25-Feb-19 09:41:13

Amazon once rejected my review of a company which was effusive in praise but stated something along the lines of 'they delivered so much more quickly than any previous supplier I have used, and were cheaper too!' I can only assume they didn't like me casting aspersions on any other supplier even though I didn't name them. It's daft, imo. As a customer I want to read that other customers have shopped around and found this supplier to be the best.

Fwiw, I can't see anything wrong with your review and have read far more damning ones on the M&S site.

Frangipane Mon 25-Feb-19 09:44:31

@Hoppinggreen crossed posts with you. That explains why my review was rejected, thanks. It is ridiculous though. The product I was buying was water softener salt. There isn't much to differentiate between one bag of salt and another. For me, the quality of the experience rests on the customer service.

Ingesw Mon 25-Feb-19 10:01:14

It’s been said already up thread, but my first thought was that you’d used ‘unfortunately’. People scan read and may see that but not bother reading the rest of the sentence I guess.

I worked for years in sales and certain phrases and words were just banned as too negativeto use even if you were saying something positive. Stringing sentences together that consisted completely of ‘positive’ words became second nature after a while.

Ingesw Mon 25-Feb-19 10:03:15

negativeto? I’m not sure where that came from! Thanks iPad.

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 10:05:42

@Poodloo yes, there is a 22 Feb review from someone saying “I like them so much that I decided to order another colour (12L) but there are none in stock which is a shame”.

Anyway, I will obviously get over the rejection. Some day. grin

ppeatfruit Mon 25-Feb-19 10:36:11


WHY CAN'T M&S STOCK MORE OF THE AVERAGE SIZES???? It's not rocket science is it???????

BarbaraofSevillle Mon 25-Feb-19 10:42:53

OP, were they the 'best ever fit jeans' for £19.50?

They came in last Monday and already the skinnies are completely sold out on the website and the other two styles low stock in most sizes and colours confused. I wonder if they will be getting more in? I bet they won't because they never seem to do so.

I know they came in last Monday because the Sunday before I went to the local (huge, out of town) M&S and managed to find some other jeans (mid rise skinny, also £19.50 and pretty nice) in my size and I bought a pair, but I wanted them in another colour too, so I looked on the website to find they had none.

So I went back on Monday, only to find that the jeans section had been completely rearranged, with the new jeans in stock. Happily for me, the jeans I wanted had appeared in the colour and size I wanted (miracles do happen) but I never even looked at these magic, bargainous new jeans on the one day of the year where I could have had my pick of colours, styles and sizes. sad.

And now it seems, just one week later, that my chance for 'best ever jeans' has gone forever.

Gth1234 Mon 25-Feb-19 10:52:44

It seems strange, but I shouldn't worry about it.

GahWhatever Mon 25-Feb-19 11:12:57

21 word review of product followed by 32 word review of availability.

Resubmit abou thte jeans only and you'll be fine.

Namechangedbecauseiwantto Mon 25-Feb-19 11:21:24

I can't comment on the review, but thanks for the info, I struggle with jeans due to having reflux, so I've ordered a pair 🙂.

LarkDescending Mon 25-Feb-19 11:59:51

@BarbaraofSevillle yes they are in the "best ever fit" range and bargainous indeed at £19.50. I'd hope they plan to replenish out-of-stock sizes, as otherwise selling out one week after the big launch would rank high in Merchandising Own-Goals of the Year. We shall see!

(I really am not on commission).

Lightson Wed 27-Feb-19 06:48:06

Thanks op after 5 years of living in jeggings I’ve finally found some comfortable jeans , I bought 3 pairs.

MaybeitsMaybelline Wed 27-Feb-19 06:52:20

A gave a negative review about a lamp, and they published that. I am waiting to see if they publish the one I just wrote about a lidded basket that didn’t have a lid!

SabineUndine Wed 27-Feb-19 06:55:24

I wonder if it's an automated system scanning the review and it thinks 'blocks' is suspect.

BrizzleMint Wed 27-Feb-19 07:11:15


There's certainly nothing offensive there but I wonder if they don't like the fact you've said their product has sold out? <gropes>

Is that bollocks or straws that you are clutching at?

GreenOliveOrBlackOlive Wed 27-Feb-19 07:20:50

M&S are often out of stock of sizes/colours. If (that’s a big ‘if’ tbh) I can find something I like, sure as anything they don’t have my size 🙄
I just lose interest and rarely look at the site nowadays.

Prometheus Wed 27-Feb-19 07:29:13

M&S blocked my review of a pair of slippers! Nothing inappropriate in it so no idea why. I re-typed it, re-submitted it word for word and it was accepted.

CSIblonde Wed 27-Feb-19 09:14:02

The sold out thing makes them look like they have supply & demand /stock issues.

BarbaraofSevillle Wed 27-Feb-19 09:17:24

The website is now showing that the skinnies are back in stock, but the others are more or less out of stock unless you are a size 6 or 24.

ALongHardWinter Wed 27-Feb-19 19:02:32

The only reason I can think of is that they didn't like you saying that they were out of stock of something. Ridiculous I know,but I know that some shops get SO touchy about having this pointed out,to the extent that I have actually been told in certain stores when enquiring if they have a certain item (which I know they usually have) that it's 'been discontinued'! Madness. (I know it's NOT been discontinued,because a week later,there it is again!).

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