Rating without content. It is bad.


Let’s see is there anything can be done about 4 star rating policy or any rating without a content.

Recently I had a case where our customer is first time registered on the Envato few months back in the 2020. He purchased just one item, my item and he left 4 star rating without a single word.

Several times I tried to remove four star rating through Envato support but that was not possible.

I tried to communicate with the customer through support by writing emails which was forwarded to customer by support but no success. Dead silence.

Than I tried to refund a customer through the supoort in order to remove four star for the item but no success.

So, when I and Envato have done everything possible to contact customer in order to enter in some kind of the communication and the customer do not respond at all to anyone, why I’m still trapped with customer 4 star rating for my item?

Because of the Envato policy to allow ratings without comments?

If customer have opportunity to ask for the refund why authors can’t provide refund to the customers, why I’m stuck with customer wish/desire to ask for the refund?

I want to remove this 4 star rating, how Envato can can help me to do it?

I suppose, if Envato can make sale reversal without clear reason, probably can make sale reversal in this case too, no?

James aka @jamesgiroux was good person to talk about it, who are in his place now?



Hi @pebas,

You are a developer and you earn thanks to envato.

Envato, on the other hand, has to satisfy its customers. For herself and for you to win.

So refunds shouldn’t be too much of a problem for developers.

Digital items are on sale and refunds are available depending on the circumstances.

Because envato has a lot of customers.

Envato cares about customer satisfaction.

Envato is doing the right thing in my opinion in this regard.

Developers are always here to win. Don’t worry about the small details in my opinion.

Trust Envato. Be comfortable. :hugs: :+1:


What if a customer rates your item 5 stars, but doesn’t leave a comment? Do you mind if I open a support ticket asking them to remove the rating on your item, because it doesn’t contain a comment and is invalid? This is censorship, regardless of how many stars are in the rating.

You cannot remove it. It’s a valid rating, it doesn’t break any rules, and the customer is not obligated to explain their decision to you. I would suggest not bothering the customer about it, because there is nothing preventing them from changing it to 3 stars tomorrow.

As explained in your other thread, this is simply false. Envato does not make reversals, those are entirely out of their control. Also, it would be illegal for them to cancel the license like that without just cause.


All that over a four star rating? I’d hate to see what happens if somebody has the audacity to leave you a three star review. As for a one star review? Blimey… heaven help them.


Bad ratings are inevitable no matter how good a product might be… and a 4 stars rating is not a bad rating, at least this is how I see it.


It does not brake any rules is the worst explanation in the world. That show the lack of the sense for authors aspect completely.

For the colleagues authors:

When Envato decided to put “best rated” items on the home page than 4 star rating becomes “deal braker”. When Envato decided to make “best rated” filter on the search page than 4 star rating becomes “deal braker” again. What now?

If something was good before the new decisions does not mean it is good after.

I wanna way to respond to a 4 star rating or I wanna reason written for a four star rating. I think that have more sense. You? (real time authors)

Why expressing different opinion is so frustrating for mods here? That is weird really. :slight_smile:

Most volunteer mods here are good writers but they are not authors and they are not decision makers/influencers. All in all their “pockets” are intact. Weight or responsibility for their writings are zero. So usually I skip responding to them but they keep posts “fresh”, that have sense too for me.

I would like to see other real time authors too.

So instead of “blind advocacy” defending without reason, mods should help authors and marketplace to be improved for mutual satisfaction. I’m on the Envato 11 years, probably I will left if I think it is bad completly, no? Just think.

Envato brings this new situations for authors, new models, where 4 star rating makes difference. What now?

New CEO, new marketplace search/exposure rules…old author rules…waiting still.

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Hi @pebas!

A 1-5 rating is a subjective scale - to some people, every functioning item they purchase is worth a 5-star rating. The spread of ratings on any website that uses them (almost all 1’s or 5’s, with a handful of 4’s) would indicate that’s fairly common to treat the rating as a binary upvote/downvote, but that is not the case for everyone.

To others, 4 stars can mean “met all expectations, item works as described and I could follow the documentation without major issues” and they reserve a 5 star rating for “exceeded all expectations, this item practically runs itself!”. To a customer in that category, the top rating exists as a stretch goal, and by definition is something they rarely give.

Neither type of customer is wrong, if they are giving an honest rating for their purchase.

The Author Support team frequently investigates ratings, when an author believes they have been left maliciously, or by accident (e.g. “Amazing item!” comment accompanied by a 1-star rating). Without context on why the customer chose to leave a given number rating, though, they can’t simply delete any rating that’s below 5 stars. The 4-star customer above isn’t wrong for leaving a rating they honestly believe, and contacting them to ask for a higher rating often risks the opposite reaction.

I realise that it’s frustrating to have an item lose a perfect 5.00 rating, particularly for the drop in visibility via Top Rated filters/sorting. With enough purchases, though, it’s inevitable that at least one customer is going to fall into the second category described above. Rating is only one factor in purchasing decision though, and good items will continue to sell well.

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On a related note, it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm when you see a sale from a new customer who only purchases one item. The vast majority of customers on all our marketplaces are made by people who only purchase once, and that’s even more common on ThemeForest.

We have (and love!) plenty of professional customers who build dozens, or hundreds, of websites each year - there are a lot of web agencies who buy themes to customise for their clients. There are far more “hobbyist” customers out there, though: people who might be using WordPress for the first time, and will only ever build a single website for their hobby or business.

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Hi @BenLeong,

I can’t agree more with most of your statements and writings. I wish to tune a little direction of this topic to the outcome more than to go in direction of the possibilities and decisions of the customers.

I know that and I agree. That is the main reason why I feel bad about this bad Envato rule. I’ll be straightforward.

On the one side, you have an author close to $1.000.000 sales, with 11 years of exclusive loyalty to Envato. Or you have a new author who just started and has the potential to brings $1m to the marketplace, no matter it is the same.

On the other side, you have a one-timer, first-timer “hobbyist” on the marketplace.

Envato staff sent 4-5 emails to that customer to react to the rating he/she left. The customer never responded. Customer was:

  1. registered,
  2. made a purchase,
  3. left rating without content, and
  4. left the marketplace (no response from the customer in 3 months period)

And Envato’s decision is in favor of that customer with the explanation rules are rules, the customer is not breaking any policy and similar, is good enough? Wrong. The rule must be changed or you must remove that rating and wait for a reaction from the customer. All other is simply wrong @BenLeong.

That is correct, especially in drop visibility, but not only in filtering items, on the home page too, which is more important. But let’s clarify please, it is not about my or anyone else personal feelings.

It is about the marketplace (Envato) that should help authors to get fair conditions in the exposure race. At this moment, with the current rule, I or anyone else can remove 99% of the items from the home page and from the search page, in terms of rating criteria. Competitors mainly. Anonymously. Do it, rules are rules is Envato’s answer? Wrong.

My question is:

When Envato will allow me to remove that “bad” rating?

Until the removal process is done please, made a decision at Envato that:

  1. Customer must leave a content no matter what rating number it is.
  2. Author can respond to any rating no matter what rating number it is.
  3. Author has the opportunity to remove 1,2,3,4,5 star rating with the help of the Envato staff through dispute rating process or support.

There are several great reasons for such rating rules. From relevance and quality to trust. Another time we can talk about it.

Do not condition me with the customer content. No reason for that. Also, take an example of other huge websites. Anyone limit author/seller/vendor to respond because of no content from the customer, no matter what rating number is? No one.

And give me some badge ASAP for my effort and time spent to improve this marketplace for mutual benefit. I like the badges. :+1:

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I missed this one:

Please, “Honestly believe” in a 4-star rating (or any rating) without content is bad. It is wrong, completely wrong. That “honest belief” without foundations/content harms the author’s future sales and relevance in a front of the future customers.

How that “belief” sound when we all know, in this case, from where it comes? It sound wrong.

If Envato forces customers to write content, together with the ratings, we will be able to read and feel that “belief”. We will know the “level” of the customer and react in line with the exact info we have. Now we are guessing, why?

I know you understand my point. Just try to look from the author’s perspective and you will feel too.

Four isn’t a bad rating, it’s a good rating. And while that’s just my opinion, as there isn’t any kind of international regulation when it comes to star ratings… I think it’s fair to say that it’s generally accepted that 1 is poor, 2 is below average, 3 is average, 4 is above average (or good) and 5 is excellent. More or less.

And forcing customers to do anything other than a basic sign up process and paying for content is never the best idea… it would just make buyers less likely to want to leave reviews. You can guarantee that your buyer isn’t going to leave a review again if he buys anything else… he’ll be too scared.

If they’d left you a one star review then I could somewhat understand your position. A 2 star review? Maybe. 3 stars? No. 4 stars? Absolutely not. While you’re entitled to your opinion, I really do think you’re completely wrong in the way you’re approaching this, and pestering a buyer for leaving you a four star review is absolutely ridiculous.

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u are right , the only bad rating i have ever had , was 2 star with one of my best selling items (2nd one) and all that was reproached was a sham … we all know that the rating system is an underrating one, indeed, as most of the time people who will come to rate are the people supposedly dissatisfied for a reason … this is a reason why there should be something to do in case of blatant fake rating … oddly enough som people manage to have such ridiculous ratings taken out but some do not … despite they can prove by actual test that the comment made was a complete joke - this was what happened with the rating that i mentioned - the problem is that rating system in good if all is done fairly that means that this is really echoing the quality of an time … besides, i used to tell this previously , but in such a system where there is a quality control by professionals to accept or reject the items that were submitted ratings “under the spar” sound quite ridiculous as items have been determined as professional enough for being on sale in the platform by pros … and that sometimes people buying and rating hardly know how to open apps …

lol sort of it depends on situations, i was given this rating once, my only bad rating ever … all the things that were reproached were a complete joke > the model missing when it was written “mode NOT included” in the description + supposed color difference between the file downloaded and the preview , when, too bad, i am one of the only remaining guys working with cmyk all the way , which means that this is impossible, not to mention that reviewers would not have accepted the file in the first place if what was mentioned was true. So 2 str rating bad rating, yes for sure, but if the rating is not just a mockery from the customer …

Out of interest, speaking as a pretty experienced buyer (although we do work with several authors and do understand the challenges mentioned above):

  1. If a buyer is made to leave comments - what happens if the author disagrees? What happens if an author challenges a rating but the buyer replies again but stands by their original comment? It cannot be that black or white and feels like disputes could continue forever.

  2. I would be pretty skeptical (and certainly have zero ‘trust’) of any marketplace where an author can challenge/remove any rating, with or without envato’s support.

  3. I sympathize more with the concerns some of the established names here, but surely creating an environment where authors can effectively attempt to censor reviews is, at any level, just inviting manipulation by less experiences/genuine users?

  4. If users are concerned about the resource times and delays in response time now – it’s nothing compared to what it would be like if you have even a small % of the tens of thousands of authors here disputing even one or two ratings!

Allowing author response to any review seems ok, as long as there is no subsequent guarantee of action beyond that. You are absolutely right that there are not many other marketplaces who restrict the author’s ability to respond to any reviews. However, a lot of these have significantly worse and substantial volumes of (probably unfounded) negative reviews - it’s just the unfortunate nature of not censoring feedback.

I am not disputing the frustrations and several very valid points raised above. However, there is no ideal one size fits all answer and while off course ideally, preference should be given to those who have proven to contribute to the marketplace this has to be done is a viable way that considers all points of view.

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FYI we’ve rated (each with comments) near every one of our thousands of purchases.

This still includes ratings at all levels and for authors of all sizes. These have always been founded and a fair reflection


A few years ago I also struggled with the 4-star rate issue. My theme is on the Top 1 rating, and after only a 4-star rate, it disappeared from the Top. I was pissed off for a long time. You suspect it is caused by your competitors, the view drops, the sale is down, …

However, my opinion is now different. Like life, nothing is 100% perfect, so is our theme. We join this community and we must accept its rules. And reduce your dependence on TOP RATE. Your theme can still sell well if it’s really good and we have a good marketing strategy.

If possible, as some of the suggestions were given, Envato please change the way the TOP RATE is calculated. That will be appreciated.

This topic is intentionally under the ThemeForest category.

When you say this, and after that…

…you say this. Then I’m in doubt. Rules are good or should be changed? Mathematical rules are the same thing as ethical rules. Decide what do you want and react in line with the decision. Consistency.

I agree 100% with the conclusion. I agree also with all your doubts, questions, and concerns. Let me clarify completely:

Envato gives a high value to ratings. How?

Simply, high rated items get prominent positions on the marketplace.

Customer’s point of view?

Home page prominent items, search page prominent items, category page prominent items based on high ratings. I forgot to add SEO and algorithm for advertising on organic search results by TF etc.

Authors point of view?
Now is struggling to keep high ratings. Why? Simply. Envato brings a new value to our ecosystem. The winning formula is: better rating = better exposure = better sales. Piece of cake to understand, correct?

When you met the author without the will to get a high rating at this moment he is completely dumb or simply does not care.

Stay tuned @charlie4282 and you will see. It has no sense to stay like it is now. With a new ecosystem of the values in combo with a locked possibility for authors to react on any ratings things must be changed.

Envato will remove prominent home page positions, tabs, and filters for the best-rated sorting. No, they will not. They will give more space for authors to react. Because Envato cares about the quality of the items they will realize that responding to any rating is a good direction for the higher quality marketplace. Simply like that.

But until Envato figure out what and when to implement changes I want my four-star without comment/content rating, from ghost customer, to be reconsidered. Not removed at any cost, of course. In my case, everything is so obvious that I feel pain from injustice when I think about it. Envato staff, buyers, and authors should work together to solve things, help each other. Why not? Because of the rules.

See you in the future @charlie4282! :slight_smile:

Let me ask you @charlie4282 one rhetoric question. What you would like to see more when you choose an item to purchase:

  1. Ten or twenty 5 star ratings without the explained reason why they are left for an item.
  2. One 5 star rating with the minimum 255 chars explained why they think that 5 stars are deserved.

The answer is redundant. Because of that Envato will implement this solution, content is a must for a rating.

I think the root cause of authors’ annoyance here is the broken rating system, not the rating itself. It’s rather trivial to fix.

An item with 2 x 5 star ratings is NOT superior to an item with 100x5 but one single 4-star rating. The rating sort is completely broken.

Come on guys, for the bazillion-th time, fix this: https://forums.envato.com/t/fix-the-broken-rating-sort/319441

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You mean on the algorithm and calculations around ratings and I agree too. I mean more on the ethic and business side of the rating system. They should allow at least author reaction on each rating, no matter what level of rating it is.

I see a lot of 5 star ratings without any comments on the item you are talking about. Why don’t these ratings bother you? Number of 5 star ratings without any comments are much more than one 4 star rating