My thoughts on reviews are differnt than most providers. I've been around since 2006, have reviews going back to 2007 and I've seen a heard a lot.
I believe that reviews are a decent tool for gentlemen however, their not solid sources of information and are often fake, exaggerated or written as part of some kind of deal or threat. A few months ago there were people offering to write reviews under various TER handles for $100 to $175. Lots of ladies took advantage of this dangerous and disgusting offer. Reviews should never be your only source of info. I use reviews to verify ladies before asking them for a reference. If their reviews seem to be off, I don't accept a reference from that particular provider.
As mentioned above, ladies can "buy" fake reviews. Others make fake accounts acting like clients and write their own fake reviews. I've been offered reviews instead of screening. I've also been asked for a discount more times than I can count for a discount for writing a reviews. I find bartering with reviews tasteless and classless. Fake reviews are rampid and very easy to either buy or write yourself.
There are a handful of boys (these are NOT men and calling them boy is giving them too much credit) That use reviews for manipulation or to get something out of a provider she doesn't offer or to control her in any way. I've been threatened with fake reviews quite a bit through the years. Some examples are:
"Lower your rate and see me or I'll write a bad review"
"Do this act you don't offer or I'll write a bad review"
"Don't come to my city or I'll write a bad review" (Back Page "Agency")
"See me without screening or I'll write a bad review"
You get the idea.
The idea here is to make me think that some dude with a computer has the power to hurt my business. Here's a new flash for them:
REVIEWS DO NOT MAKE OR BREAK ANY PROVIDER'S BUSINESS.
Noone in the hobby has the power to ruin me or other providers with fake reviews. If a prodvider's business fails, it will take a hell of a lot more than some bad reviews.
Reviews, in my humble openion and in my experience, should be taken with a grain of salt and should never be your only resource when researching a provider.
On a peronal note, I won't be contrlled by any theats. I didn't thrive in this hobby as long as I have by reacting to threats. I've had pleanty of them. I know how to handle them and squash them just as quickly as they come my way. I have found that sites like TER take these things seriously. I believe it's impossible for them or any review site to avoid the fake and exaggerated reviews. Simply e mailing them about the threat along with the e mail or text messages if you have them stops bad reviews from being posted, from my experience with TER
I like to keep things real and honest. Every one of my reviews were written because the client decided to write them. I don't do "review specials" and I've never, not once, asked a client to write a review. I didn't know I had reviews until about a year after the first one was written. I'm a very real person. I take pride in all I am. I don't do fake or ask for reviews because to me, that takes away from the authencity of the review and of myself.