OPTIMA Battery Reviews
"We need to show customer reviews somewhere!" was the cry at some point in OPTIMA's history. The thought was that customer reviews instill confidence in consumers looking to make a purchase. They want to see success stories before they commit to making a purchase and who can blame them? It can work and some of the biggest online retailers have embraced online reviews, but they are not without their issues.
When sellers found out positive reviews could improve their visibility (and sales) on eCommerce sites, they started figuring out how to game the system. In spite of their best efforts to curtail them, fake reviews and inflated ratings are still a problem for some of the world's largest online retailers. Fake reviews can go both ways too, as employees at some companies feel their time is best-spent trying to convince consumers not to buy a competitor's product, instead of convincing them to buy their own. That can happen when you don't have much to say about your own products.
Some sites try to mitigate these fake reviews by requiring (or at least identifying) reviews made by people who actually made purchases, but even those are not without their issues for consumers. Here's an online review someone left after purchasing an OPTIMA battery:
1.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2010
I refused to accept delivery of this item. It was shipped with absolutely no protection. No padding, no box, nothing but a wrap of plastic to hold the spacer in place. The shipping labels were stuck directly to the bare battery. One entire lower corner was destroyed, broken plastic all the way into the actual cell. Since this is a gel cell type battery, no liquid leaked out, but I certainly was not going to accept a battery with a hole in the actual cell. These may be wonderful batteries, but shipping totally unprotected is idiocy.
Even though that is considered a product review, we can't say that review is actually about an OPTIMA battery, because it's really a review about the retailer who sold an OPTIMA Battery, who by the way, was not an authorized retailer and did not use required shipping materials. Unfortunately, we hear stories like these every day. We're the biggest name in AGM batteries and have been since we created the market. Lots of people buy our products and everyone wants to find the best deal out there. In their pursuit of a savings that might not amount to more than $5, they may not bother to find out if the seller is actually authorized to sell OPTIMA batteries or if they are even selling new products!
We make it pretty clear who is authorized to sell OPTIMA batteries, but many won't think to look for that information until after they've bought a used battery from an unauthorized retailer, who didn't use any packaging to ship it and vanished after the sale. At that point, many people are out a significant amount of time and money and feel their only recourse is to leave a negative review about OPTIMA batteries somewhere, because we won't replace their used, broken battery with a brand-new one.
There are a variety of websites that will host such product reviews, but they operate under some very suspicious circumstances. Some review sites send us emails every few months, pointing out that someone left a negative review about our products on their site. For a fee, they will allows us to rectify this situation and regain positive standing on their website. We don't know who left that review and the sites probably don't either...unless the site owners themselves left it, in an effort to drum up some business. Either way, that sounds an awful lot like review manipulation to us and we want no part of it, especially after our experience with Reseller Ratings.
We used Reseller Ratings for a while to collect ratings from customers who bought OPTIMA Batteries directly from our website. Eventually, we changed providers for our online checkout process and the new provider offered integrated reviews in the buying process. That change, combined with the fact that our customer service team had to monitor another place where customers were leaving reviews made us decide to consolidate the customer feedback process, so we could better serve our customers. We print our 800 number (888-8-OPTIMA) and our email address (email@example.com) on every battery we sell and those options are the best ways for OPTIMA customers to reach out to us for assistance.
When we used Reseller Ratings, they gave OPTIMA nice checkmarks and badges and "Elite" status, as well as checkmarks on reviews left by people who actually purchased batteries from us. As the screen shot above shows, OPTIMA Batteries had a 9.76 rating out of 10, based on 495 reviews, as of April 16, 2014. A few years later, we stopped using Reseller Ratings (and stopped paying them for their service). Even though there have only been 11 reviews (all unverified) since we discontinued paying Reseller Ratings for their service, by February of 2018, our rating had dropped dramatically to 1.9 out of 10 and Reseller Ratings' website was telling Google that OPTIMA Batteries was rated 1/5 stars by consumers on their website.
That seemed like shenanigans to us, so we took a closer look and found out once we stopped paying Reseller Ratings, they changed the way our ratings were calculated. The 1.9/10 and 1/5 stars was based on all the reviews their site received on our products in the last six months. Since their site was no longer connected to OPTIMA's online sales, they weren't getting a steady stream of reviews. In fact, as of this writing, they've only had 11 reviews of OPTIMA batteries posted on their site in the last ~five years.
Do some quick math about their new six-month timeframe calculation and the five-year timespan and it seems obvious the only thing it takes to give OPTIMA batteries a 1 star rating on Reseller Ratings' website is for someone (anyone) to leave a 1-star rating every six months. We reached out to Reseller Ratings and pointed this issue out. Like the other review sites that contact us periodically, Reseller Ratings offered their paid services to us, to rectify this situation. We declined, but after that conversation, our ratings made a miraculous recovery on their site, somehow going up to 5/5 stars by what appears to be the same 929 consumers and a 9.3/10 on those 929 reviews.
However, not long after that and continuing to this day, with just eight additional reviews, OPTIMA Batteries' rating on Reseller Ratings had tumbled all the way back down to 1.0/5 stars based on 937 reviews.
So if the ratings websites cannot be trusted for honest & accurate reviews, who can you trust? The best answer we can give you is to trust yourself and we'll use this positive review from David W to explain why that is the case.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Battery on the market
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2020Verified Purchase
I have another Optima battery in my 68 Chevelle. This one is replacing son's battery in his Sentra as he goes away for his freshman year in college. My 68 Chevelle battery was installed in 2004 and is still going strong!! This purchase was a no brainier. I also just ordered an Optima yellow top for my Mercedes. I only purchase the best auto parts. If you've never owned an Optima and buy one, it won't be the last Optima you'll ever buy....honest.
David starts his review by mentioning a different OPTIMA battery in his 1968 Chevelle, that was 16 years old. The battery he just bought is going into his son's Nissan Sentra. A Nissan Sentra and '68 Chevelle couldn't be more different from each other and that's if both cars are stock. If his son added a huge stereo system, car alarm and Lojack, the parasitic draw on his battery could be measured in Amps and the battery could get completely discharged as it sat in a parking lot during the school week. David's Mercedes-Benz could once again be a vastly different application than a Sentra or Chevelle.
How much can someone really review a car battery, if they just bought it? As we saw earlier, most can review how the battery was packaged and shipped, if they ordered it online. Beyond that, there's a general expectation that the battery will work. Ideally, David would leave a review three, five or ten years out from this purchase, but what if the OPTIMA battery production improves (or gets worse) during that time? Then the battery you are buying as you read that review is not the same (we're doing our very best to improve quality every day).
Similarly, if a friend shares their experience, how much information are they giving you and how accurate is it? Were they thrilled with the longevity of their 20-year old REDTOP (they put in their Model T, that they maintained religiously with a quality battery maintenance device) or were they irate that their D34/78 YELLOWTOP died a week after they bought it (and ten minutes after they cut the top terminals off, to fit it underneath a seat in their Jeep)?
Whether you're looking at batteries, tires or any other automotive parts, trust your own judgement. If a manufacturer has been around for a long time, their products are widely-available, they are transparent in who they are and they're willing to stand behind what they build, there's a good chance you'll end up with a reliable and satisfying purchase. But what happens if it doesn't work out?
Everyone likes to be right and no one likes being wrong, including us! We know as great as our production process is and as much as we know we have millions of satisfied customers, we also know we're not perfect. When you make a million of anything, you're bound to make at least a few mistakes. When it comes to car batteries, most of those mistakes will manifest themselves very soon after you make your purchase- usually within the first few weeks, if not the first few days.
Even though we know our mistakes will be very few and very far between, we want to make sure our customers are covered, so we offer a three-year, free replacement (no pro-ration fees) warranty on all of our REDTOP & YELLOWTOP batteries and two years on our BLUETOP batteries. Beyond those first few months, we know battery performance and lifespan is largely tied to how a battery is used and maintained.
We're so confident that keeping your OPTIMA battery voltage properly-maintained will extend the lifespan and improve the performance of your OPTIMA battery, that we'll add a full year of free replacement warranty coverage to your OPTIMA battery purchase, if you buy an OPTIMA Digital 1200 Charger from us at the same time.