Suggestion for a change in the guidelines:

The current guidelines for commercial products state that “Reviews of plugins and themes are to be limited to the functionality of the pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party or theme hosted on The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization.”. Therefore, moderators should remove reviews that discuss commercial versions and educate reviewers approrpriately.
Unfortunately, we usually only see commercial reviews when they’re pointed out, via the report topic tool, by developers/authors. More unfortunately, I’ve noticed that such reports occur, in the vast majority, for one star reviews. I have never seen a five star review reported.
As a result, we are removing one-star reviews and leaving the non-reported ones alone. This skews the average rating by limiting the distribution of stars to the higher levels.
I propose that we revise our guideline to say that reviews of commercial plugins/themes are acceptable on when such reviews discuss functionality or user-facing features. Reviews that are essentially payment disputes or support extortion would continue to be archived, with a reply that such disputes should be handled via private email.