Amazon sues service providing fake product reviews


#1

#2

Was just going to post this. The suit includes this statement from Amazon -

"While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand,”

IMO, Amazon wants to be the only one on the site allowed to undermine the trust of customers, sellers, and manufacturers.


#3

All in the world they would have to do to stop all this review manipulation is only allow actual Amazon verified customers to review product. At least someone would have to actually buy something then.


#4

I can’t wait until amazon’s legal counsel starts the discovery process and obtains the names of the slimeball sellers that purchased reviews from these companies. Hopefully, there will be suspensions galore.

Big kudos to Amazon for finally doing something about this! Great move for their customers and honest third party sellers -

Edited by: 61cycs on Apr 9, 2015 6:26 AM


#5

Agreed that no laws are being broken here. The suit is both a PR stunt and an attempt to litigate the review company out of business by bleeding them dry from legal fees or forcing them to settle.

All this is, is Amazon throwing their weight around.


#6

In the early years, they gave toys to their Customer Support people to review.

I read this in the book 24 Dog Years written by one such Customer Support person after he left Amazon.


#7

There were several recent complaint threads stating that Amazon started to remove such faux reviews, but the fake purchase still helps with the sales rank number.


#8

Style–these folks were posting verified reviews. They were manipulating sales as well.


#9

It’s good to see Amazon take some pro-active action.

Hopefully this will also impact their sister scheme, which many (including us) have been affected.

An abnormally quick series of back-to-back unverified negative reviews will be posted (all with a quick succession of “helpful” bumps) followed by an email from these companies stating they just “happened” to notice the poor reviews but (for a fee)…they will gladly help.


#10

I doubt it. Many things (including the automated pricing system) for Amazon and AWD is based, at least in part, on reviews and star ratings. While obviously they factor in a certain number of outliers (high and low)…too many, either way, can influence prices and Amazon’s decision to further carry the product, etc. They are then…in essence…disrupting the normal sale of business trade/commerce.
While maybe not the full definition of “illegal” they can certainly sue for damages due to lost sales if it can be proven these feedback shilling companies intentions were non-genuine.

Protecting a (large companies) bottom dollar and profits margins…is what these lawyers get paid to do.


#11

Amazon has every right to base sales models on factors they see fit (and within what would be considered “normal” business guidelines).

We are not talking about one or two shilled reviews but a numerous, organized and concerted effort.
If you don’t see commerce being disrupted by disingenuous reviews…then you didn’t bother to read the article of where members were told (and knew) they would be receiving empty boxes as part of the process.
It all comes down to genuine intentions and if they were premeditated. In this case, I think it’s pretty easy to prove.


#12

> all they need to do is restrict reviews to Amazon verified purchases only.

It’s best if you read the article. Many fully knew (and were pre-informed) they would be getting empty boxes.

By placing an order (either with the listing priced at say a penny or a discount code to bring it to a penny, shipped)…you can easily bypass the system and get the “verified review status” for your “sales”.


#13

> If that is in fact the case, there’s a very easy way for Amazon to stop the phony reviews without resorting to a publicity grabbing lawsuit (which comes less than 2 weeks before AZ is going to report what are expected to be dismal 1st quarter earnings) - all they need to do is restrict reviews to Amazon verified purchases only. In other words, if the item wasn’t purchased on the AZ site (either from AZ, FBA, or FBM seller), a review can’t be left by the person.

But FBM sellers were sending empty boxes; so, it would fall under "verified purchase, but it is still a fake review.

Edited by: kitchenmadecosmetics on Apr 9, 2015 6:53 AM


#14

>
> wait, what? amazon, you have a vine program that allows users to post reviews of products that they don’t have to pay for and you think the public believes these reviewers are leaving HONEST reviews?
>
> pot calling the kettle black
>
> what goes around comes around

You seem to be confused at what is going on here. A +product review+ is not a bad thing. Product testing (either in exchange for a free or reduced price product) has been going on for many,many decades. That concept, in itself, is fine.

The problems arises when an individual’s express purpose for either purchasing the product or leaving a review…is disingenuous.
If you +know+ you are going to be getting an empty box or +know+ you will only get future payment/compensation only if you leave a positive review…there is no question of true intentions when representing your case in front of logical adults.


#15

Although I find it intriguing, I think ultimately this suit will fall flat. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t endorse this kind of activity. I just don’t think the fake review site is doing anything criminal or illegal.


#16

That’s Amazon’s fault and issue if they are basing purchasing on something as tenuous as reviews. I see no commerce being disrupted by disingenuous reviews.


#17

Go back and re-read the article.


#18

If that is in fact the case, there’s a very easy way for Amazon to stop the phony reviews without resorting to a publicity grabbing lawsuit (which comes less than 2 weeks before AZ is going to report what are expected to be dismal 1st quarter earnings) - all they need to do is restrict reviews to Amazon verified purchases only. In other words, if the item wasn’t purchased on the AZ site (either from AZ, FBA, or FBM seller), a review can’t be left by the person.


#19

I’m talking reviews here in general, not just from those phony review companies. A lot of the reviews I see aren’t verified purchases, so why does Amazon allow them to be left? I mean, are they all phony?


#20

I’m not all that familiar but it seems the government is cracking down on fake online reviews in general.

Would amazon be potentially legally liable for the fake reviews people on their website, much like restaurants that have fake reviews posted on their yelp? If they can be held legally liable, would it benefit them to preemptively go after the services that are doing it?

Also, would FCC testimonial and advertising regulations etc apply to Amazon here?

Edited by: DealTimeNYC on Apr 9, 2015 7:04 AM

Edited by: DealTimeNYC on Apr 9, 2015 7:11 AM