Nicole Nguyen wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal titled How to Spot Fake Reviews and Shady Ratings on Amazon (July 20, 2022).
« Amazon is suing the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups it says coordinated fake reviews on the shopping giant’s platform. While Amazon didn’t name the admins, the company did identify one group, called “Amazon Product Review,” which it said had more than 43,000 members. »
« It is against Amazon’s rules for third-party sellers to pay or motivate people with free products or cash compensation. Many do, however, and evade detection by coordinating on platforms such as Facebook. »
« A spokeswoman for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said, “Groups that solicit or encourage fake reviews violate our policies and are removed. We are working with Amazon on this matter and will continue to partner across the industry to address fake reviews.” »
« “Proactive legal action targeting bad actors is one of many ways we protect customers by holding bad actors accountable,” said Dharmesh Mehta, an Amazon vice president who oversees customer trust, in a press release. »
« A study from researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, published on July 11, shows how products with fake reviews share a common set of reviewers. This pool could easily move to another communication channel. »
« an Amazon spokeswoman… said the company receives more than 30 million reviews a week, and that more than 12,000 Amazon employees work to prevent fraud and abuse, including fake reviews. “We have stopped hundreds of millions of suspected fake reviews before they were seen by a customer,” she added. »
Nicole Nguyen also wrote a Wall Street Journal article titled When Amazon Customers Leave Negative Reviews, Some Sellers Hunt Them Down (August 8, 2021).
« Some sellers are reaching out to unhappy buyers to revise or delete their negative reviews, in exchange for refunds or gift cards. With fewer disgruntled shoppers, the overall average star rating rises. »
« Sellers who ship products via Amazon aren’t supposed to reach out to customers outside of Amazon’s official channel—in fact, it’s a violation of the terms they agree to on the retail platform. »
« Sellers and brands sometimes find ways to reach customers away from Amazon’s watchful gaze. Ms. Scott thinks that a “free gift” insert for a cooking thermometer in the oil spray’s packaging—which prompted her to enter her email address and order ID—was how the brand was able to link the negative review with her address. The Amazon spokesman said the insert is a violation of company policy. »
« The seller might have been able to look up her name and mailing address in sales records provided by Amazon, and use that information to find her email address. In April, after Ms. Scott purchased the oil spray bottle, Amazon stopped including names and mailing addresses in records of most Amazon-fulfilled purchases. Sellers now typically see only a buyer’s city, state and ZIP Code. »