Amazon sues over fake reviews
Amazon has filed a suit against the operators of several websites that it alleges are in the business of writing fake reviews on its site for profit.
The suit against Jay Gentile, the operator of buyazonreviews.com, and a number of "John Does" who operate other sites including buyamazonreviews.com, bayreviews.net and buyreviewsnow.com represents the first time Amazon has gone to court over the issue.
The copy on the buyamazonreviews site reads, "Are you tired of your products not being seen, tired of competitors leaving bad reviews? The solution is simple. Buy Amazon reviews. You can have unlimited 4 and 5 star reviews this week. Our skilled writers look at your product, look at your competitor’s products and then write state of the art reviews that will be sure to generate sales for you."
While the sites engaged in writing the reviews maintain actual product is being reviewed, the truth is far different, according to the e-tailer. In its suit, as reported by GeekWire, the company alleges buyamazonreviews.com "chastised a reviewer for complaining about not receiving the product."
Amazon’s suit alleges the review sites engaged in trademark violations, unfair competition and deceptive acts. It is seeking damages and restitution.
According to a recent survey of 800 consumers by PowerReviews, 86 percent of online shoppers believe reviews are essential to the purchasing process. Seventy percent of mobile shoppers were more likely to make a purchase if they had access to reviews. Interestingly, 82 percent look specifically for negative reviews while shopping.
The integrity of ratings and reviews is something that has been questioned for many years. According to a 2012 New York Times report, a seller of cases for tablet devices offered Amazon shoppers a $2 rebate for every star they gave one of its products on the site. The average rating for the product on the site was 4.9 out of five stars. Amazon removed the product from its site after the Times produced documentation.
- Amazon files first-ever suit over fake product reviews, alleging sites sold fraudulent praise – GeekWire
- Buy Amazon Reviews
- Amazon files first-ever lawsuit against California man for selling fake product reviews – New York Daily News
- Increase Conversion Rates With Reviews – PowerReviews
- Consumers depend on ratings and reviews – RetailWire
- Getting the Ratings You Pay For – RetailWire
Do paid-for reviews amount to a fraud perpetrated on consumers? Do you support Amazon’s suit and other efforts to deal with fake ratings and reviews on its site?