Sometimes, news really is stranger than fiction and with Amazon.com putting forth a suit against fake reviewers, it appears that time is upon us. If you have purchased anything from this online marketplace before, you have likely read some comical Amazon product reviews. These seem rather harmless and provide regular customers with something amusing to laugh at as they navigate their otherwise mundane shopping trip. Fortunately, these reviews aren’t really the ones under fire.
If you do any sort of shopping online, then you have likely realized that not all reviews out there are from real people. Well, the review itself was written by a real person, but that person didn’t necessarily have access to the product. This sometimes explains how you find a product with a bunch of great 5-star reviews, order it, and then realize just how terrible the product really is. No matter what you do, this is an inevitable part of shopping online and most people just accept it. Amazon has decided that enough is enough. In response, they have brought suit against 3 separate websites that sell just this type of review.
According to Amazon, the reason for this suit is that they believe companies are selling fake reviews for cash. In this way, people are getting false impressions about products, which gives everyone involved a bad name. Some of the time, Amazon pointed out that these companies instruct sellers to ship empty packages just so these product reviews can be verified. They point out that these websites lead to false advertising, misrepresentation, and even violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protect Act and the Washington Consumer Protect Act. In effect, they are interfering with the integrity of the products and with the integrity of the review system itself.
The owner of buyamazonreviews.com, Mark Collins, came out strongly, fighting against these claims and countering with his own assertions. Rather than selling fake reviews, he insists that his website acts as a middleman in the process. In this way, he pairs up people willing to review these products with those trying to boost their sales. As a result, both sides are able to get something out of the deal. In effect, he denies that there is any basis for these accusations. Out of the site owners, Collins is the only one to respond thus far.
Of course, one has to wonder what the outcome will really be, even if they are able to win. Is it really possible to prevent all fake reviews that come in, or will it just transform to include a wider variety? Regardless of what happens, this is the first time that Amazon has cracked down on this sort of behavior, so it would probably be safe to assume that there will be more to follow on this.