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Amazon’s Fake Review Problem is Worse Than Ever. Here’s Why.

By Chris McCabe

Amazon’s efforts to clean up product reviews have sent the problem underground. Fake reviews are still around, but are harder to detect.

Amazon’s Fake Review Problem is Worse Than Ever. Here’s Why.

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Tom

The fake negative reviews that I receive are repetitive and they don’t talk about the product much at all. If they do they do so vaguely without any real details. Real reviewers don’t talk from the stand point of a seller. I think the more they restrict what is said to comments about the product the better. This problem has improved quite a bit IMO in the last 6 months. The problem I see with the guy I know who is doing it (yes, I have met them personally) is that they haven’t changed their behaviors after getting in trouble… Read more »

Chris McCabe

Replying to Tom

you’ve met them personally? So you know who it is, and they admit doing it?

Mal

Replying to Tom

From Last week a person, we are guessing this is another seller, has multiple buying accounts, buys from us, cancels and leaves negative reviews. This was happening everyday, I reported this to Amazon Via phone and Email and it has been 6 days and we still don’t have a response. Our seller feedback was at 89% now it is at 65% all because of the same buyer accounts ordering, canceling and leaving negative feedback. Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any advice for this. Thanks

anon

Great article Chris. I believe Amazon is complicit with the fake reviews because it leads to more sales. They were fine with incentivized reviews until customers started noticing. Nowadays customers do not realize how many reviews are fake, and reporters are not calling out Amazon about the issue. Amazon is the king of creating algorithms and there are a few simple algorithms that would clean up the marketplace in an instant. Example – Monitoring Review-to-Orders Ratio would clean up at least 95% of the listings with fake reviews that I come across. Here’s some research I did that shows the… Read more »

Dayve Ward

Replying to anon

It’s April 2019 and it’s still going on. I noted one of the products had hundreds of reviews with repetitions. It was so easy to spot but despite Amazon’s apparantly sophisticated algarithams they are still rife. It seems that Amazon may not be too bothered after all.

Chris McCabe

Replying to anon

Also, have you reported this info to Amazon? You should let me know what you need to do so the right way.

Chris McCabe

I totally agree that things have begun to change, Amazon is beginning to understand the size of the problem and grapple with it on the headcount and perhaps even tools building side. But there’s a lot of work to do, and so far things are moving very slowly. Hope to see more progress as the year goes on.

Beyond that, make sure you’re reporting this violator properly, and keep at it, escalations and follow ups. Don’t give up! They need more examples of abuse to develop the best tools and SOPs. Thanks for the comment.

Dayve Ward

Replying to Chris McCabe

April 2019 and it’s still very much going on. There was a Which report into the scale of it. I checked one product to find multiple identical reviews. Not so much progress after all.

Chris McCabe

Replying to Dayve Ward

Unfortunately, I thought more would be done last year, and here we are, so many months later. Not much improved in terms of enforcement, but the clamor and public disgust is up about ten fold. I hope they create some better tools and turn around the training on the teams responsible for this material.

Mark

Has anyone checked out Netgear’s reviews?

Melita

And unfortunately, they’ve gone too far the other way with trying to stop it. I found this site because I’m trying to figure out why I’ve been perma-banned from reviewing. I am a regular Amazon customer, have been since 2001. Been a Prime member since they first offered it. I’m not a top reviewer, never have been. I have never been given a product free or discounted for a review. Have never had any interaction with a seller outside Amazon at all, every contact has gone through Amazon Marketplace email. I’ve only ever had two reviews kicked back to me… Read more »

Margaret Skrovanek

Replying to Melita

Sadly, I am in the same boat. I became a vigilante by posting reviews for products/sellers that receive “F” grades from Fakespot.com.

This week I received my official ban because “Customer Content violated our guidelines and Conditions of Use. We won’t reinstate your posting permissions for this account.” So Amazon is penalizing us for trying to point out dishonest sellers!

There must be an organization that deals with this. Have you had any luck since your posting? We should ban together!

Margaret

Chris McCabe

Replying to Margaret Skrovanek

Hi Margaret, you became a vigilante? you’re going to be banned of course, it looks like retaliatory strikes against another seller, or fake review behavior.

Dayve Ward

Replying to Melita

That’s so sad to hear. I wonder if the fakers are reporting the genuine reviews. Amazon clearly don’t have the staff to actually review these reports so maybe they just automatically take action in the reporter’s favour. Great scam though. The genuine reviewers get banned leaving the fakers to do their worst. Just my sceptical theory. Anyway, it’s now April 2019 and Amazon still haven’t got a grip on fake reviews.

Sheery

Replying to Melita

Same thing has just happened to me. I kept getting emails to review some bathbombs that bought for my daughter. The emails was reminders to review and they were feom amazon. I paid for these I did not get anything special feom them. Just the same normal purchases that I always buy. I checked the link in the email to review and now it says I can’t review anymore. I’m not happy about it especially after paying yearly for prime and I have been a member for as long as I can remember

JACOMM

@Melita So glad to have found your post here and realize – I’m not alone. Seems like most larger corporations that ignore a problem when they finally get a fire under them they overcompensate and “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. I too have no idea why my account reviewing privileges were suspended. Heck, I can’t communicate at all publicly on Amazon. I too have been an Amazon customer for YEARS. Since they started only selling books and occasional software. All I can think of is that after being injured and NEEDING Amazon for goods related to my injury… Read more »

Mi

If I were Amazon, I will open some review service to provide fake reviews. So I will know which sellers potentially use fake reviews to grow their business on Amazon. lol

Richard Bryan

I buy a lot of hiking and backpacking equipment on Amazon and very frustrated with the fake equipment reviews. So many times they’re so obvious because of the same poor sentence structure and Chinese-English usage of words and phrases and punctuation. Reviews used to be a trust worthy way to evaluate whether to purchase a product but not anymore.

Chris McCabe

Hi Richard, glad to hear you’re a fellow hiking and backpacking enthusiast! Unfortunately, Amazon still hasn’t ironed out the best ways to identify and scrutinize reviews that are all copied from another listing, or use the same sentence structure over and over on the same listing, which you’d think they could do fairly easily. Plenty of engineers to figure this out! There’s been a lack of will to act, and a lot of technical solutions or tools, or both. The PRA teams definitely aren’t staffed with enough knowledge people who can handle the load, either. Tough times for product reviews… Read more »

Christopher C Smith

Looks like I am not alone. I became frustrated with reviews that have nothing to do with the product listed as verified purchases for the seller. I raised the issue with Amazon. They stated they would of course take care of it, NADA. After I Complained 3 times they started blocking my comments and even questions to sellers. First I understand that this is a huge issue. Amazon likely has lost control of this and it is difficult to manage. With people buying reviews it has gotten worse. Being able to count on the validity of reviews is next to… Read more »

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