Product reviews are an insightful part of a consumer’s purchase process. Before a consumer buys a certain product, they will want to know what other people have to say about that product. If people who have consumed the product have good things to say about the said product, the consumer will see this as a go-ahead. In fact, it is commonly recommended that before you pay for a particular product or service, you should first get online and read what other customers have to say about the same. Most companies understand this, and many will go to great lengths to ensure their products receive only good reviews. Unfortunately, this means that some companies will actually pay people to write fake product reviews.
It is against this backdrop that Amazon has cracked down on four websites for selling fake product reviews. The four websites, buyamazonreviews.com, buyazonreviews.com, bayreviews.net and buyreviewsnow.com, are operated by a single company in California with the intent of making positive product reviews available to companies (even those with not-so-good products) at a fee. This explains why perhaps you may have encountered a product you know too well to be wanting in quality praised beyond imagination. It may not be that there are other people reacting excellently to the product. It could just be that the marketing department of the company offering the product knows where to buy fake reviews.
“During the most difficult days of the recession, small businesses were struggling financially and also willing to consider extreme measures to survive,” says Oleg Rud, President of Imperial Advance, a New York lending services company.
Fake product reviews are not just misleading but take away from the credibility of the site they are posted on. It speaks badly of Amazon to have fake product reviews floating around. This is because sooner than later, consumers get to buy and experience the falsely reviewed products, and realize that the reviews they counted on were misleading. An eventual response would be to stop buying from Amazon, with the opinion that they offer poor products while positioning them as quality products. This is definitely detrimental to the reputation and business of Amazon. Besides, product reviews are a great way to get consumer feedback and any company not interested in listening to the consumer should not be in the business of offering any products or services.
Amazon has therefore wasted no time in accusing the four websites’ operator of false advertisement, trademark infringement and violation of the Anticybersquatting consumer Protection Act. Amazon’s request is to have the four websites cease to use its company name, and also to stop selling reviews. “Amazon is also seeking attorney’s fees and triple damages, it is clear they are trying to make a bold statement to prevent this kind of activity” according to Adam Kutner, a highly successful Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.
It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit ends, as this will be a major lesson to all the companies that are too lazy to offer quality products and instead opt to pay for fake product reviews. It is also a lesson to the consumer on the need to stay alert when reading product reviews online. If it seems too good to be true, you might want to take it with a pinch of salt.