Amazon sellers are encouraging users to delete negative reviews, even offering refunds above and beyond the sale price in exchange.
Amazon has long-struggled with fake reviews, with an entire industrysprouting up to game the system. The problem has even received the attention of regulators, with Britain’s Competition and Market Authority investigating whether the company is doing enough to combat the issue.
According to The Wall Street Journal, via Business Insider, some resellers on the platform are contacting individuals who have left negative reviews to offer refunds, in some cases more than double the initial price, in exchange for removing the negative reviews. In some cases, resellers have repeatedly contacted individuals until they get a response.
Amazon’s policy prohibits sellers from contacting buyers outside of the company’s own platform, but that hasn’t stopped sellers from doing just that. The company has reiterated these types of interactions shouldn’t occur, and that it takes action against those responsible.
“Amazon provides a great deal of help content, proactive coaching, warnings and other assistance to sellers to ensure they remain compliant with our clearly stated policies,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Journal. “We have clear policies for both reviewers and selling partners that prohibit abuse of our community features, and we suspend, ban and take legal action against those who violate these policies.”
In the meantime, as The Journal points out, customers leaving a review should be careful not to leave personal details in their reviews, thereby making it more difficult for sellers to contact them outside of Amazon’s system.