If you shop on Amazon, you've likely seen a fake review or two, even if you didn't realize it at the time.
Many third-party merchants use "review services" to get positive reviews for their products. These services either post fake reviews in exchange for a fee or provide free products to customers in exchange for a positive review on Amazon.
Since many Amazon customers rely on reviews left by previous purchasers, this scheme harms Amazon's reputation. For example, suppose you purchase a jacket that has a five-star rating. Other customers have raved about this product, so you feel confident purchasing it for yourself. However, when the item arrives, the quality is not up to par with what you expected.
This inevitably reduces your trust in the company. So the next time you need to purchase something, you might go somewhere else. This is the situation that Amazon is currently facing, and it isn't good for business. According to a recent consumer research study, 59% of consumers said they are "very" suspicious of reviews on Amazon.
While Amazon has taken internal measures over the last few years to reduce the number of fake reviews posted on the site, it has had a difficult time keeping up with the spammers.
This week Amazon took additional steps in their battle against fake product reviews by filing lawsuits against two companies that act as "brokers" of fake reviews. The cases were filed against AppSally and Rebatest.
AppSally's website claims to offer "services to help you outrank your competitors." However, it appears that their "fake review" services aren't limited to Amazon but include a long list of e-commerce sites, including Walmart, Etsy, eBay, and Airbnb.
Amazon is claiming in their lawsuit that sites like AppSally are bad for business because they "mislead shoppers," which in turn reduces consumers' confidence in the e-commerce giant.
What do you think?
Have fake reviews on Amazon misled you into buying poor-quality products?
Let us know in the comments.