You pay peanuts
And you know the rest.
Amazon is investigating reports that its retail employees are selling internal data and reviewers' email addresses to merchants that want to game the system. The allegations, reported by The Wall Street Journal yesterday, come from insiders at Jeff Bezos' firm and sellers who said they had been offered, or purchased, such data …
The problem is the reviews you never get to see because they were deleted before you got there.
I've been mentioning this in El Reg comments for a few years now when Amazon's marketplace comes up in a story. I'm just an average Joe in the street and I get requests to remove negative reviews: both items and sellers. In one case a seller called me up one evening out of the blue and offered a 50% rebate on the item if I retracted a negative review which stated the item sent mismatched the listing photo (while the item sent still did the job and this was acknowledged in the review it didn't reflect the picture and as it was £7 it wasn't worth sending back). Amazon do obscure buyer's email addresses but phone numbers are provided as part of the invoice and delivery details (along with your invoice and delivery addresses).
I always decline such requests as deleting justified negative reviews undermines the whole review system but I'm sure there are others who are more easily tempted by refunds and the like.
One thing is certain - Amazon will not deal with this problem - they'll only do enough to make it look like they're dealing with the problem.
They only care because this was found out. Amazon have very little internal security for their shopping division, a good system would have automatically flagged this up for review and Amazon would have found out earlier and been able to fire the people responsible whilst making sure the public never found out.
I use Amazon a lot, but increasingly I've come to decide that the reviews are largely worthless. When you (for example) look for an iPad cover, with 4 stars and above rating and get 30,000 products of the original 50,000 it makes you realise what an utter waste of time it is. Amazon need to stop flooding their own market with crap, get some proper reviews and maybe I'll trust them again.
1-24 of over 30,000 results for Computers & Accessories : Accessories : Tablet Accessories : 4 Stars & Up :
But then there prices wouldn't be competitive.
They have gotten into trouble in Germany a few years ago, they allegedly use dirty tricks to con migrant workers to come over for seasonal work (E.g. Christmas). The transport (flight, bus etc.) is paid for to the Amazon depot, they are promised high wages, when they turn up, they are then told they will be getting a pittance of what they were offered, and if they don't like it, they can fund their own travel back home.
But, of course, that wasn't Amazon, just their subcontractor. But they didn't fire the subcontractor or change the practice for the next year, according to the report.
Not long ago I commented some low rating reviews about a gaffer tape. The description was incorrect and buyers believed it was some type of strong repair tape, and were surprised it could be cut with hands, and it didn't "stick" hard to surfaces, but maybe on paper - exactly as you expect a good gaffer tape to behave, as it is designed to be removed without leaving traces. I also submitted a correction.
Everything was ignored and never published.
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