Amazon has recently filed a lawsuit against several different online companies that participate in the sale of forged reviews. Businesses who have poor reviews on their products can seek out services where anonymous writers will deliver fake five-star reviews as a means of deceiving buyers into purchasing poorly rated products.
Amazon alleges that these sites are infringing on trademarks, as well as engaging in deception, and they are seeking a lawsuit settlement payment as compensation for the resulting damages. Many of the sites specifically offer Amazon reviews, with names such as BuyAzonReviews.com and BuyAmazonReviews.com, which Amazon argues is in violation of their trademark.
The entire purpose of reviews is for consumers to gain honest feedback from other consumers about the safety, reliability, viability, and durability of a product. When companies engage in the posting of fake reviews, it not only encourages deceptive marketing but can also proliferate the usage and consumption of faulty or dangerous products.
One of Amazon’s key services is to provide an immense product selection and accurate reviews, and it provides a valuable resource for conscientious consumers. It is currently the largest and most used product search engine on the web. As such, the existence of fake reviews not only damages the customer experience, but it damages the
reputation of Amazon as well.
Lawsuits such as this are imperative to maintaining the reputability and trustworthiness of businesses, so consumers can continue to have confidence and assurance over the products they purchase. Amazon took a noble step in filing a lawsuit, which will hopefully serve as a warning to others hoping to profit off of the callous deception of consumers. Though, as James Tenser from VSN strategies stated, “Paid ads should be identified as such. Amazon’s legal action is welcome now, but Amazon has already profited greatly over the years from turning a blind eye to this odious practice.”
While Amazon may have ignored this problem for far too long, hopefully this lawsuit is indicative of a needed change in business practices, where honesty and integrity prevail over profits and deception. Unfortunately, forging reviews is a pervasive problem, and it will take a lot of work on behalf of Amazon and members of the reviewing community to hold all businesses accountable for these detrimental practices.