A lot of buzz recently about fake reviews.
A positive one can flood a business with leads / customers, while a bad one can sink them.
Yesterday, Amazon filed suit against Jay Gentile of California and websites buyamazonreviews.com, buyazonreviews.com, among others, of trademark infringement, false advertising and violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
“While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand,” according to the suit.
Mark Collins, the owner of buyamazonreviews.com, denied Amazon’s claims to the Settle Times, “We are not selling fake reviews. however we do provide Unbiased and Honest reviews on all the products,” Collins wrote. “And this is not illegal at all.”
This lawsuit is the first time Amazon has tried to crack down on fake reviews since it debuted it’s review platform. It accuses Gentile of promising a customer that the company would “provide as many five-star reviews as the purchaser wanted,” and that he also promised to “slow drip” them onto Amazon’s product pages so that the company would have a “more difficult time detecting them.”
Amazon is also suing for trademark infringement, saying the websites are using the company’s name and logo without authorization. It’s also accused the websites of cybersquatting by hosting sites with names “identical to or confusingly similar to” Amazon’s own site. The company is asking the court to force the various websites to cease using Amazon’s name and stop selling Amazon reviews. It’s also seeking triple damages, as well as attorneys fees.
As more and more customers continue to rely and trust reviews this is only going to become a bigger problem. Yeterday, I asked my eight-year-old what she learned in school, and she said “how to submit an online review.” Adapting children this young, is clearly molding the business model for many years going forward. I personally pay attention to online reviews, even though I’m well-aware the number of people who troll.
What do you think? Good move for Amazon? Or it’s not going to matter anyway?
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.