February 2, 2023

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Unethical Offer: Money to delete a review

“After two days, my new dehumidifier no longer worked. I sent it back to Amazon and got my money back,” says Holger Ubl from Krems an der Donau. Also, the buyer gives a negative review of the product on Amazon. Three days later, Lower Austria received an email from the company that sold the device. In it, almost 40 euros are offered if the bad rating is deleted.

ORF

The company has tried several times to delete the negative rating on Amazon.

When the buyer does not respond, another email follows: “This time I was offered 30 euros to delete the post. I did not do it because it seemed like a bribe to me, ”says Holger Opel.

“being cheated”

The case shows that fake reviews are not only a problem on online platforms. “All other consumers are deceived in this way too. I look at the reviews and assume they are objective,” said Guido Zellinger from the Styrian workroom. According to the expert, if authentic negative reviews are deleted, a false image of the product will appear.

Delete for money

Money against deleting unpleasant negative reviews. Is this allowed?

ZIB Magazin confronted Amazon about the incident, saying, “Any attempt to manipulate customer reviews is strictly prohibited at Amazon. We invest significant resources to protect the integrity of our reviews and to proactively prevent abusive reviews.” However, in this case, it is difficult to intervene, according to inquiries from business circles. Amazon does not have access to external emails from sellers.

“If customers have any concerns, we urge them to contact our customer service so we can investigate and take appropriate action.” The said actions amount to the permanent exclusion of the seller from the online platform.

It’s about a lot of money

Online reviews are tough. Reviews influence purchasing decisions, especially negative reviews, says Philippe Vallier, online marketing expert at digital agency Limesoda: “These can be very harmful, because the Amazon algorithm may also include these reviews and then decide who will actually buy the button comes on the train.” Accordingly, it is a big problem when bad reviews are given to products by companies.”

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ORF

The dehumidifier I purchased on Amazon was offered by a third party company.

And according to Valer, the current issue is not uncommon either. His company will always get letters where these services are provided. “Of course, this is not allowed,” says the internet marketing expert.

Don’t accept the offer

I appealed to the Styrian Chamber of Commerce not to respond to the offer to remove the negative evaluation of the money. “I suppose none of us would accept something like this if the company we’re dealing with showed such incitement,” says Guido Zellinger. If the product does not meet expectations, it can be returned within the recall period. “My reviews, however, can’t be bought. I don’t take them out as long as they are objective and justified,” advises a consumer advocate.

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