Sunday, January 25, 2015

Amazon Seems to Not Comply with Their Own Guidelines When it Comes to Reviews



Round & Round with Amazon Customer Service We Go! Yippee!!

Reporting a "Competing" Author on Amazon for Giving You a Fake Bad Review Apparently Doesn't Make Matters any Better...





When you get a fake bad review, you may research and find other blogs say to just report it and Amazon will remove it.... Ohhhh if it were only this easy...


I can't even begin to describe my frustration with Amazon customer service. Their responses don't even seem human and it's not just me that feels this way. The poor quality of their customer service is further verified in David Gaughran's blog. This is my third attempt at trying to get some kind of answer as to why they haven't removed a review that was in violation of their very own guidelines. Those who know my history from some of the writings in this blog, know exactly what I'm talking about.

If you've had a similar issue with Amazon's customer service, you are not alone. I'm including the correspondence I had with Amazon's customer service reps.  Also, even though I don't agree with this supposed Author's tactics, I will protect her privacy within this blog. Therefore, you will see some areas will be left blank.

 

CORRESPONDENCE 1:

ME:

 Subject: This review is in violation to one of your community guidelines




(This is where I copied and pasted the review in question)


This review is by another author who has a book in the same Amazon category/genre as mine. I believe that she may feel threatened by the fact that my book has done better than hers, not that mine is a best seller, but I'm sure you've seen it all and know how some people can be extremely petty.



I'm pretty sure that this to be in violation of your guidelines because it is a "Sentiment by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product) "



Here is the ASIN for her book .....



As you can see her book is in relation to mine by means of categories/genres, such as parenting & relationships, and child care. Therefore I am requesting that the review be removed.



Thanks so much for your time. Have a great day!


AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE (Canned Response) :

I've read the review titled "......." I understand your concerns, but the review doesn't violate our posted guidelines, so I'm unable to remove it in its current format.



However, as the author of this title, you can provide feedback about this review by voting or commenting on it. To vote, click the "Yes" or "No" buttons next to "Was this review helpful to you?" To comment, click the Comments link at the bottom of the review.



We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received. Here's a link to our guidelines for reference:



http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines



We appreciate your understanding. We hope to see you again soon.





CORRESPONDENCE 2:

ME:

How is this review not in violation with your terms? 



The review in question is not just a review, there's an ulterior motive behind it. I don't think I'm being paranoid or petty here. I'm sure this is in violation with your guidelines because:



The reviewer is also an author, with a book in the same genre (direct competition). Here is the ASIN for her book: ..... .  Her name on the review as well as the name on her book is _____. Her book is not doing well. She's telling people not to buy my book which happens to be in her same genre (direct competition).


This author didn't even buy the book she reviewed, she downloaded it for free when I shared the link on a social network during a free promotion. She also went so far as to put the same review on another website in which is also in (direct competition) with her book. This seems very much in violation of your review terms.



On the amazon website at this link that you sent me (http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/customer-reviews-guidelines), under the section of "What's not allowed" it states:



What's not allowed: "Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product)"



Which means that this review in question is in violation of your guidelines. 

Please help me out here. If the review was from someone who wasn't an author with a book in the same genre as mine, I would understand and accept that. But that is not the case in this instance.



I hope this explanation makes things more understandable. Thank you so much for your time.


AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE (Canned Response) :

Thank you for letting us know of the reviews on your book . We'll investigate the reviews on this product and take the appropriate action.



Thank you for taking the time to let us know about this.



We hope to see you again soon.






CORRESPONDENCE 3:

ME: 

3rd attempt, Still no resolve. Can you please help?





I'm hoping you can help me out. I have been unsuccessful in getting an explanation as to why this illegitimate review that was written by another author with a "directly competing product" has not been removed. The review is clearly in violation of amazon's guidelines.



I feel as if the the last 2 people who replied to my messages do not understand what I'm saying, or didn't even bother to read my messages. All I got were canned responses. The last response was a very generic one saying something to the effect of: "we will look into it."



So I'm attempting to reach out again in hopes of reaching a person that will take the time to actually read this and at least explain to me why no action is being taken on this.



I have worked 3 long hard years on the book in question, with professional editing, marketing & cover design. I am a legitimate author. It's really frustrating to be disregarded as someone who is not legitimate. I'm writing to you for a legitimate reason. 



Will you please take a minute to read the previous correspondences below, so you will understand what is going on? 

(This is where I pasted the previous correspondences)

^^^^ The above responses did not address the concerns of the Amazon Review Violation even though I have made the information regarding the violation clear. Can you please help me out here?




Thank you for your time.




I didn't think it would be this hard to get Amazon to regulate things that are in violation of their guidelines. Seriously though; They have no problem removing legitimate reviews, so why can't they remove reviews that are in violation of their guidelines?

Is all this rigamarole really necessary just to get a fake bad review removed? Lawd have mercy!

Well, maybe one day Amazon will have a better customer service department... in the meantime, I will be awaiting another response and looking into other publishing options. Hopefully this response will actually be human... that is, if I even get a response. If I do, I will update this post.




Update:

I received a response from Amazon. Here is what they said...


Hello Angela,

I've looked into this review on your book and researched your previous correspondence with my colleague.

This review is within our posted guidelines. We won't remove the review in its current format, and we aren't able to consider the removal of this review any further. I'm sorry for any additional concerns this may cause. Please take a look at our Review Guidelines for information about acceptable review content:

http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines

Thank you for your understanding.
Best regards,
Bryce.R


 

So let me get this straight... They gave me a link to their own guidelines in which were violated and they aren't going to do anything about it?  It's all very contradictory and lacks business integrity. I know I'm supposed to detach my emotions from business, but this whole ordeal makes me feel very upset, frustrated, and like I'm going crazy.

Do these people not have any damn common sense? Why do they avoid questions? Why do they not acknowledge the problem? Maybe I am just going crazy... You tell me.


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