The UK based consumer organisation “Which?” has curatively declared that online e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com is flooded with fictitious and fabricated five-star customer reviews for listed products from unknown brands.
Those top-rated customer reviews on trendy items were overshadowed by unfamiliar brands, Which? investigations ascertained. Which? have analysed the listings of hundreds of famous tech products in 14 online sections including headphones, smart wearables, dashcams and fitness trackers, monitoring for significant signs of dubious reviews.
It is to be noted that more than thousands of these product reviews were absolutely unverified. Most of these reviews are meant to influence the rating a listing of products from unknown brands such as Itshiny, Vogek and Aitalk. Most of the rating and reviews published below the product page carry no typical evidence to testify that genuinely of a purchaser of the product, the study concluded.
But Amazon has downplayed the matter by stating that it is using an impeccable automated technology to slash out fake reviews. The retail tech giant also said that it has funded substantial resources to shield its review system as the company knows the customers would value the perspicacity and experiences distributed by fellow customers.
When Which? has explored over the Amazon’s website for headphones, it noticed that all the products on the results page were from unfamiliar brands. Of total 12,000 reviews, the most 87% were from groundless shopping.
The study reveals an example, which is having a set of headphones by an unfamiliar brand called Celebrat, that had 439 five-star reviews, all were unverified, groundless and were cast on the same day, supposing that they all had been automated reviews.
Amazon said in a statement: “[We] invest significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews in our store because we know customers value the insights and experiences shared by fellow shoppers. We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners and we suspend, ban and take legal action on those who violate our policies.”
How to detect a false review
- Do not just rely on five-star ratings – probe deeper and read the customer reviews
- Check the dates of purchases and have a look at the specific date when the reviews were posted. If any of those reviews were posted in a short period of time, it is more apparent they might have been computer generated and are not real.
- Do filter the reviews to exclude unverified reviews. Only reviews listed as verified are those that Amazon can validate that purchase were made on its website
- If any products have multitudes of mostly positive reviews be suspicious about that product.
ReviewMeta, a US-based website that curatively analyses online reviews, stated that it was really dismayed at the measure of the unverified reviews, declaring they were very explicit and are quite easy to prevent.
The popularity of independent online review sites is rising mainly due to the fact that they are believed by both businesses and their customers.
“Look to independent and trustworthy sources when researching a purchase,” says Natalie Hitchins – Head of home products, Which?.
Amazon must prepare curative measures to prevent its websites from deceitful and false reviews if it is to sustain the trust of its millions of consumers and shoppers all over the world. Care should be taken by every buyer while reading the reviews with the authenticity of date and frequency to ensure the correctness of the product.
Which? research is primarily focused on the UK market though, it exposes the universal challenge Amazon may be going through worldwide.
Neither Which? nor Dazeinfo was able to reach any of the above-mentioned brands in the report or to recognise the root of the dubious reviews.