Has Amazon ever caught you using paid reviews and dropped the banhammer? Then why not get together with several other sellers in the same situation and launch a class action against the tech giant.
The Verge writes that several Chinese companies filed the class-action complaint against Amazon on September 13. The retailer has long waged war on sellers who use paid reviews and recently said it had shut down 3,000 online merchants linked to 600 Chinese electronics brands for paid feedback and similar activities.
While the companies in this case aren’t denying they used paid reviewers, they allege that Amazon is withholding several hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars of their claimed earnings. But Amazon’s Services Business Solutions Agreement, which covers Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) businesses such as those in the complaint, states that it can withhold funds if companies violate its policies.
The parties filing the class action—Sopownic, Slaouwo, Deyixun, Cstech, Recoo Direct, Angelbliss, and Tudi—seek “recovery of funds that are being illegally and improperly withheld by Amazon.” They also want to “stop any further misappropriation and misuse of funds that are legally and rightfully due to thousands of Amazon sellers and merchants.”
The Chinese firms argue that as Amazon is in charge of distribution in an FBA arrangement, it should have been aware that they were offering gift cards in exchange for positive reviews.
With over 300 million active customers and over 1.9 million selling partners worldwide, rooting out fake reviews isn’t an easy task for Amazon. Though, it claims to have removed 200 million of them in 2020 before they were seen by users.
Earlier this year, Amazon blamed the problem partly on social media platforms, used by many organizations to solicit their fake reviews. It said the likes of Facebook and Twitter were slow to act in removing these groups from their respective platforms.