• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Taking on Amazon?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

#1
New Hampshire.
Looking for legal advice. I have been an author for over ten years. My books have been read all across America and I have modest sales in a few other countries. However, Amazon is making life difficult for Independent Authors like myself. For one thing, there are many fake reviews showing up on books. Many of these are clearly from bots ( One account reviewed 100 books in a singe day). I documented a handful of them and contacted Amazon's corporate office. I received e-mails after each complaint saying Jeff Bezos received my e-mail and they would look into it. I though they would be happy that I pointed this out to them. However, they never removed the fake reviews. I was persistent because I have such good documentation. But they became hostile when I followed up. I was supposed to just get frustrated and give up, I guess. I have come to find out that many authors are complaining about this. Of course, there is a clause that states I have to go to arbitration or small claims court. Can I go after them in small claims for fraud? They know that fraudulent reviews are there but refuse to remove them. Can Amazon be compelled to remove the reviews? Even the talk show host Stephen Colbert talked about Amazon's corrupt practices regarding his book.


My questions are:


Can Amazon be compelled to remove fraudulent reviews?


Can I use discovery in small claims to get records of the book reviews regarding my books?


Thanks,

Ken
 


quincy

Senior Member
#2
If you can get a court to order that Amazon remove the (fake) reviews, Amazon will remove them (or fight the order).

In order to get the court to issue such an order, you need to demonstrate to the court that the reviews are fake and violate a law. That can be quite a task.
 
Last edited:

LdiJ

Senior Member
#3
If you can get a court to order that Amazon remove the (fake) reviews, Amazon will remove them (or fight the order).

In order to get the court to issue such an order, you need to demonstrate to the court that the reviews are fake. That can be quite a task.
Which is likely why Amazon isn't removing them. Amazon's business reputation can be damaged if they are known to remove derogatory reviews, therefore they need to be certain that reviews are fake before they entertain removing them.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#4
Right. Amazon is not going to infringe on free speech rights.

Amazon has on their website a page on review policies and how to report abuses.
 
Last edited:
#6
Thanks everyone. Good advice. I think it's worth the effort. Amazon also removes reviews randomly with no explanation. Amazon was caught removing 1000 negative reviews from a politician's book. Proving they do it won't be too difficult. But is a small claims judge going to want to jump into something so big?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#7
Thanks everyone. Good advice. I think it's worth the effort. Amazon also removes reviews randomly with no explanation. Amazon was caught removing 1000 negative reviews from a politician's book. Proving they do it won't be too difficult. But is a small claims judge going to want to jump into something so big?
I don't understand what you think small claims will do for you.
 
#9
Thanks everyone. Good advice. I think it's worth the effort. Amazon also removes reviews randomly with no explanation. Amazon was caught removing 1000 negative reviews from a politician's book. Proving they do it won't be too difficult. But is a small claims judge going to want to jump into something so big?
I notice you didn't answer my question. I'll make it even simpler.

Are you talking about fake reviews of YOUR books?
Yes or no.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#10
Thanks everyone. Good advice. I think it's worth the effort. Amazon also removes reviews randomly with no explanation. Amazon was caught removing 1000 negative reviews from a politician's book. Proving they do it won't be too difficult. But is a small claims judge going to want to jump into something so big?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/customer-review-guidelines-faqs-from-authors

Amazon would know if the reviews are published by a bot. Trying to show the reviews are otherwise fake is more of a challenge.

Did you report what you believe to be fake reviews through the "unhelpful" button, as Amazon directs? Or did you just send emails?
 
#11
The answer to the questions above: I'm considering small claims because Amazon has an arbitration clause. And arbitration of course costs thousands to file. Amazon is the arbitrators biggest client. Sounds like a losing proposition. Secondly, I would only focus on the reviews pertaining to my book. Yes, I did hit the unhelpful button many times and specified the problem. I believe the big six publishers are going after independent authors who are a threat to their bottom line. They have been sued by the federal government for other anti-trust issues. Amazon knows about it and turns a blind eye, or it's such a big problem they gave up. There are probably hundreds of millions of reviews on the site. Last question, is anyone on here an attorney? I thought that is who I would be consulting with.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#12
The answer to the questions above: I'm considering small claims because Amazon has an arbitration clause. And arbitration of course costs thousands to file. Amazon is the arbitrators biggest client. Sounds like a losing proposition. Secondly, I would only focus on the reviews pertaining to my book. Yes, I did hit the unhelpful button many times and specified the problem. I believe the big six publishers are going after independent authors who are a threat to their bottom line. They have been sued by the federal government for other anti-trust issues. Amazon knows about it and turns a blind eye, or it's such a big problem they gave up. There are probably hundreds of millions of reviews on the site. Last question, is anyone on here an attorney? I thought that is who I would be consulting with.
When you post to a forum, you are not getting a "consultation." You are receiving general legal information and advice. You should read the IMPORTANT NOTICE at the bottom of this page.

If you want an attorney's legal advice for a specific legal issue, you need to find an attorney licensed to practice in your own jurisdiction. You might find an attorney who offers a free initial consultation but you often must pay for a personal review of the particulars.

The forum members on FreeAdvice are a mix of attorneys and people with a working knowledge of the law, and/or individuals with good research skills. And, like on any forum, there will be an idiot or two. :)

Although I think your efforts to sue Amazon are doomed to failure, I wish you good luck.
 
Last edited:

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
#13
The answer to the questions above: I'm considering small claims because Amazon has an arbitration clause. And arbitration of course costs thousands to file. Amazon is the arbitrators biggest client. Sounds like a losing proposition. Secondly, I would only focus on the reviews pertaining to my book. Yes, I did hit the unhelpful button many times and specified the problem. I believe the big six publishers are going after independent authors who are a threat to their bottom line. They have been sued by the federal government for other anti-trust issues. Amazon knows about it and turns a blind eye, or it's such a big problem they gave up. There are probably hundreds of millions of reviews on the site. Last question, is anyone on here an attorney? I thought that is who I would be consulting with.
The author of a book debating with the critics, telling them they're unhelpful?! I can understand a seller responding to comments, usually with an attempt to show that they are willing to suggest real deficiencies, but judging the usefulness of a comment? Maybe that's why the feature has been removed.
 
Sponsored Ad

Top