Amazon Review Manipulation Appeal
Review Manipulation on Amazon in our experience is one of the more difficult issues to resolve. Why? Because more often than not, whether knowingly or not, the seller is guilty of violating Amazon policy. Whether you’ve joined a Facebook group to obtain review for a new product launch. Asked friends, family and employees to leave reviews to get a product ranked. Or simply sent out emails to customers where the wording was asking for a positive 5 star review. Chances are eventually Amazon will catch it and you will have to appeal an account suspension.
So how do you move past this suspension for Review Manipulation on Amazon?
Amazon’s Policies and Guidelines
The old adage “knowledge is power” comes to mind. Knowing exactly what you can and can not do, what you can and can not say is the key to success on Amazon. Nowhere is this more true then with reviews on Amazon. Amazon has very specific guidelines in place to ensure sellers are obtaining honest reviews of their products/services. If you are not familiar with these guidelines I highly suggest you review them on Amazon.
Per Amazon violations to policy include but are not limited to the following:
- A seller posts a review of their own product or their competitor’s product.
- A seller offers a third party a financial reward, discount, free products, or other compensation in exchange for a review on their product or their competitor’s product. This includes using services that sell customer reviews, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller offers to provide a refund or reimbursement after the buyer writes a review (including reimbursement via a non-Amazon payment method). This could be done via buyer-seller messaging on Amazon or directly contacting customers or using 3rd party services, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller uses a third-party service that offers free or discounted products tied to a review (for example, a review club that requires customers to register their Amazon public profile so that sellers can monitor their reviews).
- A family member or employee of the seller posts a review of the seller’s product or a competitor’s product.
- A seller asks a reviewer to change or remove their review. They might also offer a refund or other compensation to a reviewer in exchange for doing so.
- A seller diverts negative reviews to be sent to them or to a different feedback mechanism while positive reviews are sent to Amazon.
- If a seller creates a variation relationship between products with the aim of manipulating reviews and boosting a product’s star rating via review aggregation.
- A seller inserts a request for a positive Amazon review or an incentive in exchange for a review into product packaging or shipping box.
- When a seller uses a customer account to write or change a review on his or his competitor’s product.
Protect Your Account By Educating Your Business
Some violations are more common than others. Be sure to educate yourself as well as your staff on these policies. Additionally, be sure to check back often as policies tend to get updated throughout the year. For Sellers who have multiple individuals on staff, it helps to assign a person with the task of remaining up to date on these policy changes. Then of course educating the rest of the employees on changes as they come up.
Amazon | Review Manipulation Appeal
So you have received a notification from Amazon pertaining to Review Manipulation. In my experience these notifications 99 times out of a 100 are justified. Whether you having knowingly violated the policies or unknowingly the path to reinstatement lies with the appeal.
As with all Amazon Appeals I advise sellers to start with a strong template. If your not sure what that should look like check out our article on Drafting Your Amazon Appeal Letter.
Amazon Review Manipulation Appeals tend to require very specific information. As opposed to a lot of other appeals on Amazon that can be resolved with more generic language. Before submitting or preparing an appeal you want to be sure to review the notification thoroughly, as this need to be reiterated to Amazon in your appeal. Amazon knows exactly what you did, whether it was gray area language or purchasing reviews from Facebook. While they will give you key points to hit on in your appeal they are not going to provide you with specifics.
In general these case are won by owning up to what ever violations have been made. Providing very specific details on how you obtained reviews or the language you used that violated Amazon’s policies. Amazon is looking for you to take ownership of this violation, provide corrective measures to resolve the matter and provide a plan for how you will ensure it will not occur again. So if you for instance, obtained reviews from a Facebook Group. Amazon is going to want to know how many reviews you obtained, on what ASINs, the name of the Group.
If you violated Amazons terms in obtaining reviews from Amazon’s customers they are going to want to know the exact language you used and who you contacted. Additionally, you would want to provide the language you are going to use going forward when interacting with Amazon’s customers.
Be Sure to Read This!
Now here’s the honest downside to providing Amazon with an appeal like this. You are now at Amazon’s mercy. You have admitted in writing that you violated their terms and conditions to operate on the platform. It is a risk, however in my experience in this low probability win cases owning the violation and providing actionable measure to resolve the issue is the path to reinstatement.
If you are unable to resolve this matter through the normal appeals teams be sure to check out our article on Drafting an Escalation Appeal.
Next we will be discussing section 3 of the Amazon Business Solution Agreement.
As Always, It Never Hurts To Ask For Help
Have you received an Amazon Account Suspension or Notification? We here at Amazon Account Rescue are here to discuss these matters with you.
Should you have any additional questions or wish to discuss this or any other matter please feel free to contact us at 1-800-757-0282 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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