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Criticizing products in Amazon reviews might get you sued

May 8th, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Amazon shoppers who like to review the products they purchase from the giant retailer should know that the companies that sell those products can go as far as to threaten serious legal action against them for negative reviews. Redditor trevely that had criticized a router on Amazon received such a threat from Mediabridge Products lawyers, Ars Technica reports, with the company asking him to remove his negative review of one of the products. Apparently, that review quickly became the “most helpful” negative review on Amazon for the Medialink Wireless Router.

The product has an average of 3.5/5 stars from almost 2,900 reviews, with as many as 829 people leaving a 1-star review, including trevely‘s.

Trevely shared the full letter, saying that the attorneys told him they’ll sue him for “slander, defamation, product disparagement, fraud, libel and libel per se” unless he agrees to never purchase products from the company and never publicly comment on any of the company’s products, in addition to deleting the actual review.

Amazon could also be very interested in this matter, considering that product reviews play a major role when it comes to purchase decisions. Speaking in an unofficial capacity, a different Redditor who supposedly works at Amazon told trevely to email Bezos directly about the matter.

“Amazonian here, though not speaking on behalf of the company of course,” captcrax wrote. “If customer service is not solving the problem, e-mail Seriously, Jeff Bezos reads complaints from customers every day and sometimes forwards those emails to the appropriate department head with just a question mark in the message body. When your VP gets one of those emails from Jeff, everyone drops what they are doing and fixes the customer’s problem.”

“We learn this on day one at Amazon: customers come first. Customers are the reason we are here and they are who we work for,” he said.

On its website, Amazon instructs sellers not to “manipulate ratings, feedback or product reviews,” making it clear that they’re not allowed to ask buyers “to remove negative reviews.”

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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