Fake or embellished reviews have been accepted, for the most part, by parties involved in e-commerce. For years, I've been qualifying average review scores by requiring a certain number of entries. For example, a restaurant with 3 reviews might as well have no reviews because all three could be fake. I don't pay attention to any rating unless the business has over 30 reviews. The more, the better, though. Even 30 reviews leaves a lot of room for skewing. As a writer, I've even been asked to write a few fake reviews before, prior to trying the product. I didn't do it, but this should give you an idea of how common fake reviews are.
Buyamazonreviews.com and buyreviewsnow.com are domains belonging to people who write reviews for Amazon store managers, according to The Seattle Times. The sites are used by Jay Gentile, who is accused by Amazon of trademark infringement, false advertising and violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act. Amazon wants triple damages and attorneys fees. They're going for the throat!.
"While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon's brand," says an Amazon representative.
According to Amazon, Gentile promised a client that he would "provide as many five-star reviews as the purchaser wanted," that he would post them in intervals that wouldn't make Amazon suspect anything, and that the client could ship him empty boxes just to prove to Amazon that he had been shipped a product to review. The client got the reviews from him for around 20 bucks a piece.
Mark Collins, who owns the domains where Gentile's services are listed, says he doesn't know Gentile and that his websites only connect sellers with buyers who are willing to write reviews.
What's your take on this? Does it make you happy? Do you feel bad for the review writers? Comment below.