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Thread: Guy Writes Bad Review on Amazon - Company Threatens To Sue - Amazon TOS's Company's Account

  1. #1
    Photoballer 4Dragons's Avatar
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    Guy Writes Bad Review on Amazon - Company Threatens To Sue - Amazon TOS's Company's Account

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/...count-20140509

    Company That Threatened to Sue Negative Reviewer Just Lost Its Amazon Account

    While the reviewer took down his Amazon and Reddit posts, Mediabridge might have lost its livelihood.

    The consequences of one negative Amazon review might have just cost a company its business.
    Earlier this week, a man took to Reddit asking for legal advice, saying a law firm was threatening to sue him for writing a negative review about an Internet router.
    The company that sold that router, New Jersey-based Mediabridge, through the law firm, claimed that the review contained several assertions that were "false, defamatory, libelous, and slanderous." The reviewer claimed the company faked positive reviews and stole the design of their product from another company.



    Companies have been able to successfully sue over false online reviews in the past.


    In the days after the law firm made its threat, the man who wrote the Amazon review has taken down his original review and his post on Reddit. But that's not the end of this for the company.
    Leaders at Mediabridge now say that Amazon has revoked the company's seller account, preventing the sale of Mediabridge products on Amazon.com—the only site through which it currently sells its products. That might mean the loss of jobs for many of the company's employees, the company claims.
    "All of this is due to misinformation which was blown out of proportion by individuals on a social media site who acted first, before questioning whether the information they had was accurate or not," representatives of the company said in a statement. "This is the reality of this situation. Remember that there is a human aspect to this story."
    Mediabridge still defends the actions it took against the Amazon user, who had originally claimed the company was bullying him and threatening to sue for a simple negative review.
    The Amazon user has not actually been sued. Not yet, at least. He has been warned and asked to correct what Mediabridge and its lawyers called "untrue and damaging statements." And the company is not threatening to sue just over a negative review, representatives say. Companies receive many negative reviews for their products, and to sue over them would be "silly," Mediabridge admits. The company just took issue with perceived falsehoods in the review itself.
    "This was done in the most public forum, and in the very spot where our products are displayed," the company continued in a statement. "It would be like seeing a sign at a Ford dealership, right next to a Mustang that says, 'This car was made with child labor.' "
    Apparently, Mediabridge has had to deal with these sort of statements in the past, the company says, and spent two years defending previous allegations in separate reviews. For Mediabridge, it is "within our rights to take steps to protect our reputation" when "an army attacks us on the Internet."
    But that "army" might have just cost Mediabridge its future.

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    This is an interesting double-edged sword, because I can see both sides of it.

    In this case, without even knowing the details, I'm pretty sure the reviewer was right and the company was wrong.

    However, bad reviews can be devastating to a company, especially a company/product that isn't a huge seller, and thus the overall number of reviews are low.

    Certain bitter or unfair customers can go on a SixToedPete-like vendetta and really ruin a company just with some convincing-sounding bad reviews.

    At the same time, there are a LOT of shady companies out there (especially selling on the internet), and the power to give bad reviews is really the biggest weapon at the consumer's disposal. In cases where I've been cheated and/or treated disrespectfully by a company, the first thought that goes into my head is, "Well, at least I can write a bad review and let the world know about my experience." Without that power, companies get a way with a ton of shit, as most people patronizing them would otherwise have no way to know about others' bad experiences.

    I feel that every consumer should have the right to post fair and honest reviews. I feel that lawsuits should only come into play when there is clear malice and/or clear misinformation in the reviews.

    For example, in the case of this router, if the reviewer maliciously wrote, "This router will upload malware into your computer, and your identity will get stolen", that shouldn't be allowed unless the reviewer has proof of this. At the same time, if the review is something like, "This thing is a piece of shit. It constantly fails to connect to my laptop, and it just loses connection spontaneously", that's the reviewer's own experience with it, and unless the company can prove he is falsifying it, the review needs to stand.

    Anyway, good for Amazon for banning that company. Amazon is actually a very customer-friendly company, and I recommend them.

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    Photoballer 4Dragons's Avatar
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    I would like to see the text of this guys review just to have some point of reference on how valid or trolling this all was. But yeah I posted it because of the STP angle and just the odd justice angle that you just don't expect to see from a corporate monolith taking the side of the consumer and basically telling the company 'we don't need your money'. I mean there are avenues of arbitration that companies and buyers can go through without getting the ever threatening lawyer douchebags involved. But on the other hand I would be upset if the reviewer was a STP type and got their shit ko'd.

  4. #4
    PR rep for the company needs instantly fired. If they were smart they would have backed out of the law suit the moment amazon removed them and begged for forgiveness. Whether they win or lose the lawsuit they've already lost. They're not going to get enough money to rebuild their company off of this lawsuit because the guy is obviously not going to have deep pockets that they're suing.

     
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    For example, in the case of this router, if the reviewer maliciously wrote, "This router will upload malware into your computer, and your identity will get stolen", that shouldn't be allowed unless the reviewer has proof of this. At the same time, if the review is something like, "This thing is a piece of shit. It constantly fails to connect to my laptop, and it just loses connection spontaneously", that's the reviewer's own experience with it, and unless the company can prove he is falsifying it, the review needs to stand.
    When people write blatantly false reviews, Amazon users can "downvote" them as unhelpful. That makes them less visible. Any product, even extremely high quality and popular products, are going to get a few of these, as well as idiots writing 1-star reviews for trivial reasons. It doesn't matter in the end. Great products will get a high % of positive reviews, and shills for shitty products will get drowned out by downvotes and real negative reviews.

    This stuff naturally sorts itself out. We don't need review police.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    I would like to see the text of this guys review just to have some point of reference on how valid or trolling this all was. But yeah I posted it because of the STP angle and just the odd justice angle that you just don't expect to see from a corporate monolith taking the side of the consumer and basically telling the company 'we don't need your money'. I mean there are avenues of arbitration that companies and buyers can go through without getting the ever threatening lawyer douchebags involved. But on the other hand I would be upset if the reviewer was a STP type and got their shit ko'd.
    It doesn't really matter in this case whether the complaint was legit or not. The company can complain all they want about how unfair the review is, but the fact is they made a huge mistake in contacting a reviewer. That's a big no-no, and Amazon is known to shitcan vendors who do this for any reason.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SrslySirius View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    For example, in the case of this router, if the reviewer maliciously wrote, "This router will upload malware into your computer, and your identity will get stolen", that shouldn't be allowed unless the reviewer has proof of this. At the same time, if the review is something like, "This thing is a piece of shit. It constantly fails to connect to my laptop, and it just loses connection spontaneously", that's the reviewer's own experience with it, and unless the company can prove he is falsifying it, the review needs to stand.
    When people write blatantly false reviews, Amazon users can "downvote" them as unhelpful. That makes them less visible. Any product, even extremely high quality and popular products, are going to get a few of these, as well as idiots writing 1-star reviews for trivial reasons. It doesn't matter in the end. Great products will get a high % of positive reviews, and shills for shitty products will get drowned out by downvotes and real negative reviews.

    This stuff naturally sorts itself out. We don't need review police.
    For commonly-purchased products, the unfair bad reviews get drowned out by the good ones.

    However, I have seen a number of products on Amazon with like 4 reviews, and to be honest, even one really bad one tends to drive me away from purchasing them in such a case. I imagine many others feel the same way.

    So I see how some smaller companies can get infuriated by SixToedPete types essentially killing their business with a few bad reviews. At the same time, unless it's someone reviewing your product maliciously, you have to accept bad reviews as a fact of life when doing business. I have to imagine that this company is just shady, and thought that lawsuits were a way to silence honest reviews of their product.

  8. #8
    Photoballer 4Dragons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SrslySirius View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    I would like to see the text of this guys review just to have some point of reference on how valid or trolling this all was. But yeah I posted it because of the STP angle and just the odd justice angle that you just don't expect to see from a corporate monolith taking the side of the consumer and basically telling the company 'we don't need your money'. I mean there are avenues of arbitration that companies and buyers can go through without getting the ever threatening lawyer douchebags involved. But on the other hand I would be upset if the reviewer was a STP type and got their shit ko'd.
    It doesn't really matter in this case whether the complaint was legit or not. The company can complain all they want about how unfair the review is, but the fact is they made a huge mistake in contacting a reviewer. That's a big no-no, and Amazon is known to shitcan vendors who do this for any reason.
    It's just that i didn't get a chance to see the review, don't read too much into it. I'm well aware of the mechanics behind amazon, and moreover paypal.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SrslySirius View Post

    It doesn't really matter in this case whether the complaint was legit or not. The company can complain all they want about how unfair the review is, but the fact is they made a huge mistake in contacting a reviewer. That's a big no-no, and Amazon is known to shitcan vendors who do this for any reason.
    It's just that i didn't get a chance to see the review, don't read too much into it. I'm well aware of the mechanics behind amazon, and moreover paypal.
    Didn't see the actual review but an article I read said that he his review was about a router where he said it was shit and identical to a cheaper model made by some shitty Chinese company. I will try to find it. Ok found it, apparently he also insinuated that they were STPing their positive reviews.

    http://www.askmen.com/news/entertain...on-review.html

    Well, the sh*t hit the fan. Or in the case, the router hit the fan? Maybe the sh*t hit the router. Regardless, router-making company Mediabridge has been kicked off Amazon. Companies of the world, you've been warned. Guess we can add Reddit to Texas in "the list of things you don't mess with. Here's the backstory:

    A story is blowing up on Reddit right now about a user named "trevely" who posted a review on Amazon back in September about a router made by a company called Mediabridge. In his review, he pointed out that the router looks identical to another one on the site being sold for less and provided a link to FCC filings from Mediabridge that confirm it is, in fact, the same product (the link has since been taken down). He also questioned the validity of the product's "73% 5-star perfect rating," suggesting that the company may have paid for good reviews (The original review from the Redditor has been deleted, but there is a screenshot available).

    On May 5th, the user trevely received a letter from Mediabridge informing him that the company plans to take legal action against him for posting "false, defamatory, libellous and slanderous" comments about their product. They stated that if he does not remove his review from the site within three days, the company will take legal action against him and "all other persons who can be identified as participating with you in this wrongful conduct." That last bit is a particularly lofty threat. The company stated that the fact that the review "so quickly gathered such an abnormally high number of helpful votes indicates to Mediabridge that there was likely a concerted campaign by you and unknown others to ram this review up to the top of the list of 'helpful reviews' in order to more effective in damaging Mediabridge."

    Yeah maybe that's what happened, or, maybe the argument against the router seemed legitimate enough to users that they decided to upvote it of their own volition? I'm no legal expert, but it seems like it would be difficult for Mediabridge to prove that the upvotes were solicited rather than genuine. Although, this type of thing can and does happen on the internet. For instance, "meatpuppetry" on Wikipedia is the term for "soliciting other people to come to Wikipedia in order to influence the editorial process in a topic or discussion" and is strictly forbidden.

    Redditors have urged trevely not to back down. One user, CrymeScene, shared his story about a similar experience: "The same thing happened with a company I ordered a jacket from. Received a threatening email. Amazon customer support was very interested, took my side, and threatened to remove them from their website. They also CC'd me on the emails they sent to them. You have to fight this. If you need crowd funding I'll start it off with a $50 donation to your defines." Several other users have stated that they will financially support traveley if he fights the suit.

    Furthermore, almost every other commenter in the thread agreed that Amazon takes "vendor bullying" very seriously and will usually side with the customer. Especially because cases like this call into question the integrity of their reviews section.

    Already the reviews section for the product on Amazon is overflowing with negative reviews and obvious trolls from users supporting trevely's side. However, trevely is asking that people not leave negative reviews, perhaps out of fear that it could be used as further evidence against him.

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