- Last week, hundreds of Amazon shoppers took to social media to complain that their accounts had been mysteriously closed over the past week.
- Amazon claimed that these customers had violated its terms of service and told Business Insider it “has taken action against bad actors.”
- Business Insider found a Facebook group that showed the extent to which customers and sellers are abusing its reviews system.
- Some customers are receiving products that they had not ordered. Experts believe that sellers could be creating fake accounts and sending products to random addresses in order to leave “verified reviews.”
Last week, hundreds of Amazon customers were up in arms after the retailer shut down access to their accounts without warning.
On Thursday, Amazon sent a mass email to those impacted, stating that they had either broken the company’s review policy or used the account for “commercial purposes.”
A company spokesperson confirmed this to Business Insider in a statement on Friday: “Amazon has taken action against bad actors and those who have violated our community rules. If any customers believe their account has been closed in error, we encourage them to contact us directly so we can review their account and take appropriate action.”
According to conversations Business Insider had with 29 different Amazon shoppers and sellers, a subculture geared towards driving sales through reviews has arisen on the site, and some are using underhanded tactics — including sharing discount codes and sending shoppers free products in exchange for reviews — to do so.
Amazon is now making an aggressive push towards stamping these practices out.
Several customers told Business Insider they had not written reviews for discounted or free products since Amazon changed its…