Testers paid to post re­views

Daily Star - - NEWS - ■ by ADELA WHIT­TING­HAM

AMA­ZON cus­tomers are be­ing duped by fake re­views.

A probe found four and five star re­views on the web­site are sold for up to £13 each by rogue mar­ket­ing firms and their armies of “testers”.

Fake re­view­ers buy the prod­ucts to en­sure Ama­zon clas­si­fies them as “Ver­i­fied Pur­chases”, but are then given a fee and re­fund in re­turn.

AMZTIGERs of Ger­many claims it has 3,000 UK and 60,000 Europe-wide testers.

It sells pack­age deals of re­views, in­clud­ing 500 for €5,000 – the equiv­a­lent of £8.50 each. One worker told in­ves­ti­ga­tors the prac­tice was “not re­ally le­gal but not re­ally un­le­gal”.

Last night Ama­zon said it had taken le­gal ac­tion against some firms and would con­tinue to fight such ac­tiv­ity.

It added: “Ama­zon is re­lent­less in our ef­forts to pro­tect the in­tegrity of re­views.

“Our ob­jec­tive is to catch and re­move abu­sive re­views be­fore a cus­tomer ever sees it, and in the last month over 99% of the re­views read by cus­tomers were au­then­tic.”

AMZTIGERs has been con­tacted for com­ment.

Ear­lier this year a sur­vey by con­sumer watch­dog Which? found 97% of shop­pers re­lied on cus­tomer re­views to help make a pur­chase. As a re­sult, mil­lions of Ama­zon shop­pers were at risk of be­ing mis­led.

Natalie Hitchins from Which? said at the time: “It is vi­tal that Ama­zon takes stronger ac­tion to en­sure peo­ple can trust the in­for­ma­tion they see on­line and aren’t duped into buy­ing poor qual­ity prod­ucts.”

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