Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Amazon Reviews free for all

I don't normally say anything about reviews that pop up on my books. Recently I allowed free days on my books Vampire in Love and Blood of Changes. I expected a mix of reviews. I got two unpleasant ones.
The one that has me astounded is  a one star review on Blood of Changes where the 'reader' didn't read the book and freely admits it,

(Didn't even try February 3, 2014

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

Based on the first book, I didn't even attempt reading this. I rarely fail to read a book that I have downloaded, but this was the exception based on how horrible the first book was.)

I don't mind she didn't like the first book, nor that she reveiwed it with a bad reveiw, but the one above is disgusting.
It's what we've come to realize is troll behavior.
How about I go to books I haven't read and put one stars on them? How about we put one stars on shoes that look ugly on the product page, or anything else that we haven't used, read, or watched?

I asked Amazon to remove the review. It seemed bizarre that someone could give a bad review to a book they haven't read.

This is their reply:

(Hello Tessa,
I've read the review titled "Didn't even try" for the book titled "
The Ruthins, Blood of Changes." I understand your concerns, but the review doesn't violate our posted guidelines, so I'm unable to remove it in its current format.

However, as the author of this title, you can provide feedback about this review by voting or commenting on it. To vote, click the "Yes" or "No" buttons next to "Was this review helpful to you?" To comment, click the Comments link at the bottom of the review.

We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received. Here's a link to our guidelines for reference:

We appreciate your understanding. We hope to see you again soon.
Best regards,
Regina B.

Did I solve your problem?
Yes  No
Your feedback is helping us build Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company.
Thank you.
What can I say? Am I going to reply to the review? No. But I am going to let people know that Amazon allows customers to review things they haven't used, read, or watched, because that's it guys, Amazon has to be allowing this stuff to go on all the time. What does that mean for retailing in general and the people who earn their living that way?

Not such a jolly green giant after all.


  1. You're right, Tessa that is completely disgusting. Honestly, if someone openly admits they haven't read the book then you should be able to get the review taken down. Sorry that happened to you, it sucks big time, but as authors we know this sort of troll behavior happens all the time.

  2. Hi Regina,
    Thank you for your kind comment. People have been shocked by the whole thing when I mentioned it on facebook. I did write back to Amazon saying their letter meant we could review anything havng not used, read, or watched it, and got back another letter.
    ( Amazon
    Your Account
    Message From Customer Service
    Hello Tessa,

    I've looked into this review on "The Ruthins, Blood of Changes" and researched your previous correspondence with my colleague.

    This review is within our posted guidelines. We won't remove the review in its current format, and we aren't able to consider the removal of this review any further. I'm sorry for any additional concerns this may cause. Please take a look at our Review Guidelines for information about acceptable review content:

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Best regards,
    Regina B.
    Thank you. )

    As you can see they don't intend fairness in this. Kudos to Regina ( customer service person) who obviously thought the whole thing sucked :-)
    It's forced me to see Amazon in a different light. It's all business and I knew that, but there's a streak of idiocy about the whole thing. How can a customer review be honest and a respected opinion when they haven't in this case read the book? Their argument is invalid. I'm going in a different direction now where possible because this behavior throws up all kinds of questions for me.
    Thank you again for commenting :-)

  3. That's Ridiculous! Hopefully when people see this review most people will realize that and disregard.

  4. hi Normandie,
    Thank you for your kindness :-)


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