Claims made that Amazon staff took cash for review deletion

By Dan Wilson September 17, 2018 - 10:44 am

It is being alleged that some staff at Amazon have been taking money from merchants in return for using their access to internal systems to delete unfavourable customer reviews. The allegations have come to light after an investigation made by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The WSJ reports that for payments ranging from $80 to more than $2,000 Amazon employees in Shenzhen in China will delete reviews and also provide sales metrics, competitor information, customer contact details and even restore suspended accounts. Merchants apparently communicate with Amazon reps, and make payment via, the WeChat messaging service.

In a statement confirming that the reports would be thoroughly investigated, an Amazon spokesperson said:

We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behaviour, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action.
– Amazon spokesperson

The integrity of the Amazon reviews system is critical to the marketplace. It is widely known that the reviews on Amazon are valued by shoppers when making a purchase so anything that dents shopper confidence in the system is unwelcome by merchants. However, what is not clear is the scale of this bribery problem.

It would seem from the WSJ report that their specific claim regards a relatively small number of staff at a single facility in China, although other outlets have been reporting it to be a more widespread a practice. Considering that Amazon employs 560,000 people across the world, it is inevitable that there will be such incidents somewhere within the company.

What will, perhaps, be the most concerning aspect of this for most merchants is that this has predominantly been happening in China. Chinese merchants already enjoy significant competitive advantages, including low-cost international shipping, and there will be concern that back-channels to staff give them a further edge.

  • Frank
    3 years ago

    “zero tolerance for abuse”
    Sure, but only, if it hurts Amazon profits or turns into a PR fiasco.

  • ifellow
    3 years ago

    China Sounds about right. One rule for them another for everyone else.

  • 3 years ago

    is anything being done by either our government or the EC to deal with the mail cost advantage?

Featured in this article from the Tamebay Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Amazon started as online book store and has grown to be the worlds largest online retailer.

See More Companies >

Recent Comments

11 hours ago
Jeff Greaves: My items have been stuck in Felixstowe for over a month and still no date...
20 hours ago
ASHISH: My BRPs are still not delivered they are with TNT from more then 3 weeks...
1 day ago
Trumpton: Why would Amazon care. When they dump hundreds of thousands of brand new genuine products...
2 days ago
SAM: Ohhh Amazon will not fanny about they will and are in a position to...