The consumer group Which? has released the findings of an investigation into reviews of certain Amazon products and found that many of the e-retailer’s best-rated tech products are deluged by fake product reviews.
The group looked at 14 different technology products, including headphones, cameras, and smartwatches and found that many of the best-rated products in those categories were from completely unknown brands. Each brand had hundreds of unverified five-star reviews. Unverified reviews mean the review was left by someone with an Amazon account who did not actually purchase the product from Amazon.
The worst offending category was headphones. In just a few hours Which? found over 10,000 unverified reviews for just 24 pairs of headphones. One set of headphones from an unknown company called Celebrat had 439 five-star unverified reviews that were all left on the same day.
The scale of unverified reviews suggests Amazon has a massive fake review problem that ends up hurting its users as 97% of shoppers rely on online customer reviews to help make a purchase. When Which? reached out to Amazon with the findings of its investigation, an Amazon spokesperson replied:
Amazon invests significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews in our store because we know customers value the insights and experiences shared by fellow shoppers. Even one inauthentic review is one too many. We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners and we suspend, ban, and take legal action on those who violate our policies.
But until Amazon can get a handle on its fake review problem, there are a few steps shoppers should take to determine if a product has actually received genuine reviews. Check out Which?’s video below on how to check the real from the fake review.