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Author Topic: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning  (Read 3344 times)  

Offline Robert Fluegel

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I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« on: January 23, 2017, 03:08:39 PM »
I got this from Amazon this morning:

"Notice: Policy Warning

Hello,

We understand that you may have manipulated product reviews. Authors on Amazon.com are not allowed to manipulate ratings, feedback, or reviews."

I really have no idea what they are talking about.  In one review of book 1 someone mentioned getting a free copy as part of my mailing list.  In 2 reviews of book 2 someone mentioned receiving a free copy in exchange for an honest review.  How is that manipulating reviews?  I have not asked for positive reviews only so I don't get it.  Right in their FAQ it says I can give a free copy in advance for an honest review.  Should I be worried about this?

Offline Silly Writer

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 03:15:51 PM »
I got this warning once.

I used my computer/ip address to load up a memoir book for an elderly gentleman (I wrote it and formatted it and covered it for him too). But I opened him a KDP account and loaded that sucker.

Since I had read it, and he was NO relation to me by blood or money, I reviewed it--using my personal reader acct, not my author acct-- I gave him 4 stars.

After I got that message, I replied back asking for details, insisting that I HAD NOT manipulated my reviews (I assumed this was about my book reviews on my own books)!!

They told me it was about this review. I guess they saw the upload came from my ip and traced my reader acct and author acct to that ip and they said I couldn't review it. I apologized and they removed my review and that was the end of that :)

etc: so many typos :(
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 03:17:29 PM by Silly Writer »

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 03:16:33 PM »
Have you up or down voted reviews? That is something they don't approve of. Manipulation doesn't necessarily mean giving away review copies.

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Offline Robert Fluegel

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 03:42:52 PM »
My daughter's friend posted a review of my book without asking me.  She has previously visited my house and connected to my wifi while visiting but other than that I can't think of any other breaches of their policy.

Offline 9 Diamonds

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 03:48:20 PM »
It's totally against Amazon policy for anyone even remotely connected to you to review your product. They send these messages out whenever they detect an association between reviewer and publisher.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 03:51:26 PM »
My daughter's friend posted a review of my book without asking me.  She has previously visited my house and connected to my wifi while visiting but other than that I can't think of any other breaches of their policy.

That's likely what caused them to send the email. Amazon has been getting pretty strict on reviews lately.
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Offline Silly Writer

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 03:53:27 PM »
My daughter's friend posted a review of my book without asking me.  She has previously visited my house and connected to my wifi while visiting but other than that I can't think of any other breaches of their policy.

If you reply and ask them, they'll tell you which review is under suspicion. Then you can tell them you had no control over that, and you don't mind them removing the review (they'll do it anyway). They'll add this info to the conversation trail so that everyone there knows you didn't 'really' manipulate reviews. It's an automated bot-thing that catches these associations. Don't let it worry you :)

P.S. I tell all my family and family friends...DO NOT REVIEW MY BOOKS IF YOU READ THEM...because I drop-ship to some of their addresses for birthdays/Christmas from my acct and don't want to ever receive a message implying wrongdoing again.

Online brkingsolver

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 04:17:07 PM »
That's likely what caused them to send the email. Amazon has been getting pretty strict on reviews lately.
Because it's far more important than scamming KU and getting bonuses using click farms.

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Offline BigPhilly

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 05:15:49 PM »
My mom reviewed one of my books using her account but on my wifi and Amazon deleted the review within a couple days. However, I didn't receive a warning email. That said, Amazon has warned me about all kinds of honest mistakes and so far it hasn't taken my account away. Nothing to worry about.

Offline Robert Fluegel

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2017, 06:59:19 AM »
Thanks everyone,  I replied and told them to take the offending review down.  Hopefully that is enough.

Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2017, 07:10:22 AM »
It's totally against Amazon policy for anyone even remotely connected to you to review your product. They send these messages out whenever they detect an association between reviewer and publisher.
Unless the exact language has changed, it's "perceived close personal relationship," not "remotely connected." That said, someone who has used the same or a related IP would be perceived by Amazon to have a close personal relationship.


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Offline EB

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 09:24:28 AM »
Because it's far more important than scamming KU and getting bonuses using click farms.

right? Was just thinking that  :( :(

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 12:24:44 PM »
It's totally against Amazon policy for anyone even remotely connected to you to review your product. They send these messages out whenever they detect an association between reviewer and publisher.
Two reviews of my book on diabetes are from friends. Both reviews clearly state that the reviewer is a friend of the author.

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 12:36:56 PM »
Curious if this review policy applies to other products in the Amazon store.
If a friend buys a washing machine and I visit and post a nice review from her computer, would the Amazon bot come after us?
Of go after the manufacturer.
If my mom paid money for my book, she should have the right to review it.

Offline Marian

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2017, 12:57:58 PM »
That's likely what caused them to send the email. Amazon has been getting pretty strict on reviews lately.

Amazon is only selectively strict regarding reviews. I have what is likely one of the the most abusive reviews on their website--when I was talking to someone from KDP who read it, she said, "Oh, my G-D!"--and Amazon refuses to remove it even though it blatantly violates their rules.

Online RBN

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 01:02:16 PM »
Curious if this review policy applies to other products in the Amazon store.
If a friend buys a washing machine and I visit and post a nice review from her computer, would the Amazon bot come after us?
Of go after the manufacturer.
If my mom paid money for my book, she should have the right to review it.

Unless you're the manufacturer of the washing machine, that's not at all the same situation.

Offline notjohn

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2017, 01:58:49 PM »
Gosh, I upvote and downvote reviews all the time. Why ever not?

There's a consensus among self-pubbers on the KDP forums that Facebook friends are forbidden. It's not true. I've had reviews from FB friends--indeed, reviews from all sorts of friends. It's only the mail address (that bit about drop-shipping, good point!), credit cards, and IP addresses (though I sometimes wonder about IP addresses when our town has dormitories with several hundred kids in them, surely all using the same IP address).
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2017, 04:01:01 PM »
Because it's far more important than scamming KU and getting bonuses using click farms.

Well, yeah. Amazon has been hitting two fronts lately, the reviews and the KU stuff (or so it seems, they haven't really told us anything). Believe me, I've been hurt by their attempts to rein in the scammers, having basically been knocked down to nothing because of whatever they did to the system in September. This is just more of their typical smash it with a hammer and let the pieces lie where they fall M. O. Doesn't matter how innocent it was, watch out for that sudden, sharp pain.
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2017, 04:07:05 PM »
Amazon is only selectively strict regarding reviews. I have what is likely one of the the most abusive reviews on their website--when I was talking to someone from KDP who read it, she said, "Oh, my G-D!"--and Amazon refuses to remove it even though it blatantly violates their rules.

They're only selectively strict about everything. We've all seen examples of that. Review against guidelines? So sorry, that one is okay! Friend from work posted a review about your book perfectly honest and not at all with intent to scam? Bam, down it goes! Somebody you never met, never written to, wouldn't know from sliced bread? No review for you!

How about erotica beyond the boundaries? It will sail by, while your mild little tale gets hit with the dungeon,, and your account is threatened. How about using a promotion service in all innocence? Blammo, there goes your account, and you get no notice, no chance to explain what may or may not have happened?

Yeah, about the only thing select about Amazon is how they enforce -- or don't -- their policies. And I only gave my opinion on what likely caused the receipt of the email, and a comment about something most of us have been talking about for months now.
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Offline David Brian

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 11:31:27 AM »
I just got the exact same threatening message from Amazon UK. I believe they may have pulled one of the reviews for The Boy on the Beach - which is a bit of a bummer as I don't have too many to spare. :-X

I've emailed them for clarification on the issue, but I won't hold my breath.


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Offline Morgan Worth

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2017, 11:45:45 AM »
They're only selectively strict about everything. We've all seen examples of that. Review against guidelines? So sorry, that one is okay! Friend from work posted a review about your book perfectly honest and not at all with intent to scam? Bam, down it goes! Somebody you never met, never written to, wouldn't know from sliced bread? No review for you!

How about erotica beyond the boundaries? It will sail by, while your mild little tale gets hit with the dungeon,, and your account is threatened. How about using a promotion service in all innocence? Blammo, there goes your account, and you get no notice, no chance to explain what may or may not have happened?

Yeah, about the only thing select about Amazon is how they enforce -- or don't -- their policies. And I only gave my opinion on what likely caused the receipt of the email, and a comment about something most of us have been talking about for months now.

Exactly!
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: I got a Policy Warning from Amazon this morning
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2017, 03:29:01 AM »
I just got the exact same threatening message from Amazon UK. I believe they may have pulled one of the reviews for The Boy on the Beach - which is a bit of a bummer as I don't have too many to spare. :-X

I've emailed them for clarification on the issue, but I won't hold my breath.

Sorry to hear that. But, it's part of doing business, and we never know what might catch the bots and bring down the wrath of the randomness. Be careful about what promo services you use, because you're ultimately responsible if they do something against the rules, ask friends, family, neighbors or anyone else not to review your books, and generally dance the thin line that is the boundary of whatever Amazon thinks you're doing.

Quote
(I wrote it and formatted it and covered it for him too). But I opened him a KDP account and loaded that sucker.

You know, I missed commenting on this part earlier, and I think it should be mentioned that having anything to do with a book can get you in trouble if you review it. It's not just friends and family, it's also anyone who edited a book, or illustrated it, or formatted it, or whatever. By having done work on the book, you could be seen as having a vested interest in it doing well (and you do, really).
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