Author Topic: When Amazon removes a legitimate review  (Read 2415 times)  

Offline David Chill

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When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« on: January 12, 2018, 06:56:03 AM »
I noticed recently that a reader review for my newest book has just been pulled down by Amazon. The reader was not a family member nor a friend. She gave a 5 star review and now it is gone. Is there any path to contacting Amazon about this? I would at least like to know why they did this.

Understood that this topic has been discussed before, and Amazon has certain odd requirements, but this action is just baffling. As I only had 4 reviews (new book released a few weeks ago), every review at this stage matters.

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 07:12:10 AM »
Only the reviewer has the status to ask Amazon why the review was taken down--and often reviewers don't even notice.

I feel the same way when I lose a legitimate review, but it's best not to worry about it.


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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 07:52:57 AM »
Same for me this morning. It sucks but out of my control, so moving on :)

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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 01:21:22 PM »
There are a million and five threads on Kboards about this topic (OK, slight exaggeration. Probably only 756,033 threads...)

There are a variety of reasons why a review disappears that has nothing to do with you.

1. People remove the reviews themselves. Maybe they got some stalkerish replies to the review (or another review) and took it down. Maybe they decided they didn't want to have reviews posted.
2. Amazon glitches (which means the review may reappear later)
3. The reviewer was a review seller. This has nothing to do with you. Many of these review sellers will "pad" their listings with 5-star reviews on books that didn't pay for a review just to make them look more legitimate and try to throw off Amazon. When Amazon suspects a reviewer is gaming the system, they remove ALL the reviews, not just the ones they find suspicious.

In short, there is zero recourse on your end and making a stink will only make Amazon look at your reviews more closely.

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Offline Tilly

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 01:26:29 PM »
Out of curiosity... would you contact Amazon and complain if they removed a legitimate 1-star review?

Offline mayatylerauthor

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 01:35:46 PM »
It sucks when Amazon removes legit reviews. Sometimes, reviews are only taken down from the US site and may still be available on UK, for instance, if the reviewer posted to more than one Amazon site.


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Offline Marian

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 06:38:47 PM »
Last May Amazon removed two 5-star reviews from a book that only had 7 reviews. Neither review was from a relative or friend. One of the reviews was from a respected military blogger. I contacted Amazon and didn't get an explanation. I suppose I could contact the blogger and ask him to contact Amazon, but I think that would be an imposition. I doubt that he would be happy his review was removed.

Recently another book lost a 5-star verified purchase review, which cut the reviews on this book from 6 to 5. It's a shame. It was a great review.

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 10:39:10 PM »
As far as I understand it, reviews don't belong to the author. They aren't something authors should be asking about removing or adding. People always try to "add" the 5-star reviews that got removed and "remove" 1 stars that they don't like.

Reviews are an Amazon system to help readers NOT author's property.
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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 11:30:34 PM »
Out of curiosity... would you contact Amazon and complain if they removed a legitimate 1-star review?

But they never do, do they? They only ever remove the good ones and I've even heard people (authors mostly) declare that they think all 5 star reviews are fake. Very irritating when I know my reviews are all genuine. I did ask one author who said this if that meant she didn't have a single 5 star review that was genuine, but I never got an answer.


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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 11:40:51 PM »
But they never do, do they? They only ever remove the good ones and I've even heard people (authors mostly) declare that they think all 5 star reviews are fake. Very irritating when I know my reviews are all genuine. I did ask one author who said this if that meant she didn't have a single 5 star review that was genuine, but I never got an answer.

That's a form of confirmation bias. There is no Amazon campaign to remove 5 star reviews. It just so happens that there is big money in reviews for paid reviewers and authors want good reviews so indie reviews often tend to skew toward 5 star.

They are fighting this.
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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 11:59:56 PM »
That's a form of confirmation bias. There is no Amazon campaign to remove 5 star reviews. It just so happens that there is big money in reviews for paid reviewers and authors want good reviews so indie reviews often tend to skew toward 5 star.

They are fighting this.
Did I say there was a campaign? Did I even mention such a possibility? And what the heck is 'confirmation bias' when it's at home?


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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:12:41 AM »
Did I say there was a campaign? Did I even mention such a possibility? And what the heck is 'confirmation bias' when it's at home?

I'm not sure what you mean by "at home". I'm talking about people cultivating and protecting their 5 star reviews and always asking if there are ways to remove the one-star reviews. The reason it seems 5 stars are taken away so much is because the reviewers getting in trouble are often padding reviews for authors which helps drive business.

If you notice, 100% of the time people asking about removing a view are always looking to remove a negative review and when asking about deleted/vanishing reviews it's always about a high ranked review.

That's all I'm saying.
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Offline Spin52

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 02:00:20 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean by "at home".

Simply a British phrase translated as 'What the heck does that mean?'


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Offline Marian

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 07:51:02 AM »
As far as I understand it, reviews don't belong to the author. They aren't something authors should be asking about removing or adding. People always try to "add" the 5-star reviews that got removed and "remove" 1 stars that they don't like.

Reviews are an Amazon system to help readers NOT author's property.

Reviews are not authors' property, but it is legitimate to question why older legitimate 5* star reviews are removed for no discernible reason, such as a review that was posted in 2014. Who removes these reviews and why?

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 07:53:46 AM »
Reviews are not authors' property, but it is legitimate to question why older legitimate 5* star reviews are removed for no discernible reason, such as a review that was posted in 2014. Who removes these reviews and why?

I think you are still missing the point. You have no way of knowing it's a "legitimate review". Amazon doesn't explain why it removes reviews (as many authors have attested) and have others have said, Amazon is more likely to watch you after you show such strange suspicion toward reviews.

I'm still waiting for someone to ask how to remove a 5 star review or re-add a "deleted" 1 star.
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Offline MClayton

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 09:16:58 AM »
I think you are still missing the point. You have no way of knowing it's a "legitimate review". Amazon doesn't explain why it removes reviews (as many authors have attested) and have others have said, Amazon is more likely to watch you after you show such strange suspicion toward reviews.

I'm still waiting for someone to ask how to remove a 5 star review or re-add a "deleted" 1 star.

I think if one has never done anything to accumulate suspicious reviews, one can generally assume the removed review was legitimate.  That said, I had one review removed from each book of my first series a few weeks ago.  I assumed they were probably all from the same person who read the series, and that person may have closed up shop and removed their reviews from Amazon. Or possibly Amazon found it suspicious that the same person (if it was the same person) reviewed all four books (although I imagine that happens quite often). Or maybe Amazon has their own unknown (to me) reason for removing what seem to be random reviews. Who knows? The only reason I noticed it is because reviews come in slowly, and a couple of those books sat with the same number of reviews for months (if not years). I have no idea whether they decreased my average, increased my average, or it stayed the same. All of which is to say, shady dealings aside, we don't have any control over what Amazon decides to do, so there's not much point in worrying about it. 

Offline Harvey Click

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 10:15:16 AM »
For some reason they never remove the ones that say, "Can leaked and made a mess on my kitchen counter."

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 12:02:29 PM »
Here's an oddity to add to the collection:

I just discovered that one of my books has one more review than Amazon says. It's there in black and white on the Amazon site, but the count does not reflect it. The star rating doesn't, either. ???

More proof we authors should not pay attention to our reviews.

Offline Marian

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 02:25:22 PM »



I think you are still missing the point. You have no way of knowing it's a "legitimate review". Amazon doesn't explain why it removes reviews (as many authors have attested) and have others have said, Amazon is more likely to watch you after you show such strange suspicion toward reviews.

/quote]

How can you be certain that I am missing the point? Two of the reviews were by bloggers who received free copies and published legal disclaimers with their reviews. The reviews were legitimate.

Your statement "Amazon is more likely to watch you after you show such strange suspicion toward reviews" makes it sound as though you believe Amazon will put me or anyone else on their radar for questioning their removal of reviews. I don't think it's a "strange suspicion" to wonder why reviews are removed. It's a valid question, and it happens to writers all the time. It would help if there was transparency, which will never happen. The OP had a legitimate question, and so did I and others who have posted.

The only point I can agree with you on is that Amazon doesn't explain why it removes reviews

Online Herefortheride

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 06:11:41 PM »


I think you are still missing the point. You have no way of knowing it's a "legitimate review". Amazon doesn't explain why it removes reviews (as many authors have attested) and have others have said, Amazon is more likely to watch you after you show such strange suspicion toward reviews.

/quote]

How can you be certain that I am missing the point? Two of the reviews were by bloggers who received free copies and published legal disclaimers with their reviews. The reviews were legitimate.

Your statement "Amazon is more likely to watch you after you show such strange suspicion toward reviews" makes it sound as though you believe Amazon will put me or anyone else on their radar for questioning their removal of reviews. I don't think it's a "strange suspicion" to wonder why reviews are removed. It's a valid question, and it happens to writers all the time. It would help if there was transparency, which will never happen. The OP had a legitimate question, and so did I and others who have posted.

The only point I can agree with you on is that Amazon doesn't explain why it removes reviews

I never said I was certain which should have been rather obvious from the bolded "I think". Also, as has already been stated by multiple people, you have no idea if the reviews were legitimate because you don't know what the reviewer does with his OTHER reviews. Amazon may have found them monetizing them in a way that violates the TOS. But you seem to be willfully ignoring this possibility because it doesn't fit with how you WANT to see the world.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:14:39 PM by Herefortheride »
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Offline juliatheswede

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2018, 07:01:29 AM »
I had a five-star (stranger review) removed. But then, a week later, it came back and has stayed there (so far). I try not to worry about it too much.

Offline Marian

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2018, 08:54:33 AM »
I never said I was certain which should have been rather obvious from the bolded "I think". Also, as has already been stated by multiple people, you have no idea if the reviews were legitimate because you don't know what the reviewer does with his OTHER reviews. Amazon may have found them monetizing them in a way that violates the TOS. But you seem to be willfully ignoring this possibility because it doesn't fit with how you WANT to see the world.

WOW! I wasn't willfully ignoring the possibility that the reviews weren't legitimate. I checked out every reason for their removal that I could think of when they were removed and couldn't find one. There was no reason to suspect them of wrongdoing.

Amazon's idea of creating a reviewing system was a brilliant piece of marketing, but it is subject to abuse. The unfortunate aspect of it is that innocent people can be hurt, which has happened to the OP and so many others without explanation or recourse.  Potential readers of books read reviews and make decisions to purchase, in part, on what reviewers say. If we decide to ignore reviews, we can, but that doesn't mean they don't have weight, and not just for sales. Most of the effective promo sites require an minimum star rating and minimum number of reviews.

I am posting a link on reviews that I suggest you read. The saddest comment on the thread, at least to me, is the fear of Amazon that was expressed.


http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,232163.msg3407707.html#msg3407707



Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 12:09:54 PM »
I wouldn't even sweat the loss of a few reviews. I am starting to come to the conclusion that reviews don't matter very much when readers make decisions. I watched a book in one of my genres have a successful launch when it was in preorder at the time the author had an unrelated but same genre book get a Bookbub for a free 1st in series book. The number of readers who went on to buy the preorder book when it launched made it very successful--despite the mediocre reviews it garnered (under 3.5 rating). The book is still doing decently six months later even though the author has not put out another book (and from what I know, has quit writing entirely, for other reasons, so no promos or anything.)

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Offline dancing squirrel

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 06:24:48 PM »
Out of curiosity... would you contact Amazon and complain if they removed a legitimate 1-star review?
One star reviews are rarely legitimate. In my experience, they are written by people who usually have not read, and in many cases, not purchased, the book and are posted out of malice. A legitimate one-star review written by an impartial person who has read the entire book is a rarity. I know at least one of the one-stars on one of my books is absolutely not legitimate and was posted by an author who was trying to hurt me. I cannot say for certain that any of my five-star reviews are fakes.

Offline Joseph M. Erhardt

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Re: When Amazon removes a legitimate review
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2018, 06:54:54 PM »
When reviews are removed, the best thing to do is nothing.  Eventually, many of them come back.  On the other hand, if you DO want the removed review to stay away, then complain. :)

(One review of mine has, over the past year, been removed twice--I said, "Oh, goody!"--and then returned, twice! "Oh, poo!")  :D

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