Image Courtesy: The Verge
When you buy anything on Amazon, the e-commerce giant isn’t necessarily the one making the transaction; almost half of all items sold on Amazon are sold by third-party merchants. According to Amazon, it is just a conduit between customer and seller and has no liability if a third-party product is faulty (although some recent court cases have challenged that stance).
Third-party sellers aren’t supposed to be able to email Amazon customers directly outside of the platform, but according to a new Wall Street Journal report, some sellers can find ways to contact buyers who leave negative product reviews, and some businesses even offer “email extraction” for buyers as a service to sellers.
Rather than paying individuals to submit positive ratings, which Amazon prohibited in 2016, third-party merchants go after customers who leave negative product evaluations and offer them money to modify or remove them (a tactic that is also against Amazon’s regulations). Nicole Nguyen writes in the Wall Street Journal about Katherine Scott, who purchased an oil spray bottle for cooking that did not perform as claimed, prompting her to leave a bad review. A week later, she received an email from what appeared to be a customer care representative from the oil sprayer firm offering a refund if she removed the review.
According to the WSJ, Amazon does not share consumer email information with third-party vendors and deleted 200 million false reviews last year alone. Nguyen, on the other hand, argues that third-party vendors are still discovering methods to email customers. Read this fantastic study for tips on how to protect your email address from Amazon merchants who shouldn’t have it in the first place.