Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

Amazon Caught in Pay-for-Praise Scheme Involving Hundreds of Employees

Last August Amazon began recruiting so-called “fulfillment center ambassadors,” compensating them to generate praise for the company on twitter (and also elsewhere in social media and on Amazon’s websites). Several hundred employees have been enlisted into the highly questionable, unethical (and likely fraudulent) scheme so far. It’s not the first time Amazon has resorted to highly questionable, unethical practices when its public image or sales/earnings were at risk. Amazon has used fake praise, fake reviews and other fake commentary widely in the past. My article titled “Amazon’s Blackened Soul” (http://readindies.blogspot.com/2016/08/amazons-blackened-soul.html) highlighted the fake reviews generated by Amazon employees, including Bezos’s own wife, to kill sales of Brad Stone’s book about Amazon and Bezos entitled “The Everything Store,” while simultaneously ensuring any bad press or other fallout related to the book was whitewashed and minimized.

Persons associated with Amazon, an…

Amazon Fraud Again: Amazon Employees Caught Creating Fake Ebay Seller Accounts

In 2018, at least 50 Amazon employees were caught red handed creating fake accounts on Ebay and accused of multiple federal crimes, including criminal conspiracy, fraud and racketeering. Over a period of years, the Amazon employees had created hundreds—if not thousands—of fake seller accounts to lure sellers away from Ebay’s marketplace. The Amazon employees were caught after a months’ long investigation and sting operation designed to catch Amazon in the act of setting up the fake accounts with the intention of luring sellers to Amazon’s marketplace—and away from Ebay.
Over the many years Amazon employees operated as fake sellers on Ebay, they redirected thousands of sellers to Amazon, redirecting tens—if not hundreds—of millions of dollars in sales to Amazon. You might imagine when this extensive level of corporate maleficence is uncovered there’d be explosive media coverage and damaging headlines. Yet you’ll be hard-pressed to find coverage of these happenings anywhere. (https://…

Amazon's Black Eye Deepens: A Public Sham/e

Speaking out about fake reviews has made me the target of the thousands who make their living writing reviews for pay. This continues despite Amazon's public dispute with over 5000 paid reviewers at Fiverr--no few of which were writers, who unable to make a living at writing, made their living writing reviews.

1 billion--and counting. The approximate number of fake product reviews at Amazon, according to an approximate 1 in 3 estimate. Multiple billions, if you go with the more likely estimate of 2 in 3. This includes incentivized reviews, paid reviews, friends & family reviews and all other reviews that otherwise would not exist without those involved cheating the system. Pick a random product at Amazon with oodles of reviews and odds are nearly 100% that you've stumbled upon a cheat. Take 2 recent purchases made on the same day as examples of just how broken Amazon is.

The first purchase I made were special gloves for those with carpal tunnel. I bought the gloves, not be…

Remembering My Long-Time Friend Brian Jacques on His 80th Birthday

As I write this, today June 15, 2019, my friend, Brian Jacques, creator of Redwall, would have been 80. Of all the writers I’ve corresponded with over the years, from Raymond Feist to CJ Cherryh to Mercedes Lackey in the hey days of CompuServe, Brian was the wittiest and most fun. It was the highest of honors to host Brian when his fall 2005 book tour of the Western USA brought him to my adopted home town of Olympia, Washington. At the time, I wrote about Brian’s visit on a tribute page to him and his books, which I posted to share with my readers @ http://themagiclands.com/brianjacques.htm. The page is still there, hasn’t changed in 15 years.
One of the best things about Brian’s visit was that my son, Will, who was 13 at the time, got to meet Brian and get all of his Redwall books signed. Will was, and remains, a Redwall fan, having read all of Brian’s books multiple times. My two youngest were also at the signing and they enjoyed getting their pictures taken with my friend Brian. 
A…