We all know Amazon have quite strict review policies, where if you are friends with an author on facebook and you link your social media to your amazon account they won’t let you review that authors books.
Recently I went online to review some Christmas presents and I was blocked from reviewing them, I knew it wasn’t because I was friends with them on facebook, so I emailed amazon to ask why I couldn’t post my reviews
Finally about 3 days after contacting them I received this reply –
We have determined that you have violated our Customer Review Creation Guidelines. As a result, we have suppressed all of your reviews, and you will no longer be able to post reviews on Amazon.co.uk.
We made this decision after carefully considering your reviewing account. This decision is final.
We cannot share any further information about our decision, and we may not reply to further emails about this issue.
I can’t respond to the email they sent me and as someone who is passionate about championing independent authors many of whom I found from running a facebook group, this makes me really sad and angry.
I understand that after the sock puppetry thing we need reviewing guidelines but to block someone who only ever reviews in good faith and will give an honest review if they are friends with an author or not seems ridiculous
What makes me most angry is I know what a review means to an author and I try to always post my reviews to help them out and now all of those have been reviewed and I cannot review anyone else books, which for someone who spends as much time reviewing – as I do this is huge
So the point I’m trying to get at in writing openly to amazon – is that although I don’t expect a change in my review status, I want them to understand how unfair they are being to the Independent authors many of whom need to connect with people on facebook to make them aware of their works. For a site that is meant to be about making it easier for people to write and share their books and reviews, they are definitely not doing that – maybe Amazons community guidelines should actually be written by their community – they could have a reviewer sign up form so they know why people might be connected to certain authors
The other thing that makes me especially angry about amazon – is this line – We cannot share any further information about our decision, and we may not reply to further emails about this issue.
Why wont they reply or give more details – they are not giving me a chance to defend myself – I have seen this kind of high handed behaviour from them before towards their sellers, but I find it ridiculously unfair, they have decided I have violated some mystery rules, so without warning me so I could change my behaviour they just remove all my priviledges and when I want to talk to them about it – they make it so I cant. Should amazon be allowed to employ these heavy handed tactics to people and get away with it or should we challenge them and expect a change. I think I may start using other bookstores and places to leave my reviews.
my promise to all the authors that I support and champion is that I will continue to do that through my blog, reviews on goodreads and other bookstores and my role as an admin at the UKCBC, I hope you dont feel let down by a lack of review but if i can find a way to share what I think of your books in anyway I can then I will and maybe in the end thats what matters most.