Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Amazon investigating claims of employees leaking data for bribes

United Parcel Service driver delivers packages from Amazon investigating claims of employees leaking data for bribes
Nellie Chapman | 18 September, 2018, 04:58

The report says that it can cost just $300 to have a bad review removed, but the brokers providing the deletion service requiring a "five-review minimum".

Amazon also told the Wall Street Journal that it has put in place "systems to restrict and audit what employees can access" after the allegations were made. Amazon has pushed hard to attract new sellers to its site, but the volume of third-party sellers (particularly those in China) will make it more difficult for the company to stamp out all cases of employee bribery.

Amazon is investigating charges that some of its employees might have leaked internal data to merchants.

As per the conduct of its own employees, the spokesperson said, "We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties".

Amazon didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Amazon investigating claims of employees leaking data for bribes

These reviews may not be legitimate and without honest feedback, Amazon users may end up purchasing products which do not meet expectations or match seller descriptions. The company has been cracking down on fake reviews for the past few years, a quicksand-ridden quest Gimlet Media's podcast Reply All unpacked in July episode "The Magic Store".

Why it matters: Sellers on Amazon are willing to take significant risks to beat the competition, including paying to have negative reviews removed.

The internal probes are part of Amazon's continuous efforts to maintain the integrity of its coveted product rating system, while weeding out those engaged in fraudulent practices among the site's highly competitive independent sellers. "And then the contractor that they hired would leave a glowing review for each of those products that they sent out", explained Alex Goldman, host of Reply All. The whole scam is also said to be orchestrated by brokers who are said to act as middlemen between the merchants and the employees.

Amazon could have quite the task on its hands.