The cliche “image is everything” applies to Amazon products as much as it does to life in general.
In the case of the former, image is defined by reviews. Reviews help prove the legitimacy of a product or store so buyers can make informed purchase decisions.
Amazon reviews can range from incredible levels of praise to hate comments. With that said, reviewers possess a huge influence on whether a seller earns or loses money.
On the other hand, denying customers the right to review could lead them to account deactivation or stoppage.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller on Amazon, this guide will help you navigate the following aspects of Amazon reviews:
- The lowdown on Amazon reviews
- How these reviews work
- Why Amazon restricts the “right to review”
- The effects of the restriction of review privileges
- How to get review privileges back on Amazon
- Answers to other important questions about Amazon reviews
Do any of the issues above spark your curiosity? If they do, join me as I walk you through the mysterious underbelly of Amazon reviews.
Table of Contents
What Are Amazon Reviews?
The collective voice of the people powers democracies. Similarly, reviews contribute to the growth of both sellers and buyers on Amazon.
As an Amazon customer, you have the right to judge whether or not a product or seller satisfies your standards.
Through your and other customers’ product reviews and seller feedback, merchants are kept on their toes as they move under the public’s ever-watchful eye.
If you’re an Amazon seller, you can also leave reviews – which are subject to Amazon’s community rules. More on this later.
Reviews usually come in the form of text and star ratings, with five stars meaning excellent product quality or seller service.
Generally speaking, the fewer stars a product or seller has, the less trustworthy that item or merchant is.
Now that you’ve learned what Amazon reviews are, we move on to how those reviews affect everyone who benefits from the platform.
How Do Amazon Reviews Work?
As mentioned above, there is seller feedback and there are product reviews.
When customers leave positive product or seller feedback on Amazon, this action triggers a series of events that ultimately increases a merchant’s chance of earning more:
- Increases conversion rates, which basically means more sales per customer views
- Extends the visibility of the seller and their products to a larger customer base
- Enhances the product or seller’s reputation
From a customer standpoint, any form of feedback – whether negative or positive reviews – helps lead to better product choices and purchases.
After all, a study shows that around 90 percent of Internet users regularly or occasionally consult reviews.
When negative feedback prevails, the sellers may experience drastically lower sales figures or, even worse, account suspension.
Speaking of sales figures, we have a guide about increasing sales through product listing optimization on Amazon that you might want to check out.
Now you know the effect Amazon reviews have on the e-commerce platform.
But did you also know that it’s possible for customers to be banned from writing reviews?
Possible Reasons for Being Banned from Leaving Feedback on Amazon
I get it.
The freedom of expression through leaving feedback or reviews is an all-important right.
If you ask people why they don’t review products, a lot of them will probably tell you that they were too lazy to do it.
Some people aren’t concerned about being model reviewers, and that’s fine.
But believe it or not, you might hear the answer “Because Amazon blocked me from reviewing” every once in a while. (Yes, it happens.)
There are a few reasons you, as a buyer, could experience a “review block”:
- Amazon finds your reviews suspicious
- Amazon detects that you are systematically leaving negative reviews on a frequent basis
- You have violated Amazon’s review rules
Let’s have a closer look at each of these reasons to learn how to avoid getting a “review gag order” from Amazon.
Amazon has a way of “fishing for what’s fishy.” In other words, the platform flags unusual reviewing activity.
There are many red flags for the platform that may lead to customers being denied reviewing privileges, which include:
- A customer churning out too many reviews in a short span of time
- Triggering Amazon’s artificial intelligence with specific keywords in customer reviews
- Fake or unhelpful reviews left by a hacked customer account
Any of the aforementioned “triggers” may lead to a ban from leaving reviews. For item number 2, Amazon’s automated review evaluation mechanism is sensitive to certain keywords.
As a rule of thumb, try to leave unbiased product feedback when writing reviews for merchandise as much as possible. Don’t leave good reviews for bad products, and vice versa.
For item number 3, it is an unfortunate reality that many people hack accounts and leave fake reviews. In case you’re curious about how Amazon identifies this type of reviews, we’ll discuss that in the next section. Otherwise, you can skip to the next one.
How Amazon Detects Fake Reviews
Amazon is all about superior customer experience.
The platform is dedicated to maintaining a genuine review system and condemns fake reviews or spreading misinformation about product quality.
To do so, Amazon uses a combination of machine learning technology and skilled human investigators to identify, prevent, and delete bad reviews.
As an added value to customers, the platform’s automated review process also verifies reviews and makes the most helpful ones more visible to customers.
Now that you know how Amazon moderates reviews, let’s go back to the reasons why a buyer’s reviewing privileges could be suspended.
The Nitty-Gritty on Undesirable Negative Reviews
No, Amazon does not filter out the negatives like a person with rose-colored glasses does.
However, Amazon might silence you if you leave negative reviews in the following ways:
- You post too many negative reviews for the same product
- You’re a seller and leave reviews that are negative and/or unhelpful on a competitor’s product
Writing Reviews That Are Against Amazon’s Community Guidelines
NOTE: Though OJ Digital Solutions spends every effort to keep content up to date, Amazon may change its guidelines on product reviews or seller feedback from time to time. Check out the platform’s community guidelines on customer product reviews for further information and updates.
Like many ethical organizations that actively fight fake news, Amazon works hard to prevent bad reviews from misleading customers.
That is why they came up with the following community guidelines which, if violated, could lead to a ban on the right to review. The e-commerce platform frowns upon reviews by:
- A person who has a direct or indirect financial interest in the merchandise sold
- Someone who is closely related to the product’s author, owner, or artistic creator
- The concerned product’s manufacturer who is posing as an objective shopper
- An individual or group who creates reviews for the sake of financial reward (such reviews are also known as incentivized reviews)
The Consequences Of Losing Amazon Review Privileges
You might be thinking “Amazon banned me from reviewing, so what?”
Well, if you’re a seller, you’ll have to watch out if your right to review has been canceled.
As a seller, you will likely suffer the following consequences if Amazon restricts your ability to write reviews:
- Your privilege to market products might be revoked as Amazon withholds your funds
- Your products, moving forward, cannot receive reviews anymore
- Your merchandise might get removed from Amazon listings
- You could be at the receiving end of a lawsuit or other legal actions
- Your name as an Amazon seller and other relevant information will be revealed to the public, potentially harming your reputation
With that said, it’s not impossible to remedy this situation if you happen to find yourself in it.
How To Get Unbanned from Amazon Reviews
First Things First: Check If Your Account is Blocked
Before anything else, verify if your Amazon account is blocked. If this is the case, you won’t be able review items.
There are several ways in which an Amazon account could be banned from posting reviews, which we’ll discuss right below.
Blocked Account as a Seller
If you’re a seller, here are the steps you should follow to appeal an account deactivation:
- In Seller Central, head over to Performance and click Account Health.
- At the top of the Account Health page, click Reactivate your account.
- Follow the instructions on the webpage that follows to submit your appeal.
- Click Submit to finish your appeal
Blocked Account as a Customer
As a buyer, you have two main ways to contact Amazon for the platform to unblock your account:
- By Email
- By Phone
In many cases, if your account suspension or blockage is due to alleged bad reviews, you will receive an email from Amazon’s review moderation team. Replying to this email is the quickest way to get in touch with the platform’s staff so you can have it unblocked.
In other cases, emailing Amazon requires the following steps:
1- Proceed to the Sign-in page of Amazon, as shown in the screenshot below.
2 – Click Need Help?
3 – Choose Other issues with sign-in.
4 – Go to Account & Login Issues.
5 – Select I cannot sign in to my account.
6 – Write your email detailing your request to unlock your account
Call Up Amazon
Amazon’s one call away. In many cases, they’ll be there to save the day.
Song clichés aside, if you’re a U.S.-based customer, you can call +1 (206)-266-2992. If you live outside America, you can reach Amazon at 1-888-280-4331.
We’ve covered the steps you can take to unblocking your account. But what about if it isn’t blocked, but you’re still unable to contribute reviews?
If Your Account is Not Blocked But You Lost the Ability to Submit Reviews
Suppose that your account isn’t blocked and you’re able to sign in. However, you’re still stuck with the question “Why has Amazon blocked me from writing reviews?”
If you’re no longer able to leave purchase reviews or other types of feedback despite having an active account, you can also perform all of the steps mentioned above (for both buyers and sellers).
In addition, buyers can also contact Amazon through the platform’s chat support.
Amazon Chat Customer Service
In case you’re skeptical, you won’t be speaking with chatbots (software that uses artificial intelligence to send automatic replies) for this type of service.
You’ll be assigned a human account specialist from Amazon through a chat interface after doing the following:
1 – Log in to Amazon. Once you’re signed in, click the Contact Us button.
2 – Click the Start chatting now button.
3 – Write a detailed message regarding your inability to leave reviews. You may attach screenshots and other supporting documents to strengthen your case.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are Amazon-Removed Reviews Ever Reinstated?
There is no guarantee that your reviews that Amazon deleted will be republished. However, if you properly follow the steps mentioned earlier and can prove to Amazon that your account or reviews are legit, having your reviews or right to review reinstated won’t be difficult.
What Are The Risks Of Doing Amazon Reviews?
Leaving reviews on Amazon exposes you to the risk of getting your review privileges revoked and/or your account blocked. In extreme cases, you could get banned from Amazon. But then again, you could follow the steps discussed earlier in these scenarios.
How Many Amazon Reviews Can I Do in A Week?
As of the time of writing, Amazon limits each customer account to five reviews per week.
Hopefully, our tips have prepared you if you ever find yourself unable to write product reviews or seller feedback on the platform.
Amazon offers many ways and channels, for both sellers and buyers, through which they can take the power of review back.
In some cases, review bans might be caused by simple errors on the part of Amazon’s automated review system.
So the next time you can’t publish your product reviews or give feedback to sellers, don’t worry. Simply reach out to Amazon. In most cases, their staff will be able to help.
Did you find this article helpful? Have you been in the same situation before? What other areas of Amazon would you like me to cover in the future? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.