Well I suppose it had to happen sometime, although I didn’t know that somebody would be as petty as to steal a book review! But it appears there are those out there who have no problem doing so.
Not too long ago I was using google to see if any reviews came up that were similar to mine for “Vampire Interrupted” by Lindsay Sands. I googled a few key words and clicked on one of the results. It was on ebay. I didn’t even know ebay had product reviews on there… but they do. And in this case, the review I clicked on was identical to mine!
Edson.financial.group is to blame. Believe it or not they have around 250 reviews of books and audiobooks up, and it is easy to determine that ALL OF THEM are (or were at one time) spotlight reviews on Amazon.com. Needless to say, I was pissed! And it’s easy to prove that mine was written first! Here’s mine on Amazon.com- the creation date is clearly listed as February 27, 2008. Here’s the one up ‘by’ edson.financial.group- the creation date is clearly listed as March 20, 2008.
So of course I reported this to ebay, and in numerous ways. From one I got an automatic response back saying I’d get a reply in 24-36hrs and to be patient, that sometimes it was even up to 72hrs before they could get back to me. So I waited, patiently, but angrily. 72 hrs passed. I contacted live help and was told to wait patiently and that my email was in line to be read. More time passed. I contacted live help several more times, each time being told that this issue would be taken care of soon and they would put a note on my complaint to escalate the situation.
I sent in my complaint on 6/12! (Not counting the first time a couple days before this, b/c I never got the automatic response and I assume it didn’t go through.) I felt like I was getting the run around. How hard could it be to fix this? So I got mad. I started notifying the true Amazon.com authors individually- on the product reviews themselves, and through the ‘friend option’ which allows a short message. It was time consuming as I had to hunt all of the reviews down and then ask to be friends as well– my hope being that this way they would definitely get my message. This way ebay wouldn’t be getting complaints from just one person, but from 250 angry people! I got through about 50 people and got quite a few responses who reported the problem to ebay as I had hoped. I plan to keep contacting people, although I recently posted about this in the customer reviews discussion forum hoping to spread the word even more.
*Some say that once you post on Amazon you have no control over your review and that Amazon gives them to other sites. While it is true that Amazon does give it to others, (I have seen one of my reviews on an author’s personal site directly from Amazon), these sites still keep on the reviewer’s name- in my case K. Gilligan. It was also mentioned that I should have put my name at the end of my review, a signature of sorts. I noticed for example though, that Harriet Klausner (the number one reviewer over at Amazon.com) signs her reviews, but the review that Edson.financial.group posted was identical up to that point. He/she simply cut off the signature.
A fellow reviewer contacted Amazon to see if they could do anything about this, and this was Amazon’s response: “Greetings from Amazon.com. I apologize that your review for an item on Amazon.com was posted on another web site. In this instance, please know that we did not give permission for this to happen. Unfortunately however, we are not able to take any actions to have the review removed as the review you are referencing is on a different web site than ours or one of our sister sites. I would ask that you contact this site, in this case e-Bay, to ask that the review be removed. I hope this information is helpful. Thanks for your interest in Amazon.com.” Wow, thanks Amazon.
I’m simply astounded at the lack of action on ebay’s part. I’ve never had to use ebay’s customer service but this is ridiculous! I’m now posting this on my blog, and will soon be posting this wherever I can think of. I’d appreciate it if you’d also report this user (who by the way is a power seller and has a ‘top 100 reviewer badge’!). All you have to say is that this reviewer is using unauthorized text that doesn’t belong to him/her. Or click the ‘report this review’ links at the bottom of ‘edson.financial.group’s reviews’.
If you could link to this also, I’d really appreciate it. I’m trying to spread the word. You also might want to see if any of YOUR reviews are on ebay.com without your knowledge and being attributed to an ebay user. (One amazon.com reviewer found another of his reviews under another ebay user’s name too!)