FOX43 Finds Out: Questioning “Amazon’s Choice” designation

A simple search on Amazon can yield hundreds, if not thousands of results.

Dish soap for example can leave you scrolling for a while to find a seller that stands out.

Something labeled as "Amazon's choice' may grab your attention.

The company claims "Amazon's Choice recommends highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately."That designation is being questioned by some lawmakers.

US Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut want to know how products get the Amazon's choice badge.

The pair wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos listing 6 questions, including things like can sellers buy an amazon`s choice badge or are amazon employees the ones actually reviewing the products?

The lawmakers fear people may not be getting the whole truth because of the possibility of fake reviews

The validity of amazon reviews have been talked about for years.

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission took a seller to court, accusing the company's owner of purchasing fake reviews to promote a product. The company has paid a settlement in that case.

Amazon though disputes that claim.

Although a spokesperson didn`t answer our question as to what determines amazon`s choice products, we were sent a statement that reads:

“Amazon invests significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews in our store because we know customers value the insights and experiences shared by fellow shoppers. Even one inauthentic review is one too many. We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners and we suspend, ban, and take legal action on those who violate our policies.

We use a combination of teams of investigators and automated technology to prevent and detect inauthentic reviews at scale, and to take action against the bad actors behind the abuse. We estimate more than 90% of inauthentic reviews are computer generated, and we use machine learning technology to analyze all incoming and existing reviews 24/7 and block or remove inauthentic reviews. Our team investigates suspect reviews, works with social media sites to stop inauthentic reviews at the source, pursues legal action to stop offenders  from planning reviews abuse, and feeds new information into our automated systems so it continues to improve and become more effective in catching abuse.

We work hard to enrich the shopping experience for our customers and selling partners with authentic reviews written by real customers. Customers can help by reporting any requests they get to manipulate reviews to customer service.”

The lawmakers want a response from amazon by September 16th, though it`s not clear what will happen if the company does not respond.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to finds out.

Send Jackie a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.

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