Amazon online sellers with positive ratings and product reviews have high chances of getting indexed on top of the product page thereby increasing the sales. The opposite is the case with sellers with negative product reviews and ratings.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, some sellers are offering Amazon employees bribes to disclose sales volume data, restore banned accounts and erase negative reviews from the retail giant’s website. Taking note of the issue, Amazon has currently launched an investigation into its own employees to check if the allegations are true.
It is believed that the employees might have sold confidential, internal data to independent merchants on the site who used the leaked data, including spending pattern and habits, to boost their sales. The Wall Street Journal report claims that Amazon employees are being paid from $80 to $2,000 in bribes by the sellers.
As per the report, citing anonymous sellers, brokers, and others familiar with the probe, Amazon has implemented strict systems to restrict and audit the data that can be accessed by the employees in order to combat their behavior. Amazon confirmed the investigation news on Sunday.
“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,” the online retail giant said in a statement.
“We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action.”
The investigation began in May after the company was informed about the practice taking place in China, where it is particularly pronounced. The company’s investigation reportedly extends to US employees as well.