02-04-2012 08:04 AM
My book page has recently been hit by several annoying spam reviews. They haven't (yet) been that detrimental as most are accompanied by 5 star rankings and they are all obvious spam (nonsensical phrases, etc.) They started appearing a few days ago and I've diligently 'flagged' them as spam, but the following day, the flags have disappeared and there are an additional one or two spam reviews, which I flag all over again. Additionally, I've taken the following steps:
1. I emailed email@example.com and described the problem. Last night I received an email (obviously a form letter) that my issue was better handled by phone and providing a contact number and service hours.
2. I dutifully call the number and went through the voice mail decision tree (i.e. press this, press that) before I reached a human. That human was a young lady named "Irish" who was apparently located somewhere in the Phillipines. After learning her name, I was hard pressed to understand anything else she said without making her repeat it several times. (I should interject here that I've lived and worked all over the world for many years, including over a decade in the Far East. I'm not at all xenophobic and have always worked in multinational settings, where most of my colleagues spoke English as a second language. I am very accustomed to dealing with accents, but Irish's defeated me.)
3. I explained my situation slowly and carefully to Irish, where upon she put me on hold for 5 minutes, came back and asked me to spell my name, put me on hold for another 5 minutes, and so on, each time asking me another very simple question. My very distinct impression is that she was hoping I would hang up. When it was obvious I was going to outlast her, she came back on the line with the advice that I should email firstname.lastname@example.org. I carefully explained once again that I had done so, and that email@example.com had directed me to her. I was banished to 'hold' for another 5 minutes.
4. Irish finally came back with a phone number that she said was for "author support." However, when I asked for the hours she said they were already closed for the day. I intend to try this number on Monday, but based on my experiences so far, I am not hopeful.
So. The purpose of this email is to ask if any other authors have encountered this problem and if they were able to solve it. I've already invested a lot of time in it, and I don't want to waste anymore. My tendency at this point is just to give up.
Any advice would be appreciated.
02-04-2012 11:08 AM
I do not have an answer for you but if you look through this forum you should find another post with something similar. An author mentioned that he found people having what looked like a chat using the review section on his book's page (I looked at it and it was as odd as it sounds). Perhaps if you send him a private message he'll be able to let you know what he did.
02-04-2012 11:54 AM
03-30-2012 02:31 PM
I've had the same problem for my book Marked, Soul Guardians. Many 1 and 2 star spam reviews where the persons chat using the review system. I've flagged them all (5 or 6) but i haven't had any luck yet. I wish i could contact someone at B&N to help out. It's bad since it's bringing the ratings down....
03-30-2012 08:27 PM
I'm having the same problem with a couple of my books. Some of them have thinly-disguised sexual content. I flagged them, and they are still there. I'm too busy writing frantically so I can bring in an income to spend hours on the phone and writing e-mails that are apparently useless, so hopefully someone in publisher customer service reads these forums.
Here's a quick, simple fix:
Before you can submit a review on Amazon, you must first have completed at least one purchase (of anything, doesn't have to be the book you want to review). Then there is a 48-hour waiting period.
03-30-2012 08:48 PM - edited 03-30-2012 08:49 PM
(sorry about duplicate post below. I don't know what happened with the board, so I came back and edited this one so it's not a duplicate.)
03-30-2012 08:48 PM
I wrote to titles at bn dot com and had back a reply about the bogus reviews. They said they would remove them. So far, the bogus reviews remain. My last post on this board about that, however, was removed, perhaps because I quoted the text of the mail? Anyway, they do know there's a problem. I am incapable of understanding why they can't bring it under control. As for removing them, they probably don't have the manpower to do it. If it's happened to me and you folks...I bet it's happening in unmanageable numbers, all over the site.
03-31-2012 08:46 AM
Just an update.
Thanks to the folks who've posted here. I just thought I'd report that I have seen some progress. I had something like 8 or 10 spam reviews (out of +100). They weren't as big a concern to me since they were to some degree buried and also the spammers attached 4 & 5 star ratings to their little 'chat fests,' so it didn't drag down my ratings.
Over the last week, B&N has taken action. I had flagged all the reviews as spam, but strangely, they weren't taken down in one fell swoop. They disappeared one or two at a time over several days. There are two still there, and I hope they disappear in time.
My best guess is that they are getting to them slowly as manpower allows. I suspect, as someone else posted here, it's probably a pretty big, system wide problem they're having to cope with using available resources.
04-06-2012 12:53 PM
The zero-words and nonsense words reviews make the entire review system worthless. I find books with two 5-star and one 3-star review with thoughtful and complete comments. Then I find 15 more one and two star reviews with either no words or gibberish. So the book's rating becomes 2-star when it should be 4-star.
Amazon has partially solved the problem by disallowing reviews with less than 20 words. I think that's a great idea, it takes at least 20 words to do justice to any book. I might even require 30 or 40 words.
This suggests a good partial solution to the problem, just go back and remove all reviews less than 20 words. In fact, just removing reviews that are empty would make a big difference in the accuracy of the ratings. And this could be done automatically -- or at least semi-automatically.
I hope someone at B&N wakes up and looks at Amazon. Maybe it'll light a bulb somewhere.
06-18-2012 06:33 PM
I just found your forum by googling "spam reveiws on my nook". I've noticed on several different book review pages there were series of "reviews" that were actually spam conversations about the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter. It's a children's series and these spam reviews look like they've been written by children. I finally got tired of it (it throws the average star ratings off) and started flagging them where I see them but even that seems like a wasted effort. I finally emailed B&N Customer Service to find out if they're aware of it and if there's anything they can do. It's really annoying to me. I'm still awaiting a response and fairly resigned to getting some useless corporate-drivel reply.