updated 09:50 am EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
Legal threat to customer alleging libel goes viral, causes loss of account
In the wake of an Amazon reviewer receiving a legal threat to take down a negative and accusatory review being made public -- and the resultant public umbrage -- networking company Mediabridge has had its Amazon selling privileges revoked. A Facebook statement by the router maker noted the withdrawal of its ability to sell on Amazon, and has also tried to clarify the situation and the company's stance on the review.
Decrying the Internet's assault on the review for the router, Mediabridge said that "these individuals acted on a post by someone they didn't even know; they didn't know whether there was any truth to what was said, or whether important facts were omitted or if things were distorted. Just as recklessly as the reviewer, they unleashed fury on our company and in doing so, on its employees."
Possibly trying to elicit some sympathy for the company's plight, the post continues by saying that "many hard-working employees whose livelihood depended on that business will likely be put out of a job by a situation that has been distorted & blown out of proportion. This is the reality of the situation." Mediabridge implores readers to remember that "there is a human aspect to this story," seemingly forgetting that it was the company's own over-reaction to a negative review that triggered the backlash.
Besides just panning the Mediabridge router's performance, the review by the user "TD," published in 2013, claimed that the device was a rebranded Tenda router, and claimed that many of the reviews posted on Amazon were fake. If correct, the allegations are a severe violation of Amazon's guidelines for sellers, which specifically prohibit false reviews on products sold, paid for, or otherwise obtained by the manufacturer. Amazon presumably took the suspension action on its own, as threatening users about negative reviews is also a violation of Amazon policies.
Mediabridge's letter to "TD" said that the user has unjustly "accused Mediabridge of unethical conduct and faking reviews on Amazon.com." Additionally, according to Mediabridge's attorneys, the user has "further made false statements, claiming that the Mediabridge router is identical to the Tenda router." This was responded to by "TD," who posted links in a follow-up comment at Amazon to a different review that noted the similarities, and also noted that FCC documents existed which proved that the Mediabridge router was identical to the Tenda one.