Amazon deletes 20,00 fake online reviews after users profit from five-star ratings. An investigation from the Financial Times alleged that many users were profiting from posting thousands of five star reviews. One reviewer posted a five-star review on average once every four hours. They reviewed over £15,000 worth of products.
Products manufactured by small Chinese brands has many of these reviews to help boost sales. Reviewers would then go on and sell them on eBay. It appears that one reviewer made nearly £20,000 since June. Selling items including vacuum cleaners, laptops, dolls houses and selfie lights.
When contacted by the Financial Times, one reviewer denied posting paid-for reviews. They then deleted their review history from their Amazon page.
Can you trust online reviews?
Items posted were described as “unused” and “unopened” on the reviewer’s eBay page. These were apparently duplicates, they claimed.
In the descriptions for the products on eBay, the reviewer described an electric scooter. This was the same brand that they had reviewed on Amazon – as “hands down my favourite toy”. they went on to claim, they “purchased a second one for my fiancée”.
Two of the ten other top-ranked Amazon reviewers also deleted their history. Another removed their name and reviews, changing their profile picture to an image which read “please go away”.
The Financial Times suggests that nine of the UK’s ten reviewers were engaged in “suspicious behaviour”. “We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence knowing that the reviews they read are authentic and relevant,” Amazon said. It added that it would suspend, ban, and sue people who violate its policies.
Amazon’s community guidelines state that reviewers cannot post content in exchange for compensation of any kind. This includes free or discounted products or on behalf of anyone else.
The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into fake and misleading reviews. Unscrupulous sellers are using a range of tactics to evade detection on Amazon to mislead shoppers with fake reviews.
Amazon’s murky world of fake online one-star reviews
Amazon’s marketplace is being abused by independent sellers using fake online one-star reviews to harm rivals, the BBC has been told.
Newsnight spoke to a number of those affected who believe their sales have suffered as a consequence.
A consumer rights champion now wants a UK watchdog to investigate further, as part of a probe into fake reviews that is already under way. Amazon claims to be “relentless” in tackling review manipulation. Even so, some of those targeted believe it cannot eradicate the problem. Third-party vendors have sold more physical goods on Amazon’s site than the US tech giant itself every year since 2015, according to its own figures.
Honest advice from the experts
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Let us look at a day in a life of a person without the Internet. Believe it or not, it is still possible to function, you just to need adapt to your surroundings. In a recent Metro article, Ike Iwuchuku reports on how he managed to cope without the Internet.
You wake up every morning and start your routine which, for most of us, includes catching up on the news. Whether this is about your friends, celebrities, sports, or current events, it usually begins on your smartphone or your tablet. Even on your commute, you have got a podcast or Internet radio station going.
Once at work, you are sending emails, video conferencing, researching and sending a few texts. Unless you have excessive website blocks at your office, you are probably also checking your social media. Finally, you head home and zone out to some Netflix and have one last browse through social media before going to sleep.
However, what would happen if the Internet vanished? We are not talking as if the Internet was never created. Imagine what life would be like without the Internet. What would really happen if we were not so connected?
Given the amount of time people spend face down in their smartphones, swiping on their iPads or glued to their laptops, life without the internet seems hard to imagine.
Life without the Internet
Some purists might argue that having no Internet would be the best thing to happen. They are the same people who think it is horrible and that all Millennials do is Instagram all day. They are not entirely wrong. Studies show that such incessant social media use can negatively impact our lives.
Cons of having no Internet
Of course, it is easy to discuss how life would be miserable without the Internet. It would be a lot harder to talk to your friends on a daily (or hourly) basis. But it would take away a sense of community that, for many of us, is vital. This could be anything from fantasy sports leagues or even virtual mental health groups. As a result, we may be more disconnected than ever before. You would have to go to a shop and buy a digital file in person to access new music beyond the radio. Possibly one of the biggest downsides would be the lack of dog or cat photos in our lives.
What are the benefits of no Internet?
On the other hand, being cut off from the Internet might do wonders for our personal relationships. Because we would not have a screen to distract us. We would start to live in the moment. Imagine heading out to a dinner with your friends and having a conversation. Although it still may be about gossip, it would focus on the real world. There are plenty of benefits to a life without the Internet. In particular, it is worth noting that you would get to truly interact with people. The benefits are not just about the time we spend awake. Our addiction to connected devices is ruining our sleep. It is possible in the short term to cope without the Internet.
What would change and how would you cope without the Internet?
News: The way we take in news and information has been impressively quick thanks to the internet. Without it, we would rely on TV programs, newspapers (yes, actual newspapers), and, worst of all, word of mouth. If you think politics has been strange lately, imagine it with even fewer sources of information and no way to verify their credibility. We imagine politics would take a surprising turn, although we are not really sure which direction that would be.
Health: The long-running joke is to never use the Internet for your symptoms. Otherwise you will end up thinking you have five types of cancer and the plague. However, having access to an online directory of symptoms has certainly helped millions. With such platforms, we can self-diagnose with a degree of accuracy. This saves us time and money on health-related costs. Without it, there would be a lot more and possibly unnecessary trips to the doctor. Even still, medical professionals now rely on a connected network to pass along patient data and research conditions. Having no Internet would slow this process down for sure.
Work: Working without the Internet seems like an impossible task. Whether you have an international team or simply advertise locally, the Internet has a profound effect on our productivity. Without it, we would rely a lot more on spoken word of mouth, advertising in print and on TV, and take days to complete even the smallest tasks. Additionally, global commerce would be impressively slow and tedious, if not impossible for some brands. On the whole, scaling as we do in the current market would be all but unattainable.
Commerce: Likewise, our shopping experiences would become drastically limited. In regards to fashion, trends would slow as it would take longer to spread new styles. From there, it would be very difficult for global sales and innovation would suffer. Imagine technology without crowdfunding campaigns (that is not a world we want to live in).
Finances: Having an app to show all our finances in one place is certainly something we take for granted. Without the Internet, you would be back to a standard cheque book and calling your bank to find out your balance. It also means paying bills would take much longer, as banks would also be less connected.
Social life: Hanging out with friends would go back to the methods of yesteryear. You would need to send letters to far away friends or probably get back to paying high rates for long distance calls. Want to make plans? You would better hope your friends remember the event date. However, we would rely on in-person interactions which would encourage us to get out and see each other more often.
General information: Gone would be the days of Google Maps. Researching for a school paper or a project at work would require a library card and some serious effort. Unless we archive the entire Internet and hit print, we would lose a lot of access to information, never to be seen again. Ultimately, our society would suffer from this lack of knowledge.
Law and order: The Internet has been an essential tool to help law enforcement identify and arrest suspects. It is also a powerful method to finding evidence. Having no Internet would certainly take cyber-crime off the table, but it would leave a gaping hole for all new crime. Knowing the limits of CCTV where there is no cloud or digital locks or alarm systems, criminals would be more likely to commit more crimes. At least initially, our society would experience a large spike in crime before new methods could take the place of current systems.
Suffice to say, the Internet has bettered our lives. We can communicate with every corner of the globe. As well as maintaining friendships that were previously impossible no matter how good of a pen pal you were. However, life is about balance. LIS can help you cope without the Internet and make sure you stay connected. We have the Internet at our disposal and have the choice to use it for just about everything. We highly recommend signing off every now and then to connect with those, and the world, around you.
Contact the LIS Help Desk about your broadband and telecoms. We can provide you with super fast broadband, that will make your business more efficient and stay connected with your team. Talk to our experienced team about your phone systems and business mobiles. As well as, saving you money with low cost phone calls.
Stayed tuned to read part 2 of this blog next week. We will take a look at how businesses would cope without no Internet. LIS will help set up a business disaster recovery plan.
Driving test website for England and Wales crashes shortly after reopening. DVSA portal had almost 7 million visits in 12 hours when it reopened after several months of suspension.
Driving test website crashes
The BBC reported millions of people were unable to access the site at all or losing their booking part way through the process.
Learner drivers will be unable to book a driving test until Wednesday. Urgent maintenance has started on the website after it crashed at a time of unprecedented demand.
The DVSA said 210,000 driving tests had been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Alamy
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said its driving test booking service had almost 7m visits in 12 hours. It reopened after several months of suspension during the coronavirus lockdown.
It said on Saturday that it had taken the service offline until 8am on Wednesday. Increased demand on the site led to essential maintenance to keep the site running.
Gareth Llewellyn, the DVSA’s chief executive, said: “Coronavirus has severely impacted our business-as-usual operations, including by stopping driving tests in March. Since then DVSA have only been dealing with applications for emergency driving tests for critical workers.
“Following unprecedented demand for the driving test booking system with almost 7m attempts to book a test when it opened, we need to carry out urgent maintenance so people can book tests. DVSA have closed the booking service until Wednesday 26 August and are sorry for any inconvenience.”
When will the driving test website re-open?
The DVSA driving test booking service for England and Wales reopened again at 8am on Friday after being closed since 20 March. The service received 7 million visits by 8pm. This left candidates unable to complete their bookings. Users received an error message when attempting to access the bookings page.
210,000 tests had been cancelled and tens of thousands more were delayed because of Covid-19, said the DVSA. Learners whose tests were cancelled during lockdown were first invited to rebook in July.
Driving tests in Scotland are due to restart from 14 September, but people are not yet able to book a slot.
IT does not have to drive you mad
Don’t let your IT system drive you mad. We are the IT recovery service for when your website crashes and/or you experience computer problems. Contact the LIS Help Desk today and our friendly team will be glad to offer you assistance.
We can fix your problems, suggest upgrades and manage your back up solutions. With a monthly IT contract, the benefits are endless. Can you afford not to work with an efficient, reliable and knowledgeable IT company. We are only one click or a phone call away. With our help you can drive towards your goals without tests getting in the way.
Did you know that great professional domain names are the easiest way for customers to find you online? You can help your visitors find you by using a domain name that is short and memorable.
Are you still using a generic email address for your business? There are plenty to choose from for example: Gmail, Yahoo, BT, Virgin to name a few. Take a look at a recent article from business.com about why choosing your domain name is so important.
So, what are the benefits of professional domain names?
Protect your business, and brand, by ensuring that you own the rights to your domain. Protect your brand, the best website practice would be to ensure that you own your website domain.
There are many advantages to owning your company’s domain. These are just a few of the most important benefits to consider:
Increase your search ranking
Amongst the hundreds of search ranking factors Google takes into consideration, one of them weighs heavily on domain names. If you own your unique business domain, Google will rank your website higher than those that use free domain names from web hosting sites.
It is all yours
By owning your own domain, you own your company name on the web. This sense of ownership will increase brand awareness and project your company as professional in the digital marketplace which will help grow your business online. Your brand will also build up its credibility. By having a clean domain name your company will stand out and be cohesive throughout your digital strategy and marketing materials.
Struggling with how to choose a domain name? Picking the right domain name is one of the most important things you will need to decide for your business email and website.
Company email accounts
Emailing is a critical activity that every business partakes in, so it is important to have a company email that matches your domain name. For example, your company emails will follow email@example.com. By linking the two you will have instant brand recognition from customers who are trying to contact you. Email marketing campaigns will also be coming from your reputable company email accounts. By having your company name after the @ symbol, you will increase the trust in your customer relationships and have consistent contact information across every employee.
Flexibility with professional domain names
When you own your domain, you have the flexibility to switch web hosts at any time. You will take your domain name and company email addresses with you. If another web hosting company owns your domain, you will not have the option to switch to another website hosting with your domain. Website design and development is constantly changing, along with the web hosting websites, so it is crucial to own your domain.
How can we help you build your audience?
The bottom line is that good professional domain names go a long way toward generating traffic to your website and building your reputation. That, in turn, will result in more customers and better sales.
Right now, for the price of a drink or two, you get endless benefits. A matching website and email address will make your business more professional and let you have control over your online image. If you don’t have your own domain name, contact the LIS Help Desk to speak to our team. LIS have hundreds of domain names to choose from. We are able to offer domain registration, website hosting, email set up and website design.
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