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Mediabridge Amazon seller's account suspended after threat to customer

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" 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.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-06-01

    "A Facebook statement by the company noted the withdrawal of its ability to sell on Facebook"

    What, they can't sell on Facebook or they noted on Facebook the withdrawal of their ability to sell on Amazon? I am confused by this wording.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-06-01

    Nevertheless, Mediabridge are idiots. I wonder if Samy and Amy (those douchenozzles in Scottsdale with the restaurant that Gordon Ramsay walked out on) gave them tips on how to deal with negative reviews...

  1. Mike Wuerthele

    Managing Editor

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Originally Posted by climacsView Post

    "A Facebook statement by the company noted the withdrawal of its ability to sell on Facebook"

    What, they can't sell on Facebook or they noted on Facebook the withdrawal of their ability to sell on Amazon? I am confused by this wording.

    Yeah, sorry about the confusion. Got carried away with who was whom for a minute. Fixed.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Or another way of putting it, Mediabridge, is that your executives have to let go of your hard-working employees because they were incompetent enough to not have a contingency for such a business situation, as well as not have the foresight to reckon such a scenario when legally threatening a reviewer on Amazon's web site.

    In short, you reaped what you sowed.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    If FCC documents prove "TD"'s initial charge, then "the Internet" acted entirely correctly in pushing back against Mediabridge's heavy-handed threats. Whether TDs other charge of faked reviews is true or not still needs to be looked at, but the rest of his opinion is *an opinion,* and Mediabridge was attempting to stifle free expression and debate with their overreaction. Amazon was likely correct in removing them as a vendor, they don't appear to have a good grasp on how to handle negative complaints and have just learned a valuable lesson on how NOT to handle them.

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