Many of us live and die by Amazon customer reviews. It’s how we determine whether or not that “must-have” item we saw in our Instagram ads is actually worth it or just another impulse buy.
But one mom on TikTok claimed a third-party seller on Amazon essentially hounded her after she left a negative review, even offering her money to take it down.
Kayla (@thisisforkayla) shared the jaw-dropping story after she purchased a travel-friendly bottle warmer in December before taking a trip with her baby. While the purchase took place on Amazon, it was not an Amazon item but from a third-party brand using Amazon to sell products.
“I followed the instructions, I put the little warmer on the bottle, followed everything to a T and it burnt the formula to a point where it was like black on the little warmer,” the new mom shared. “It was horrible, smelled so bad.”
Disappointed with the product, she decided to leave an honest review of her experience and gave the bottle warmer one star. To her surprise, someone from the company reached out after seeing it, but their offer to “make good” on the mishap wasn’t what she expected.
Apparently, the brand wasn’t trying to fix the issue or even send her a replacement product. Instead, they just wanted her negative review gone.
“The company reached out in January from some random email address and was like, ‘Oh, we will give you $20 to take down the review,'” Kayla recalled.
When she didn’t reply, they followed up by raising the payoff to $40; but the new mom still wasn’t taking the bait.
Finally, another person from the company reached out, asking Kayla to delete the review “so it doesn’t hinder either of us.” But by now, the mom was more than a little annoyed.
“You’re not going to bribe me to take down the review,” Kayla said in her TikTok. “Now I know why they had good reviews, though.”
The story floored many people.
One commenter urged her to update the review to include the fact that the company attempted to bribe her. Another person suggested that she forward the email to Amazon.
“They’ll reprimand the seller,” the commenter wrote.
“Keep your integrity,” someone else told her. “Good job.”
Quite a few people admitted to having similar experiences, which raised the question of how often this sort of thing happens.
“This happened to me,” one person shared. “They credited me 3 times the cost of the garbage product. And I never deleted the review.”
“I had someone on Etsy do this, saying I was ruining his business, but he never provided the product,” another commented. “I had to block him.”
“I bought flea meds and left a bad review because my dog lost her fur in that spot,” someone else wrote. “I took the money spent it and posted a new review with photos of my dog and screenshots of the email asking me to take it down.”
“This happened to me once, and I updated my review to say be wary of the reviews they’re bribing me to change mine,” yet another person added.
In a follow-up video, Kayla attempted to share more info about the bottle warmer, including images and screenshots of the emails she received but claimed TikTok removed it for violating community guidelines. So, she took the story over to Instagram, where she not only named the product but also shared an image of it.
“We used it for the first time on a trip and it burned milk,” she wrote. “Wish I would have known to only warm water in it since now it is completely unusable. Only positive is that it didn’t leak at all.”
The item, sold through Amazon by the Baby Bond Store, appears to be currently unavailable. It promises to make feeding your baby easier no matter where you are with a quick-heating feature that works in three minutes. It claims to be leak-proof and convenient, with a specially-designed formula dispenser that keeps things “mess-free” during transfer.
That said, Kayla’s story is certainly causing people to question whether or not the bottle warmer lives up to its promises — and whether or not the current reviews are accurate or if other parents have also been “bribed” with cash.
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