UPDATE: While neither Medialink nor its lawyer have responded to our request for comment on this story, the company has posted a lengthy note on its Facebook page in which explains the motives behind the cease-and-desist letter and says that its Amazon seller account has been suspended.
Writing a product review on Amazon is usually a pretty mundane process: Pick a star rating, leave a few words, hit “submit,” and immediately forget about it. For one man, though, the process just got a whole lot more interesting (in the bad way). Eight months after a Florida man panned a product online, the company’s lawyer delivered a fresh new legal threat to his doorstep — retract the review, or face a libel suit.
This all began back in September 2013, when T. was helping a friend shop for a new router.
“I did what I always do,” he told Consumerist, which is to search for wireless routers on Amazon, and then filter by reviews and top sellers.
Medialink’s routers were front and center as he browsed.
“I was surprised to see two Medialink routers at the top of both lists,” he said, “a company I’ve never heard of [even though] I’ve bought and recommended plenty of routers over the years.”
At first he thought it sounded like a great product — cheap, efficient, and with glowing reviews. But something didn’t feel right. “Everything was a little too good to be true. Even products I love never have glowing reviews like this one,” T. said. So he took the sensible step of looking for reviews of the product outside of Amazon. Only… there weren’t any.
SO MANY REVIEWS, BUT MOSTLY IN ONE PLACE
“I searched for reviews on other tech sites, and I couldn’t find a single reputable site that reviewed this router,” he said, “Which I thought was odd for such an obviously well-received router.”