Amazon is being scrutinized for potential product safety issues with its AmazonBasics products. The company is being asked by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to investigate and recall items that pose a safety hazard to consumers. Amazon customers have indicated that some of these electronic products have "melted, exploded, or burst into flames." There are around 1,500 reviews on Amazon's website, covering 70 different products, noting significant safety concerns. After the investigation started, some of the product pages in question were removed.
A former product safety employee with Amazon indicates that the company essentially outsources safety assessment to customers. However, if products stay well-rated and sales are strong, Amazon keeps the products and does not pay attention to the complaints. Amazon has been accused of deleting products that become controversial leaving dead links behind. These links have been named "dog pages" by Amazon employees. In response to the concerns, Amazon shared its commitment to safety and indicates it is a top priority. The company went on to indicate that it thoroughly investigates all safety concerns from customers. Amazon has been under fire for a variety of concerns lately including too much control of the supply chain, monopolistic behavior, employee treatment, and the use of data from third party sellers to launch competing products. Our reliance upon online retailers has increased the scrutiny of marketing practices, particularly those of Amazon. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with a high-profile personality and lifestyle, attracts notable attention from the media as well. Amazon is the largest internet retailer in the world and the second largest retailer behind Walmart.