Belkin admits paying for positive Amazon reviews
By Barry Collins
Posted on 19 Jan 2009 at 09:31
Peripherals manufacturer Belkin has admitted it paid people to write positive reviews of its products on Amazon.
The story came to light after The Daily Background blog spotted an advert on Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, seeking people to write positive reviews of a Belkin wireless hub.
Not only was the hired help paid $0.65 to write five-star reviews of the router, they were also instructed to "Mark any other negative reviews as 'not helpful' once you post yours."
The job was posted by Michael Bayard, who according to his LinkedIn profile, is (or at least, was) Belkin's business development representative. Bayard had apparently posted dozens of other similar requests for other Belkin products.
In a statement, Belkin admits that Bayard was paying for positive reviews, but claims it wasn't company policy.
"It was with great surprise and dismay when we discovered that one of our employees may have posted a number of queries on the Amazon Mechanical Turk website inviting users to post positive reviews of Belkin products in exchange for payment," the company claims.
"Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this.
"We regard our responsibility to our user community as sacred, and we are extremely sorry that this happened," adds the company's president, Mark Reynoso.
"We will work earnestly to regain the trust we have lost," he concludes.
Belkin claims it's removed the adverts from the Mechanical Turk service and is working with Amazon to take down the paid-for plugs.
However, the company hasn't stated whether Bayard has been sacked. A UK Belkin spokesperson told PC Pro that she couldn't comment on the fate of the employee, but that "as far as I'm concerned, a shadow has been brought over the company, and serious action will be taken."
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?