The Daily Background blog came across some rather unethical business practices that has been going on Belkin for quite a while, paying people to write positive reviews about their products. This practice makes you wonder if other companies are doing this, and if so – how long have they gotten away with this.
Here’s how the story starts, Arlen Parsa just completed a video trans-coding request from the website Mechanical Turk, a online community managed by Amazon where people request information by paying people to get information that users may not know to accomplish. While looking, he came across a post that asks users to post positive reviews of products.
“That’s a request from somebody named Mike Bayard to review a product and ‘give [it] a 100% rating (as high as possible).’ It doesn’t matter if the reviewer doesn’t own the product or has never tried it– the requester has helpfully written, ‘Write as if you own the product and are using it.’ It even goes a step further, asking the Mechanical Turk user to ‘Mark any other negative reviews as “not helpful” once you post yours.”, the blog post stated.
After further investigation, turns out Mike Bayard is a Business Developer Representative at Belkin and the reviews were mostly aimed at Amazon, Newegg and Buy.com.
Crunchgear as an official response from Belkin, claiming that the company knew nothing about what was going on and will investigate the situation. (The standard PR response you give out when you’ve been caught).