This morning, Belkin addressed the fraudulent review shilling that The Daily Background discovered last week. As you probably know by now, Belkin employee Mike Bayard was caught offering money for people to post 5-star reviews (and to vote down negative reviews) on Belkin product pages on Amazon. Belkin’s apology (pasted below) covers all the basics but one:
- We’re very sorry this happened;
- We don’t condone unethical behavior
- We’ll try to remove the fraudulent reviews;
- Our business partners had no role in this fiasco.
The one thing that’s missing? The fate of ethically-challenged dimwit Bayard (edit – and anyone at Belkin like him), who the Daily Background has since caught posting his own fraudulent reviews for Belkin.
Here’s the letter, taken from Belkin’s website:
Belkin has always held itself to the highest standards of corporate ethics and its employees to the highest standards of personal integrity. Similarly, we support our online user community in discussion and reviews of our products, whether the commentary is good or bad. So, 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.
Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this. We know that people look to online user reviews for unbiased opinions from fellow users and instances like this challenge the implicit trust that is placed in this interaction. We regard our responsibility to our user community as sacred, and we are extremely sorry that this happened.
We want to stress that this is an isolated incident and to re-instill trust with you, we have taken the following courses of action:
- We’ve acted swiftly to remove all associated postings from the Mechanical Turk system.
- We’re working closely with our online channel partners to ensure that any reviews that may have been placed due to these postings have been removed.
It’s also important to recognize that our retail partners had no knowledge of, or participation in, these postings.
Once again, we apologize for this occurrence, and we will work earnestly to regain the trust we have lost.
“Fresh evidence suggests Bekin’s Amazon sales Rep was engaged in more unethical activities” [The Daily Background] (Thanks to Sarah!)
“Letter from the President: Product Reviews” [Belkin]