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Belkin's President Apologizes For Faked Reviews 137

Posted by kdawson
from the genuine-naugahyde dept.
remove office writes "After I wrote about how Belkin's Amazon.com sales rep Mike Bayard had been paying for fake reviews of his company's products using Mechanical Turk, hundreds of readers across the Web expressed their outrage. As a result of the online outcry, Belkin's president Mark Reynoso has issued a statement apologizing and saying that 'this is an isolated incident' and that 'Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this.' Amazon moved swiftly to remove several reviews on Belkin products it believed were fraudulent. But now fresh evidence of astroturfing has surfaced, by the same Belkin executive."
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Belkin's President Apologizes For Faked Reviews

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  • Ah, yes, Belkin... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SIGBUS (8236) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:07AM (#26527607) Homepage

    ...the same folks that gave us the spam router [theregister.co.uk]. Why am I not surprised?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How is Belkin even relevant anymore? Overpriced products, shitty service and unethical business practices make this a horrible company.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes. I'm sure he is very sorry he got caught.

  • by quickOnTheUptake (1450889) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:07AM (#26527611)
    "Belkin does not participate in . . . unethical practices like this."
    paraphrase: We don't do what we just did.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's like how Microsoft doesn't participate in anticompetitve behavior.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "Belkin does not participate in . . . unethical practices like this." paraphrase: We don't do what we just did.

      It's more "the guy that did this was breaking our rules".

      Of course I've heard that some companies set policies/targets that can't be realistically met without breaking the rules so they can shift blame from themselves to any individuals who fail to follow the 11th commandment ("thou shalt not get caught"), no idea if that might be the case here... probably only if this keeps happening, I guess.

    • by sedmonds (94908) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:52AM (#26527991) Homepage
      Like many businesses these days, the "unethical practice" isn't the underhanded, slimy, douchebaggery. The unethical practice referred to is getting caught. Anything it takes to raise short-term stock prices!
    • by Mechanik (104328) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @10:10AM (#26528157) Homepage

      "Belkin does not participate in . . . unethical practices like this."

      Emphasis mine. His statement doesn't preclude them participating in other unethical practices.

      • "Belkin does not participate in . . . unethical practices like this."

        Emphasis mine. His statement doesn't preclude them participating in other unethical practices.

        Nor does his statement preclude participating in exactly this unethical practice; just others like it.

      • by Kabuthunk (972557)

        Or, by saying "like this", they mean "and getting caught".

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cyner (267154)

      My company will not tollerate unethical behavior and proactively prevents it. We don't just "not participate", I'd be instantly fired for something like this.

      Does not participate != Will not tollerate. That's a big difference!

    • It's the first rule of PR: If a company/political canidate/etc says they are not doing something or will stop doing something, it means they do it using a middleman.

      Belkin doesn't do it. Now, if this guy types up a favorable review to his own product and has his brother push send, that's something else...

  • by Mr.Zuka (166632) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:15AM (#26527677)

    We've seen this over and over recently for companies and politics. Some underling gets caught doing underhanded stuff, the company/government hang them out to dry, then it comes to light they knew about it the whole time.
    Just remember this the next time your boss asks for something ethically questionable but says they will take full responsibility.

    • by thue (121682) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:36AM (#26527873) Homepage

      But Belkin has not even hung him dry. They have not fired the guy, as far as I can tell.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But Belkin has not even hung him dry. They have not fired the guy, as far as I can tell.

        What the fuck, who's product do I have to say sucks to get a guy fired around here?!?

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:55AM (#26528027)

      That why if you are doing something that seems ethically questionable make sure there is paper work to back it up. Even an email from your boss saying its OK we will handle it. Prevents you from getting hung out to dry.

      But for most cases it is more of the sin of not doing anything to stop unethical behavior from the underlings who are fighting for their way up.

      Some sales middle manager, trying to boost his amazon sales pays people to write good reviews, he didn't ask for permission. However after a couple of weeks upper management finds this out. The don't formally promote this, or tell others to do the same... However the sin is that they didn't do anything to stop it quickly.

      Remember it is easy to talk about ethics when you are not benefiting from the breaking of ethics. However if you are benefiting from it it takes a really big person to stop it. Remember the name of the ethics watch dog of the early 2000's Mr. Spitzer then found doing some unethical things himself.

      We really need some reward system for companies and government who follow good ethics, and stop bad ethics in their company early and deal with it responsibility. The problem now stopping bad ethics early will still look bad to your company and they will fail to get the benefit of the unethical behavior. But if we can find a fair reward system for good ethics and dealing with problems where the company can benefit from this then you will see real ethics. Not because we make bad people good. Just because it pays better to be good then bad.
      In time we will have good ethics being a norm, but it will take work and find the business equivalent of Heaven and Hell, where good behavior gets rewarded and bad gets punished. Right now we only punish bad behavior so it makes it a case of lets not get caught. By putting a reward system in place then we can have people going out of their way to be good (and proving it)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by D Ninja (825055)

        That why if you are doing something that seems ethically questionable make sure there is paper work to back it up. Even an email from your boss saying its OK we will handle it. Prevents you from getting hung out to dry.

        Or, ya know, just don't do that thing.

        If something seems ethically questionable, there's more than one person out there that will find it wrong. Just don't do it. There are other ways to "get to the top" rather than having to cheat your way up there.

        • There are other ways to "get to the top" rather than having to cheat your way up there.

          That's right. You can also buy your way to the top or whore your way to the top.

        • It is not always easy as an employee. Ethics really exists on a sliding scale. Lets take a look at it like this.
          You are an engineer at Belkin, Your boss asks you to post a review of the product you just released. You don't have to lie about it but give your honest review of the product that you worked on for months or years perfecting, the boss could ease it down a bit further by explaining your reviews will help moderate the marketing on the product and assure that it will reach the proper target audience

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by deKernel (65640)

        To be honest, there is already a "reward" system in-place. It is to both not buy from the company that is acting in a questionable fashion AND write a letter or send an email letting them know why you are not buying their product. The last action is just as important as the first in that you are letting them know why they are not getting a sale out of you.

        The system might not have the immediate gratification, but it does work in the long run.

      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @10:59AM (#26528705) Homepage

        We really need some reward system for companies and government who follow good ethics, and stop bad ethics in their company early and deal with it responsibility

        That's easy... start an ethic certification process... similar to the ISO certifications...

        The company develops an ethics plan then pays you thousands to audit and certify them.

        If you play your cards right no one will want to be stuck doing business with a company that isn't certifiably ethical, nor will consumers want to buy from one... and you'll get rich in the process.

        Selling your approval... now THATS Capitalism.

        • > The company develops an ethics plan then pays you thousands to audit and certify them.

          All I can think of is the Dilbert where the PHB is getting an online MBA and having the intern Asok take all his classes for him. And he gets upset when Asok only gets a B in the online ethics course.

          In other words, while I can too easily imagine that happening, I have to imagine that they'd just find unethical auditors to audit them.

          And we already have the BBB, anyhow, but I don't know how many people consult them b

          • BBB is only a customer protection program. Not a ethics guardian. As long as their products works as advertised the fact that they made their own reviews really doesn't effect the customers, who have purchased the product. Most of the bad ethics run behind the scenes of the customer knowledge or even the daily work of most of the employees, so even the union (unless they are part of it which they normally are the worse offenders of) are not really consered about the ethics misconducts until it is found out.

        • by Jay L (74152) *

          You don't need to certify anything. Companies with unscrupulous (or ascrupulous) business practices don't have isolated incidents; their profit motive inches them closer and closer to the entire underworld of sleaze. Their visible links to fraud are an excellent proxy for their hidden ones. All you have to do is make it searchable.

          Working on that.

      • by The_K4 (627653)
        "That why if you are doing something that seems ethically questionable make sure there is paper work to back it up. Even an email from your boss saying its OK we will handle it. Prevents you from getting hung out to dry." For all we know Mr. Bayard has just such an e-mail. However Mr. Reynoso (8 levels up the food chain) who gave the quote here did not say that Mr. Bayard was the only one responsible, just that it was isolated. Perhaps when the dust settles there will be multiple people involved, ans som
      • by hwyhobo (1420503)

        We really need some reward system for companies and government who follow good ethics [...] Right now we only punish bad behavior so it makes it a case of lets not get caught. By putting a reward system in place then we can have people going out of their way to be good (and proving it)

        Keeping your job and getting the paycheck is the reward. If we really took punishing poor ethics seriously, we wouldn't have the problem. How can you seriously enforce that, though, when you have foxes guarding the henhouse? C

        • Just like in the war on drugs.
          Tighter enforcement makes people work harder to not get caught, and work hard to hide minor infractions.

          Promoting good behavior is usually more effective especially if you balance it with the correct punishment system.

          We throw people in jail to "serve their time" once they get out there is still a mark that they were a convicted felon. Preventing them from getting good jobs and turning themselves around. So what do they do go back to crime and try not to get caught again.

          • by hwyhobo (1420503)

            We throw people in jail to "serve their time" once they get out there is still a mark that they were a convicted felon. Preventing them from getting good jobs and turning themselves around. So what do they do go back to crime and try not to get caught again.

            This analogy doesn't work. I was not talking about people down on their luck, mugging someone in a park. I was talking about people with superb jobs - politicians. You don't have to turn them around by giving them a chance in a society. They've had all t

    • What? Get it in writing? Well, duh. Also get it in writing that you suggested an alternative, ethical plan. Cover your own ass. The other guy's too busy covering his.
  • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:16AM (#26527687) Homepage

    . . . that you found out. So very, very sorry. Luckily, we've stopped doing it now! So you can stop looking. There's nothing else to find."

    "Goddammit, I told you to stop! I'm sorry you found out about this one also!"

    Yeah, I'm sorry too, Belkin. After the whole spam router thing I stopped using your products for a few years, but then thought, hey, sometimes people screw up. Mistakes were made, I haven't heard anything bad about them for a while. Why not?

    Well, now I know why not. One time is a mistake, two times is a failure to learn, three times is waiting for you to let your guard down to sneak a fast one past again. Won't make that mistake again!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      After the whole spam router thing I stopped using your products for a few years

      I stopped buying their products back when their whole business model was charging 4x the going rate for common PC accessories.

    • I believe the expression you're looking for is here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgPY1adc0A [youtube.com]
  • by SupremoMan (912191) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:18AM (#26527703)

    I enjoy at least 1 Belkin product: Nostromo SpeedPad n52 [belkin.com]

    And while Belkin does not pay me, I can say good things about it. I think it's their most popular product, as it's a big hit with the WoW crowd as well.

    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:43AM (#26527933) Homepage Journal

      Hey! What's that green paper you just stuck in your pocket!

    • I have one of those as well. I never could get the thumb-D-pad to be worth a damn, but the macro functions were great for Guild Wars.

      Rendered it obsolete by getting a Logitech G11 keyboard though. Cheaper and 3x as many macro keys as the G15, all for the cost of giving up a useless LCD!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Fieryphoenix (1161565)
        You know, if like me you'd got the original G15 and not the updated/downgraded one, you'd have both the huge number of keys and the LCD. When I got mine, I thought the LCD would be useless, but it turns out to be the best part in practice.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Rasit (967850)

          When I got mine, I thought the LCD would be useless, but it turns out to be the best part in practice.

          Same thing here.

          When I broke my G15 I figured I might as well satisfy my do-it-myself itch it and build a detachable miniature lcd display with some basic winamp/media controls.

          Just being able to see my mail inbox count or the last lines from PuTTy (perfect during long scripts) while having a fullscreen app running is wonderful.

        • I use it for gaming, so I'm looking at the monitor.

          And I would have paid a lot more than the $20 I paid for the G11.

        • I had a Bendix G15 in high school. It wasn't very reliable though and a tube would burn out every couple of hours. Of course if you wanted it to go faster, you could rotate the variac and the drum memory would speed up. I cannot say I have seen any reviews on that in a few years though, good or bad.
      • My experience differs.
        I find the D-pad very useful for MMOs and other medium duty movement. Certainly not useful for FPS unless you want carpal tunnel - for those you're better off mapping some of the finger keys to wasd. (Maybe that's just because I'm hitting the keys harder in FPSs due to anger ;)

        In Guild Wars, for example, I map 1-4 as the left side of the 8 skills, 6-9 as the right side, thumb D-pad is movement, and 5,0,and thumb button are set up to allow fast calling of targets and assisting (I don't

        • I've tried that (GW is my game of choice as well). I think my problem is the 90-degree rotation of the Dpad... maybe I could get used to it in time, but haven't really felt the drive to do so.

          I'd be really interesting in those mappings, though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      I have one and only one Belkin product in my home.

      After getting multiple disconnects from my DSL provider, I kept calling and complaining. After several router swaps, DSL modem replacements, and different computers on my end, I pretty well determined that it wasn't my equipment. The phone company stated that it must be a cabling problem. Got a new service drop from the street to the house, then new cable from the outside box to the DSL wall jack. Still had dropouts.

      So I decided to replace the Dollar Sto

    • The next version of that one (with the Razer tie-in) is completely garbage. The D-pad is digital instead of analog; huge mistake, making it completely unusable. It also costs a lot more.

      It would make sense if there was astroturfing going on for the forums for that product.

      • by RingDev (879105)

        The n52 has never had an analog d-pad. Although I do prefer my last generation to the newer version.

        -Rick

    • I hate 1 Belkin product: F5D8000 WiFi Card/a> [amazon.com]

      it is next to impossible to find vista x64 drivers, the card frequently (every 20 minutes or so) drops the connection when using bittorrent.

    • >I enjoy at least 1 Belkin product
      liking a bit of hardware is one thing but enjoying it? That sounds... wrong somehow.
    • by RingDev (879105)

      I Love my n52. Couldn't play any number of games with out it now that I'm use to it.

      Cables are a rip off, always will be. That $60 gold plated Belkin monitor cable wont work any better than the $5 el-cheapo Walmart special.

      -Rick

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:20AM (#26527717)

    How do we know this was the real President of the company and that it wasn't some actor hired to do a fake apology?

  • Fool me once.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WCMI92 (592436) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:21AM (#26527723) Homepage

    Once could be an "isolated incident". But this is the second big scam involving Belkin, in the wake of the router that basically had built in adware...

    Seems to me that Belkin has a culture of corporate corruption over there. The best way to assure us that they have realized their mistake and to correct the problem is for heads to roll. Seems to me they have corrupt management. That needs to go.

    • by mpe (36238)
      Once could be an "isolated incident". But this is the second big scam involving Belkin, in the wake of the router that basically had built in adware...

      How many does take to become "policy" or "conspiracy".

      Seems to me that Belkin has a culture of corporate corruption over there. The best way to assure us that they have realized their mistake and to correct the problem is for heads to roll.

      How could anyone be sure that these were the right heads?
  • by jridley (9305) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:23AM (#26527741)

    They're so full of crap. It's funny how Belkin has "isolated incidents" seemingly several times a year. They obviously have a corporate environment that breeds this sort of thing. I put them on my "evil company, do not buy" permanent list when the news of the spam router came out back in 2003, and haven't bought so much as a cable from them since.

    • To go with (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mycroft_514 (701676)

      Regular crappy products. I never entered them on my EVIL company list, because they were already on my "Products don't work as advertised" list.

      I had three products of theirs out of the first four I encountered that plain just didn't work as advertised. After that, I marked them "Don't buy".

  • Apology accepted! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by myram (641949) <kasperNO@SPAMmyram.dk> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:28AM (#26527795) Homepage Journal
    Now, where's my money?
  • Fraud charges? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by schwit1 (797399) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:39AM (#26527899)
    Is the FTC looking into this? Who's the new head of the FTC in the Obama admin?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fulldecent (598482)
      I don't think fraud means what you think it means.
    • Is the FTC looking into this?

      For what? Hiring paid actors to say good things about a product? I wonder what those marketers will think of next.

      • > For what? Hiring paid actors to say good things about a product?

        False and misleading advertising. They deliberately concealed the fact that these "reviews" were paid ads with the intent that the public be misled into believing that the imaginary reviewers were real people who actually used and liked the product.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          > For what? Hiring paid actors to say good things about a product?

          False and misleading advertising. They deliberately concealed the fact that these "reviews" were paid ads with the intent that the public be misled into believing that the imaginary reviewers were real people who actually used and liked the product.

          Considering it's not the first time [gizmodo.com] someone used Amazon's Mechanican Turk to buy a review, and probably only one of a mountain of other "bought reviews", Belkin would be long out of business by

          • > Belkin would be long out of business by the time they got around to it.

            By the time who got around to what?

            > it's an incredibly common event, and happens everywhere. Usually the payment's indirect,
            > though, but not always.

            I was merely noting that what they did is probably technically illegal. I don't expect anyone to take any action over such a trivality.

            > Heck, you want EA to go sue everyone who gave Spore a negative review because of the
            > DRM?

            Now there is a complete non sequitur.

  • Why blame them ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Yvanhoe (564877)
    People believe what anonymous strangers say on internet about some products. Why does this surprise anyone that companies would put reviews of their own products ? It is not illegal and has the same morality as a regular advertisement IMHO. Read reviews from Ars Technica, from Joe's hardware, reputable sites, but how in heaven does this surprise people that companies do that ? Do you honestly think that Belkin is alone ? What do you think that people in marketing department spend their time on, while idling
    • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:47AM (#26527955) Homepage Journal

      It is not illegal and has the same morality as a regular advertisement IMHO.

      A regular advertisement is something you know is paid for, so you know it's one big lie-but-not-as-the-FTC-defines-it. The thing with these reviews is that they're actively interfering with the spread of accurate information (note that accurate information is rather critical to the proper functioning of markets), rather than just spewing their own obvious garbage that people can know to ignore.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Well a one-hour trip to 4chan should be mandatory to anyone willing to trust an anonymous internet user the same way he trusts a journalist.
      • The thing with these reviews is that they're actively interfering with the spread of accurate information

        I have to wonder what's more valuable to Amazon? The integrity of their review section, or the profit from selling Belkin products?

        If it's the former, I'd like to see them give Belkin a suspension or ban from Amazon. "We won't lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do."

        Of course, I'm being optimistic, and most likely they won't. Not having them means that someone who is going to buy a router AND a

    • > People believe what anonymous strangers say on internet about some products. Why does
      > this surprise anyone that companies would put reviews of their own products ? It is not
      > illegal...

      While it is not likely that any action will be taken over such a trivial thing it is not at all clear that what they did is not illegal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332)
      People believe what anonymous strangers say on internet about some products.

      Makes sense, the majority of people are actually nice and honest. No matter how easy cynicism is: we are social animals and *want* to contribute to society, despite having selfish desires, too. Besides the proof is in the pudding: if you use the Amazon review system you get a lot of useful information. Of course you can't just look at the number of stars - if you look at the reviews you see the issues people had, you can also see

  • RTFA PLEASE! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by db32 (862117) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:44AM (#26527941) Journal

    Ok, look, it is great this story broke and the CEO apologized. But now, the new claims all center around a username that matches this guys real name. Now, it could be legitimate, but this is f'ing slashdot of all places and you are going to immediately accept "well the online nickname matches his real name, it must be him" like the same bunch of morons that sees "Obama caught naked with Bush daughters" in their Inbox and thinks "Well, it must be true, I gotta see this" and clicks on the link. Seriously... I mean...wouldn't it be a pretty good stunt for some internet troll to use that guys name to post positive reviews in light of the original claims? Just because the story didn't gain traction right away doesn't mean other people didn't also know about it before the story DID get widespread coverage.

    How the hell is slashdot going to link front page "HAHA caught again" to a damned blog that says "well the user's nickname matches the sales guy, it MUST be him". Now, I'm not even saying it isn't him, it is entirely possible he is that much of a dumbass and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it was him. However, calling that article "Fresh evidence" is a pretty far stretch. "Suspicious behavior" maybe, but "fresh evidence of wrongdoing" is a bit of that guilty until proven innocent that only seems to be OK when being applied against people you don't like.

  • by riggah (957124) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:48AM (#26527967)
    Belkin's president Mark Reynoso has issued a statement apologizing and saying that 'this is an isolated incident' and that 'Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this.'

    Phew, for a second I thought I was going to have to use some doublethink to convince myself that Belkin didn't do exactly what he just claimed they never do!!!

    Mr. Reynoso's apology means nothing. He's only sorry because they were caught; as with most people.

    It doesn't matter if they apologize because a business that engages in that sort of unethical behavior will not hesitate to do it again (unless it effects their pocketbooks, in that case they'll just be more careful to not be caught). Once a cheater always a cheater.
  • dispicable! (Score:3, Funny)

    by hAckz0r (989977) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:54AM (#26528009)
    Somebody in the MS Intellectual Property department must be asleep on the job. I could have sworn that that Microsoft had a patent on that particular 'business method'...
  • by kimvette (919543) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:57AM (#26528041) Homepage Journal

    'this is an isolated incident' and that 'Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this.'

    Excuse me, INAL however I seem to remember when ethics were discussed way back in college that when one acts as an agent of the company, one is acting on behalf of the company in a legal sense. Therefore, since the exec was repeatedly buying reviews I would hardly consider it to be an "isolated incident" (an isolated incident would be asking a friend or neighbor to write up a review in exchange for a round of beers, for example). Also, I would consider that since a Belkin exec was buying those reviews and encouraging this unethical and immoral behavior, it is wholeheartedly officially, if surreptitiously, endorsed by Belkin.

  • It's easier to beg for forgiveness, than to ask for permission?

    Why does this feel like exactly that?
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @10:17AM (#26528221)

    I found this /. article very useful and informative. I road tested it on my iPhone and it exceeded my expectations. It exceeded my expectations and was a lot of fun to use. Works with my hard drive, too.

    Five stars.

    CDR Taco, where's my 65 cents?

  • I don't own any Belkin products except for an 8-way power adapter but really are they that bad a brand? I would have thought a company with the visibility of Belkin would be producing fairly decent equipment which did what it said. No more, no less. They shouldn't need paid shills to boost their products with phony reviews. Shame on them. And if by chance their kit was bad, then there must be far more surreptitious ways to jack up ratings than to publicly pay people on one of Amazon's own services to do so.
    • Other than cables (which are decent, though often overpriced) their products are mostly crap. I remember at my old workplace they'd sell Belkin routers over the technical staff's objections, because they were slightly cheaper than the Linksys or Dlink counterparts. Except that those routers never, ever worked correctly. Every single customer came back and eventually got another model instead, in the end costing the company a lot of money.

    • by ferrgle (945967)

      Don't tell me...you work for Netgear!

      • by DrXym (126579)
        I think I would be a bit more enthusiastic about their products if I worked for them. As I said, they do work and otherwise stay the hell out of the way, which I suppose means they work well enough. I just can't get too excited about a router. The modem is pretty good though and has lots of configuration options and a nice web front end.
    • I don't own any Belkin products except for an 8-way power adapter but really are they that bad a brand? I would have thought a company with the visibility of Belkin would be producing fairly decent equipment which did what it said
      ....

      Anyway my experience is mostly of Netgear and so far I don't have any complaints about the router or the wifi/firewall/adsl modem that I purchased from them. Everything works exactly as intended which all right by me.

      Personally I think Belkin is garbage. I've had the misfortune (or stupidity, depending on how you look at it) to buy Belkin before, and their stuff is always so mediocre to poor you'd think they'd cornered the market on mediocre.
      I can see why the executive felt he had to resort to this type of crap, but of course there's no excuse for it regardless. I think it speaks volumes about them and their corporate attitude that they're trying to downplay this thing and deny any real culpability.

    • by legojenn (462946)

      I had a Belkin duplex cover thing splitter, so I have 6 plugs to choose from, that broke after a few months. I have never experienced a splitter breaking in my lfetime (until this one).

  • As long as Bayard is getting a paycheque from Belkin, it's clear that they condone his tactics. Why haven't they fired his sorry ass yet?

  • This was an isolated incident... of getting caught! Oh noes we got caught astroturfing! We're very sorry we got caught and we'll try to avoid having that happen again! We might even fire the guy who got caught as punishment for getting caught. Hopefully his replacement will learn these lessons well and not get caught!
  • As the CEO of Shillington Labs, I would like to reiterate that uncomfortable situations like this could be completely avoided by using our Product Review Service.

    Shillington Labs: Product Reviews, Your Way!
  • hundreds of readers across the Web expressed their outrage

    Just hundreds? Hardly worth worrying about then.

  • by pz (113803)

    Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this.

    Given that the first part of this official statement is prima facia a lie -- Belkin DID participate in these unethical practices, as it was an employee, a well-placed employee high up in the managerial chain, who created the reviews in question -- it is reasonable to expect that the entire apologetic statement is not even worth the electrons spent to create it.

  • Fake reviews is a big problem and definitely not unique to Belkin. Beware of another type of dishonest practice: the retaining of good reviews and tossing of poor ones.

    I purchased an iRobot Scooba floor-cleaning robot for $450. Quite an investment, but the reviews were all great so I felt the investment was worthwhile. The unit worked well until shortly after the 1-year warranty expired. When I contacted customer service, I was offered a new unit for a $340 but no repair alternative whatsoever.

    So I p
    • Why would you ever expect a company to post negative reviews of their products on their own Web site?

      • True, but by not posting the negative review, they chose to misrepresent their product. They could have simply used the word "testimonials" instead.
  • As a long time user of Belkin products, not all of them are crap. Most merely suck a little.

  • Belkin is already on my bad list. I bought a USB hub / iPod dock from them a while ago on Woot. When I opened it up, there were a bunch of inserts for compatibility with different versions of iPods and a notice that I could request new inserts in the future.

    So, then I got an iPhone 3G. It fits on the dock and works, but there is no insert for stability, so I wrote to Belkin to request an insert... Their response is that this device does not work with the iPhone. I know for a fact that it does work, and

  • It's a shame OpenWRT/DD-WRT don't support my version of Belkin wifi router yet...
  • by esocid (946821)
    Belkin router, great product A+++++++++++++++++. Would buy from again!!!!!!!!!!1one!

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