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Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews 289

An anonymous reader writes Over the past few months, we've seen a disturbing trend from first Kingston, and now PNY. Manufacturers are launching SSDs with one hardware specification, and then quietly changing the hardware configuration after reviews have gone out. The impacts have been somewhat different, but in both cases, unhappy customers are loudly complaining that they've been cheated, tricked into paying for a drive they otherwise wouldn't have purchased.
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Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @10:33AM (#47254055)

    They were, now I'm just wondering who else who hasn't been caught yet may be also doing this as usually it can be a whole cartel of them.

  • by Larry_Dillon ( 20347 ) <dillon.larry@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @10:37AM (#47254111) Homepage

    I'm not trying to defend Kingston or PNY but it may be that they had supply problems or other issues with the original part. It seems that Joel Hruska is assuming intentional deception/malice where none has been proven. I do think that companies should be required to change the model number when they change critical internal parts.

    WiFi cards used to be horrible about this. Companies would change the WiFi chipset, requiring a totally different driver, and nothing on the outside of the box would give any indication. Somewhere on the card it would usually say rev b, etc.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @11:00AM (#47254359)

    I needed a half-dozen 8 gig USB keys to serve as flash boot and installers.

    I figured I might as well get USB3 versions since about half the time they would be written on USB3 based systems. I found a Kingston on Amazon, it was cheap and I bought them without thinking, figuring they were decent.

    When I went to use them I had a WTF moment when they were so slow. Benchmarked them against a PNY 128 and another off-brand, both USB3 and the performance with them was as expected but the Kingston one was performing like a slow USB2 key.

    Went to Amazon and read the reviews and found out that everyone was bitching and each review had a vendor followup from some flack at Kingston explaining that they were USB3 but considered "value" USB3 and that if I wanted "performance" USB3 I should buy another Kingston product at a ridiculous price.

    Nowhere on the packaging does it say "slow, USB2-style speeds".

    Anyway, this is just more news that Kingston is happy to bait and switch.

  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @11:02AM (#47254383) Homepage
    Amazon can only show a message on reviews of products received for free through the Vine Voice program, where reviewers choose the product through Amazon's website. However, a lot of reviewers receive their free product directly from the manufacturer or publisher, and Amazon has no way of knowing. FTC rules require that a reviewer disclose that he is reviewing a free sample, but this law is often ignored.
  • Re:Not subtle at all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:56PM (#47255395)

    It's a scam and they're liars. It's really as clear and un-subtle as that. When they deliver a review unit, the expectation is that it will be representative of the products that end users will by buying.

    More and more I only believe Consumer Reports. They don't accept donated items for review. They purchase their own from a normal middleman to make sure what they get is what a normal person would get.

    That being said, it's remarkable they're still in business.

  • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:25PM (#47256351)

    The problem with the race to the bottom is that everybody ends up at the bottom. Usually sooner than expected.

    I keep hearing about this so called race to the bottom (most often espoused by self proclaimed communists) yet my computer equipment today is a lot better than that which I owned 10 years ago (around the time I first started hearing about this race to the bottom.) Not only is it much faster, but it has a longer useful life. I think 10 years ago I was still on 120GB IDE HDDs that pulled a whopping 32mbyte/sec sustained rate. Now for the same price, I can buy SSDs at the same or higher capacity that will pull 10 times that data rate.

    In other words, in this "race to the bottom" of yours we've achieved your choice of a 10 fold performance increase or a 30 fold capacity increase. What is this "bottom" you think we're racing to, exactly? Because it sure doesn't look like it's getting worse. As for TFA/TFS; somebody has pulled a fast one, more news at 11. I don't see any evidence that this is a growing trend.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson