updated 01:30 pm EST, Mon January 19, 2009
Belkin employee unethical
Belkin's Business Development Representative, Mark Bayard, has reportedly been paying Internet surfers to post fake positive reviews or poorly selling Belkin products on Amazon.com, according to a Friday report. Bayard has posted on Amazon's Mechanical Turk website, which pays users to perform tasks computers cannot, paying them on a per-task basis. At the time, Bayard offered 65 cents for every positive review posted, urging users need not own the product they are reviewing. The practice has both been challenged for its ethics and violates Amazon's Terms of Service.
Since the Friday report, Amazon has issued a statement, apologizing to the public, claiming it was unaware of actions and that they were unsolicited. The online retailer says it will work with Mechanical Turk and the online retailers involved to remove all postings regarding and related to the fake positive reviews. Bayard has also reportedly been paying people to post fake reviews on Buy.com and Newegg, however.
One item Bayard is asking users to post dishonest reviews for is Belkin's CableFree router, which was previously knocked by other users for its high price and intermittent operation.