A Belkin representative has been caught offering money to anybody who posts a 100% positive review of certain Belkin products on Amazon.com and other e-retailers. The bozo even used his own name.
The Daily Background found an ad on Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, which pays small fees for menial internet tasks like rewriting and converting media files, asking for users to write false positive reviews for a few Belkin products that have otherwise poor reviews, like this wireless USB hub. The request was filed by one Mike Bayard, and a quick Google search and perusal of his LinkedIn profile reveals him to be a Belkin representative in charge of sales to e-retailers. Apparently he's posted similar ads for fake reviews on Newegg and Buy.com in addition to Amazon.
This kind of fakery is probably far more common than we realise, but it's awful for the consumer. That wireless USB hub, for example, advertises Mac compatibility, but one of the real reviews suggests that this isn't true at all. Such user feedback is important to making an informed choice as a consumer, and Bayard's underhanded tactics screw up the entire system. For shame. [The Daily Background]