NeoWin has posted the shocking comments of two former Belkin
employees (who wished to remain anonymous), disclosing that bad practices at Belkin are indeed true, despite an official statement from Belkin denying such allegations
(First things first) Belkin International, Inc. offers an extensive range of products
designed to give computer and consumer electronics users seamless integration in their homes, cars, and on the go, according to the "about us" section on Belkin's site. The company was recently accused of faking its own product reviews.
Belkin's President went vocal
immediately, trying to clarify that “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,” reads the company's answer to the above-mentioned accusations.
As official as it sounds, it looks like it was all a big lie. An anonymous person claiming to be a former Belkin employee has recently commented in response to the statement released by Belkin's president Mark Reynoso. The comment is available below in its entirety.Having worked for Belkin for 10 years and this is only the tip of the ice berg, I used to do worse than this to gain market share and inside information on the competition. Belkin WAS the hands down leader in the market and was the greatest place to work. I can remember walking through CES, Comdex, MacWorld, or any retailers corporate office and watching my competition gasp in awe when Belkin was in the house. The day Chet brought back Mark Renoso was the second worst decision he has made (first was not manufacturing network cards when Linksys got out the printer sharing business). Mark is the King of micro mangers and NOTHING at Belkin gets approved or done without his stamp of approval. I was once a person that did dirty deeds for Mark Renoso in the market place to gain share and information. I even kept hard copies of emails with such requests. The best thing Belkin can do to repair this major damage is to get rid of Mark Renoso. He is the only one pulling the puppet strings.
An even more consistent disclosure of such events is offered by another anonymous person who wrote an e-mail that was published by tech-based site Gizmodo. Some excerpts can be read after the break.While never mentioned in an "official" policy, for years it has been pressed upon ALL Belkin employees to do whatever is needed to get good product reviews and good press. Everything from sending blog writers a device with custom firmware that hides known bugs yet claiming it to be official release firmware, faking hardware logo certifications (specifically Apple and MSFT), releasing blatantly inaccurate data from test results making our devices look superior to others, to placing "tailored" reviews of our products into places visible to consumers (as reported Amazon, etc), as well as writing poor reviews of competitors products ... our products are such junk, when an internal survey was done, it was found that the majority of Belkin employees purchased competitors products for home use, even with ours being offered free, as they are of such poor quality.
The same person goes to say “We have paid magazines for positive reviews, made custom devices or fixtures for use at trade shows to ensure quality demos,” without even the slightest hesitation (not that you would see that in writing, but still). One example of such practices, he says, is a fixture that runs hidden cable to a TV or audio receiver. Belkin apparently touts the broadcast process as wireless.
The company's answer, this time around
, is “We are still investigating the matter. We'll provide more information as soon as it becomes available. We look forward to a conclusion soon. Please continue to check back for updates.”
Have you heard any similar stories about Belkin? What other companies do you think engage in such practices? Leave your answer in the comments.