Ad Soliciting Positive Belkin Reviews  (Source: Engadget)
Belkin quickly responds to allegations of paying for reviews on Amazon

When you read product reviews good or bad online, there is more than a little trust placed on both the reviewer and the site the review is posted on. Reviewers be it professionals or consumers can be unduly harsh or praising of a product for many reasons.

Belkin has now found itself in a bad position as one of its employees is accused of offering to pay consumers to review Belkin products on The employee in question is one Michael Bayard, a Business Development Representative at Belkin.

Bayard allegedly posted an ad on the Mechanical Turk site offering to pay a paltry $0.65 per 5/5 review placed on Amazon of a Belkin product. The ad stipulated that the review must use US English and proper grammar, always give a 100% rating, and be written as if the user owns and uses the product. Another stipulation was down rating any negative reviews of the product on Amazon as not helpful.

As you can imagine, Belkin hasn’t come out and said definitively whether Bayard did in fact run the ads offering to pay for reviews or if it was some other person trying to smear his name and that of Belkin.

Belkin did step-up and post a public response to the allegations though and part of the statement said, "It was with great surprise and dismay when we discovered that one of our employees may have posted a number of queries on the Amazon Mechanical Turk website inviting users to post positive reviews of Belkin products in exchange for payment."

Belkin says that it has removed all postings from the Mechanical Turk system and is working with its channel partners to ensure that any reviews posted due to the ads have been removed. How exactly they will determine if the reviews are legit or not remains to be seen.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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