Accessory maker Belkin has formally apologised for paying punters to plug its products in Amazon.com's buyer reviews system. According to an open letter from Belkin big cheese Mark Reynoso, the "unethical practice" was conducted by "one of our employees", who offered cash in exchange for good reviews. It's not clear whether …
Nice to see.
Nice to see Belkin coming clean, they are a really great coimpany that make really great products and are only let down by one or two over zealous members of saff.
Personally I buy every product Belkin bring to market, often buying two or three extras to give to family and friends.
What are they doing there?
So the boss, the one with the pay and the risky job can't control his executives. His executives can't control their managers, despite high pay and power to do so. His managers can't control their staff despite that being their job.
What are they being paid for again?
That explains a lot, I had to jump through hoops to get a Balkin' router to work, returning one for being faulty then finally having to get a firmware update from their support folk which couldn't be found anywhere. Certainly won't be buying one of them again.
@wtf same here with regards to teh Belkin Router. if i pulled large amounts of traffic through it it would lock up.
Gave it away to friend of mine and got a netgear had no probs sinse
They didn't have to
They didn't have to do that, their products are good. I've never had problem with anything Belkin (router, cables, cards, etc) and often choose their product over the competition when given a choice. Oh, and no, I wasn't paid to say that.
I'm assuming the employee has had their knuckles firmly rapped.
Now If Only MundaneSoft
Could come clean, I wonder if ZDNET.com receives free software or incentives judging by some of their reviews of OS's by a certain American software monopolist ?
@Nursing A Semi
"they are a really great coimpany that make really great products"
Haha - I should show you the cheap and nasty Belkin USB keyboard and mouse I've used. Not to mention the KVM boxes which are always going bonkers.
Or the horrifically-overpriced USB cables for that matter - although that might be more down to Pee Cee World...
Not the first time...
Not the first time Belkin have been in the press for doing 'bad' things.
Who remembers the router that hijacked a HTTP connection to plug some service they were offering?
You would open a browser and go to a website and the router would send you their stupid advert instead.
Having bought one of their routers I can't say I was impressed, took it back the next day.
Maybe I'm just being skeptical here, but I'm sure I can smell a scapegoat. If these reviews had resulted in Belkin selling a truckload of products, thus awarding the Big Man huge bonuses, would he be so quick to hand the bonus back? Would he Nancy!
He's the boss, he's responsible AND accountable. They got caught and they need a lag to pin it on. I wonder if this has happened at all in the past.....
As JCL stated above, I also have had a number of Belkin products, all of which have been fine. Mind you, I'd probably write them a good review if they flow me a few freebies...!
Please contact me...
...if you are willing to bribe me for postive reviews, please send your details to..
I'm not a fan of Belkin
Everything of theirs I've had has been exceptionally cheap and nasty. Or overpriced and nasty if you buy it from PC World.
At the budget end of the router/network hardware market I struggle to understand why anyone would buy anything other than Netgear.
Steve - funny that, as I have exactly that problem using a NETGEAR router. The built in modem seems to stop responding randomly under lots of simultaneous connections. Hasn't happened for about a fortnight, but sometimes it happens 3 times within an hour.
Best router I've ever used was a Linksys. (cue someone saying what I've just said about Linksys gear)
Belkin kit - varibale quality
I have 3 Belkin devices:
Surge protector - seems very good, had a few power trips/spikes and nothing got broken.
Wireless Router - only really worked after a firmware upgrade (which Belkin support denied was required) as it did not correctly support encryption. Now works quite happily with a Wii, Linux laptop, XP laptop, Window Mobile phones, hacked XBox etc.
Wireless USB dongle - binned after it fried USB hubs (I wondered why it got so very hot). Support denied it was their fault and refused refund/compensation for damaged kit. They refused to even investigate after I offered to send them the dongle.
So while their kit seems to be variable, their support is absolutely shocking and for that reason alone I will not voluntarily buy anything from them. They may be at the budget end of the market, but that is no excuse for shoddy support.
I had to return two routers back to shop after only 3 days of service, my old man had to return a Belkin hub after 8 days. We both bought Linksys and mine has worked flawlessly now for 3 years on continous use with only 2 firmware upgrades.
Sorry but the quicker Belkin go down and are replaced by something that actually works. No wonder Sky used to give them away for free!
Good Old Belkin
Recently we had a minor power spike.
Everything in the house survived perfectly intact, apart from my Belkin UPS, and the monitor plugged into the 'surge protected' socket on it.
For some extra fun, the nice sliding panel that allows the lead-acid battery to be easily removed for recycling appears to be either solidly glued shut, or a fake panel, and given the lack of any obvious other way of opening the box, it seems I'll have to do it some kind of violence to get the box open before I can even throw the PoS away.
@Nursing A Semi, @JCL - more Belkin shills!
Perhaps I have been unlucky, but without exception every Belkin product I have ever had the misfortune to be lumbered with has been a steaming pile of unmitigated shite.
Judging by the fanboi comments here I suspect this paid-for opinion scam goes a lot further than has been exposed thus far!!
Hands up those who realised my first post was not inteded to be taken seriously?
This is a story about paying people to say nice things about Belkin. I not only said nice things but went so far as to state "Personally I buy every product Belkin bring to market, often buying two or three extras to give to family and friends." and people stil thought I was serious?
I am sorry but obviously the El Reg readership is haing an off day.
Paris because even she would have spotted it.
Re: Oh Dear!
See, that's what you get here for being too subtle. As far as I can tell it's now a fact that Gordon Brown avidly reads the Reg after I said he did in an attempt to be caustic. Shrug. I think more swearing is the key.
Not at all AC
Deary me, for shame A. Coward. It's easy to call someone a shill or fanboi behind anonymity just because you don't agree with them. Perhaps I've just been lucky that I've never had any problems with anything I've bought from them, shit happens, I've no beef with them. Mind you, I am comparing the wireless router with a BT Home Hub and some other thing from way back that looked like a crappy green stingray. Rest assured, should I buy something made by them and it doesn't work I'll attempt to become more cynical, hide behind an AC, and let you know what I think.
I've suffered a Belkin wireless router for quite some time now (although not, perhaps tellingly, to the point where I go buy a replacement). The connection is erratic, the security settings idiosyncratic, it used to fall over almost every time a p2p or bittorrent client ran, and then about 3 months ago it became incompatible with Virgin broadband without a firmware upgrade that was (to say the least) difficult to find on the companies web site.
In fact, now I think about it, I'll replace it as soon as I can afford to and then get some well deserved pleasure out of the the thing by belting it about the garden with a cricket bat...
You'd probably be better off on the Angling Times website, you hooked a couple of beauties there.
Meanwhile, howcome Belkin came clean now- openness or they got caught? For bias-minimisation, my personal Belkin shopping score: Puchased 1, Broke down within warranty 1. Replacement still working 1. IIRC I had to pay the postage on the returned item though.
Paris, cos she got caught out & made a huge profit from it too
"I think more swearing is the key."
A very dangerous suggestion. Have you forgotten who you are dealing with?
Three different chip sets & incompatible drivers for same Model/Packaging of USB WiFi. Bought in same shop on same Day. No "plug N Play" if you mix those up on the 3 laptops.
Generally tacky but at least not overpriced like Monster.
USB or phone or CAT5 cables that are claimed to "go faster". Not possible.
Never had a problem with Belkin gear in the past and used lots of their specialist audio and electronic cabling in a different industry where they are highly respected.
As for an earlier remark about expensive cables at PCW, I once worked in the Business Centre and could see cost prices. Cost of a 1.8m USB cable sold at £12.99? Under £1.50
However, a Branded laptop retailing for £899 could cost £849 or more so the money had to be made somewhere!
Paris because we might enjoy her tied to a four poster bed using those overpriced USB cables...
Belkin's usually good...
especialy that 'belkin' open wifi connection just outside brentwood station thats usefull when the train stops for no reason other than the driver needs a quick sleep.
paris, cos i'd hop on for free, but wouldn't pay to take it home.
Re: Oh Dear
I did read it twice, but I'd twigged before moving on to the next comment. So you didn't completely waste your time.
I don't think I've got any Belkin gear here, but I do have Linksys, Netgear, Edimax, Adder, APC, Liebert, MGE... pretty much a good sweep of their competitors.
I expect they're extremely sorry (that they got caught).
Are you confusing Belden (very high quality cables) with Belkin by any chance?
@ Thinking Out Loud
And which industry would that be then?!
(I do a lot of live and studio audio work, as well as some video post. Which to me would cover about everything that would need audio cables. And everyone I know would either laugh in the face of Belkin, or would never of heard of it because their market penetration is so dismal)
Works for me
I like Belkin products. They've always been reliable for me, more so than the Netgear crap, and I've only had one problem when a 3-year-old wireless router blew up. Belkin support (in Oz) shipped me the next model up free of charge within 3 days. Can't complain about that kind of service.
I've got a Belkin switch and a KVM thingy from them and they work fine (also a spare SOHO router but I've never used that for more than an hour or so at a time). I wouldn't buy an UPS off them, though! Far too critical to leave to a non-specialist.
I can't bring myself to buy their stuff, the name is horrible.
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