This is still a story in progress, but it looks just horrible: The Daily Background is reporting that a Belkin employee has been using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk piecework service to pay people to post fake positive reviews of Belkin products on Amazon, Newegg, and Buy.com for the princely sum of sixty-five cents per review. (From appearances, the gent behind the scheme isn’t too bright, since anyone who rummaged around in Mechanical Turk could uncover his plotting.) Belkin hasn’t yet responded; maybe there’s more here than meets the eye, and it’s certainly possible that the Belkin staffer in question is a renegade who’s violating corporate policy.
Assuming that the situation is as it appears to be, you gotta hope that Belkin will go to extraordinary means to make clear that what’s going on is profoundly unacceptable. And that it’s humiliated to such a degree that other companies that do this or contemplate doing this–and there are surely more than a few–get scared enough that they steer clear of lying to their customers in order to drum up business.