Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Advertising Android Communications United States Technology

Huawei Got People To Write Fake Reviews For An Unreleased Phone (theverge.com) 39

As spotted by 9to5Google, Huawei has apparently posted fake reviews on Best Buy for its new Mate 10 Pro, which is available for pre-order in the U.S. despite not having any deals with U.S. carriers. "The fake reviews, which are exclusively on the Best Buy website, are likely the result of a contest Huawei ran on Facebook," reports The Verge. From the report: On January 31st, the company posted to a Facebook group with over 60,000 members, asking for people to leave comments on the Best Buy pre-sale page in exchange for a chance to beta test a Mate 10 Pro. The original post has been deleted, but 9to5Google obtained a screenshot before it went down. "Tell us how to why (sic) you WANT to own the Mate 10 Pro in the review section of our pre-sale Best Buy retail page," the post states. On the Best Buy site, there are currently 108 reviews for the phone, 103 of which were written on or after January 31st, the day Huawei posted the contest. Many of the comments directly reference not having any actual hands-on experience with the product itself, but give the phone a five star rating. "I can't wait to get my hands on this phone and demonstrate how amazing it is to people," reads one. "This device looks exciting and beautiful and it would be amazing to have a chance to beta test it," another reads. It seems Huawei is betting that loads of high ratings early on will make people trust the product and lead to higher sales. That's all well and good except that these types of reviews are strictly against Best Buy policy, as 9to5Google points out. "Huawei's first priority is always the consumer and we encourage our customers to share their experiences with our devices in their own voice and through authentic conversation," a Huawei representative told The Verge in a statement. "While there are reviews from beta testers with extensive knowledge of the product, they were in no way given monetary benefits for providing their honest opinions of the product. However, we are working to remove posts by beta testers where it isn't disclosed they participated in the review program."

Huawei Got People To Write Fake Reviews For An Unreleased Phone

Comments Filter:
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @06:34PM (#56119019) Homepage Journal
    It is a wonderful phone. Like the Iphone X but without a notch. A+++++ would recommend.
  • You can be damn sure if a beta tester gave negative reviews that they wouldn't be asked to beta test again and perhaps even would be in violation of NDAs. Beta testers are expected to play along and make the company look good, that is the unwritten rule.

    That said, I don't think it's illegal to post a bunch of fake reviews on a web site. At least not in the US. Not only does the buyer have to beware, the buyer can expect thousands of shills to lie to them.

    • Yes, as fake reviews schemes go, this is an unusually honest one. They actually got real humans to write the glowing reviews, not a bot army.

      • They sort of had to. If they had hired Chinese hackers, they would have used Google Translate to generate the content of their reviews. Plus just like with the Russians, their usernames would have been strangely stereotypical.

        TexasCowboy928989, FatRichAmerican2949234, VanDamn192281, Schwarzeneger1292, McDonald9892, EvilAmericanEmpire3324, TonySoprano2134, BigMacAndFries90324

    • by Xenx ( 2211586 )
      No, it was just against Best Buy's policy, as stated in the summary. It's also generally considered scummy behavior. Like a lot of things, we expect it. We just want it to be assumed and not proven.
  • gaming (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @06:36PM (#56119033)
    This is why you can't really believe reviews anywhere. It is a system ripe for gaming.
    • Re:gaming (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @06:36PM (#56119039) Homepage Journal
      Very insightful. Please mod up!
    • by glitch! ( 57276 )

      Your comment is informative and insightful. Will definitely recommend to my friends! Five stars!

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )
      Especially the silly 5 star rating system, which means something slightly different to each person. For example, if a phone is rated 4 stars, is it better than a phone rated 3 stars? "Of course it is," you say. But then the seller reduces the price of the 3-star phone and it quickly gets enough 5-star reviews to make it a 4.5-star phone! Is the 4-star phone no longer as good as the one previously rated 3 stars?
      • If reviewers are being honest and accurate, the (formerly) 3* phone becomes better than the 4* phone after the price drop and rise to 4.5*.
        Value is always a part of the rating.

        • Re:gaming (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @07:57PM (#56119369) Journal

          Value is always a part of the rating.

          If value for money is part of the phone's rating, then the rating doesn't really tell you which is the better phone.

          Why does value for money need to be part of the rating when the price is usually listed right next to the rating?

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      I go with the negative reviews, across multiple sites with similar statements. The positive ones, just idle interest to compare with the specifications. You kind of want a spread, that leans in the positive with no indication that specifications are false. So which is worse advertising or reviews, clearly the need to generate fake reviews indicate people prefer reviews to advertising. Of course not buying early in release and waiting for a spread of reviews to come out over the first few months of product r

  • While there are reviews from beta testers with extensive knowledge of the product, they were in no way given monetary benefits for providing their honest opinions of the product

    No, you just give them lots of free phones, and only if they give good reviews.

  • From the summary, with my emphasis:

    Huawei has apparently posted fake reviews on Best Buy for its new Mate 10 Pro, which is available for pre-order in the U.S. despite not having any deals with U.S. carriers.

    "Despite"? I thought "not having any deals with U.S. carriers" was a desirable feature in a phone. It assures customers that they get a device configured as the manufacturer intends, without the compromises that carriers compel manufacturers to make, and compatible with all major carriers.

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2018 @12:50AM (#56120429)

    Been a while since your last trip to the middle country? This is what it's like. Fake positive reviews are all the rage. Negative reviews are removed or shouted down by shills. In China, nobody would even bat an eye. In the near future, nobody in the "democratic" west will either.

    The new normal is upon you.

  • It's still slimy behavior that is a reflection of the company.

    I got a Huawei phone as a gift in the past. That gave suffering enough to avoid Chinese electronic products like the plague for decades to come.

  • They asked people to write about what they were most interested in with the new phone, and to leave that as their review. They were looking to create hype behind the new device. Instead, idiots decided to write fake reviews about how great the phone they don't have is.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

Working...