Well, in Samsung’s case they appear to have gotten their hand caught so far in the cookie jar that they have needed to apologize for violating one of the most basic rules of doing ethical online business: don’t fake reviews. According to Techspot Samsung is simply admitting to screwing up without really even fighting.
Officials in Taiwan are investigating claims that Samsung paid people to post favorable reviews about their products online while at the same time offering up negative feedback on rival HTC’s products. The investigation launched after the Fair Trade Commission received numerous complaints on the matter.
TaiwanSamsungLeaks posted documents allegedly showing Samsung hired a marketing firm to catalog different posts made on local gadget forums last year. Some of the post topics include a user complaining that his girlfriend’s HTC One X suffered from repeated crashes while the Galaxy Note was much better than the HTC Sensation XL. Individuals also posted benchmark results that show the Galaxy S3 outperforms the HTC One X in the graphics and battery life department.
There is not much to say in a situation like this other than “What in the world was someone thinking?” What better way to make a company that is making strong progress look stupid and get knocked down a few notches on the online reputation ladder?
What makes it worse is that Samsung isn’t even fighting. In fact (and this may be a tactic which helps) they are getting out in front of the issue before there is even an official mention of the incident.
PC Advisor points out that Samsung has not yet received anything from Taiwan’s FTC but admit that the “unfortunate incident” did happen. In a statement released on the matter, Samsung said they have ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments. Furthermore, the company said they adhere to transparent and honest communications with consumers and will work to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Uhhh, no you don’t. If you had adhered to honest and transparent communications this wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
So here’s to Samsung getting their corporate logo in the Online Reputation Hall of Shame. It’s not a place where anyone wants to be but if you do something like this there is plenty of room because expansion is always underway when you are keeping track of idiotic moves in the online world.
Does this impact your view of Samsung? I own a Samsung smartphone and it does a little bit for me.