Feeds

Carbonite nabbed with hand in review jar

Caught pulling a Belkin

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Comment Online backup service supplier Carbonite has been fingered by a disgruntled user for writing its own reviews on Amazon.

Bruce Goldsteinberg signed up for the service from Boston-based Carbonite, and everything went well until a system crash when he found that the restore process broke. He phoned Carbonite support, taking time off work to do so, chose not to pay $20 for a premium response and so, as he wrote on his blog, was put on hold for an hour. Eventually he got help but the restore process took several days, meaning more time off work, and it finally failed to complete with some files being lost for good. He got a refund of his subscription.

He looked online for other users' views on Carbonite and came across a posting by trw41 in the Carbonite Online Backup Forum on Amazon.com. This suggested that some gushing 'reviews' of Carbonite were actually written by Carbonite employees, such as its VP of marketing, Swami Kumaresan.

The Swami Kumaresan review is no longer available on Amazon but Goldsteinberg has a screenshot of it on his blog, and Google's cacheing works a treat so we can read it in all its glory.

This was posted on October 31, 2006, at which time a Swami Kumeresan was VP Marketing for Carbonite, having joined the company as its fifth employee in October, 2005. Another Carbonite employee, Jonathan Freidin, a senior software engineer, also wrote an ecstatic review.

Bruce Goldsteinberg's blog posting earlier this week quickly came to the attention of the New York Times.

Carbonite's naughtiness was exposed soon after electrical device supplier Belkin was found to be paying for positive reviews.

NYT blogger David Pogue got in touch with Carbonite and received an email from its CEO, David Friend. "These ‘reviews’ on Amazon from 2006 should have sourced the authors as Carbonite employees," it said. "I will personally see that the reviews are updated to disclose their employment affiliation. Had they been brought to my attention, they would have been removed long ago.

"We do have a policy about such things. I apologize to anyone who was mislead by these postings.”

The combination of partisan employee reviews masquerading as independent and pleased customers and a poor service betray an apparent contempt for customers - not good for an online backup service provider whose main requirement is that customers trust it.

After the outing of its shabby marketing one wonders why should anyone trust it again. Further proof that on the internet, you can rarely be sure that an apparently unbiased product reviewer is not just a shill. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.