Feeds

Carbonite nabbed with hand in review jar

Caught pulling a Belkin

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.