Earlier this week allegations surfaced of Samsung hiring students to post negative reviews of HTC products; and in Taiwan of all places. Samsung has since admitted to the ‘unfortunate’ incidents and released a statement (below) to the media.
It was a website called TaiwanSamsungLeaks that set the ball rolling by publishing the documents of a marketing firm that Samsung uses, which contained forum posts with faked complaints against HTC handsets. These included the HTC Sensation XL, which was painted in a bad light next to the Galaxy Note, and the HTC One X.
It’s a sad state of affairs to see Samsung taking this approach, although it has now ended its policy of allowing employees to post anonymously. Its massive fortunes already give it a strong advantage over HTC without it posting false reviews. That being said, just because Samsung has been caught this time, it doesn’t mean to say it’s the only manufacturer that’s done it.
HTC is yet to announce what action it will take against Samsung, but the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission could itself fine the South Korean Manufacturer £547,000. Still, that’s a drop in the water next to Samsung’s mammoth profits.
The whole incident underlines the fact that any review or advice read online is subjective, biased or perhaps in some cases false, so should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Official Samsung statement to the media (via The Register)
Samsung Electronics remains committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers as outlined in the company’s Online Communications Credo. We have encouraged all Samsung Electronics employees worldwide to remain faithful to our Credo.
The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles.
Samsung Electronics Taiwan (SET) has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments, and will ensure that all SET online marketing activities will be fully compliant with the company’s Online Communications Credo.
We regret any inconvenience this incident may have caused. We will continue to reinforce education and training for our employees to prevent any future recurrence.