Samsung Accused of Posting Fake Product Reviews

Dennis Faas's picture

Samsung is under investigation for allegedly paying people to post bogus comments online. However, the fake reviews didn't talk up Samsung products but instead attacked devices from rival smartphone manufacturer HTC.

News of the alleged dirty tricks came from a Taiwanese website that published a document from a marketing firm hired by Samsung. The document lists numerous online discussion forum posts made by people acting on behalf of the marketing firm and, in turn, Samsung.

Some of the posts simply praised Samsung products. Others included comparisons between Samsung and HTC smartphones that, inevitably, leaned in favor of the former.

Finally, some of the posts were outright attacks on HTC products, claiming they did not work as advertised.

Samsung Promises to Be "Transparent ... with Customers."

Samsung isn't saying exactly what it knew or what it ordered to happen. It has said that its Taiwan subsidiary "has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments." 

Samsung has also promised to stick to a policy of "transparent and honest communications with customers." (Source:

That promise may not save the firm from an ugly legal challenge. Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission says it is investigating the matter. If found to have breached local rules, Samsung could face a maximum fine of US $835,000.

HTC says it is still considering its next move. The fact that Samsung appears to have posted misleading negative comments about HTC means it could be in much more trouble than if it had simply posted bogus positive comments about itself.

Dirty Tactics Motivated By Handset Concerns

Previous reports had suggested Samsung was concerned it could lose business to the Taiwan-based HTC, with both companies among the leaders in producing smartphones running Google's Android operating system.

Leaked comments suggest Samsung is worried about comparisons between the HTC One and the forthcoming Galaxy S4.

Samsung is said to be concerned that the HTC's aluminum casing may come across as more luxurious, leaving Samsung deciding whether to stick to its usual plastic case or to scramble to get a metal casing in place before releasing the Galaxy S4. (Source:

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