Reviews can sell a phone. They can also be bought.
For customers doing phone shopping, or shopping of any sort, reviews are a good place to start. No, I’m not talking about those fancy tech reviews, I’m talking real user reviews. That’s where you see real people’s rants and raves that help you decide if the good is better than the bad. This is something someone at Huawei seemed to understand, and unfortunately tainted the well.
The first indication should have been over 100 5 star reviews for the Mate 10 Pro on the Best Buy site. The indication being of course, that the phone is not yet available yet. 9to5Google noticed these reviews and did a little digging, only to find that the company was doing a little guerilla marketing, and receiving fraudulent reviews on the device.
Huawei, it turns out, posted a little contest in a private Facebook group. The contest, which was posted to the group’s 60,000 members was to explain why users wanted the Mate 10 Pro, and some of those lucky participants would be chosen to be beta testers. This meant, free phones for the chosen. In defense of the post, the word “want” was all in caps. But of course, that’s not really much of a defense now is it?
Oddly enough, entering a contest for a free phone is not what the review section of the Best Buy site is really for. That’s for reviews. And reviews did come in. Over 100 glowing 5 star reviews for the phone which was not available.
Huawei has responded to the discovery, giving the explanation that there was an internal miscommunication and that they will be working on removing the fake reviews.
On the plus side, 9 lucky reviewers are winning free phones. So there’s that.