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CrazyTech 12-24-2005 11:57 AM

Ethics of Review Incentives
Well, I saw this post on another forum and it raised an interesting question...

Is it the ethical thing to do for a hosting company to offer incentives to their clients who go out and give them reviews at third party sites?

Obviously, if you're offering some sort of reward, you're going to get inflated reviews because people want the prize. IMHO this leads to misleading reports.

Blue 12-24-2005 12:50 PM

No, it's not ethical and it's not honest.

It us usually very easy to figure out the hosts who are doing this.

Check out hosting sites that have a link to a review site where they have many great reviews and yet they don't have a single review on any other site.

Joomla 12-24-2005 02:16 PM

Totally agree with Blue.

As a host your best 'ad' should be the service you provide to your customers. Clients see through an incentive scheme anyway, afterall an incentive scheme will not keep anyone as a customer, but good service will. Focus on service, the rest will follow.

Senad 12-24-2005 02:23 PM

Not very good at all. I had to wait a month for a client to post our first review at our site and when I recieved our first positive review it made me happy. I don't understand why companies would need to lie to get ahead of everybody else. It just does go to show you how companies and the directories are becoming worthless unless they are awarded by true word of mouth. What was the company? Do you have a link so we can see this company and the incentives it offered?

CrazyTech 12-24-2005 10:21 PM

I'd rather not name the host in this case quite yet - PM if you'd like and I can discuss it but I have complete proof of the offer and will probably share it here soon.

HMarker 12-26-2005 02:50 AM

I agree, its not honest. But it is a way of marketing for web hosts. Careful people will understand that reviews are actually inflated. And this leads to a loss in corporate image of that host in my opinion.

gwh23 12-26-2005 06:06 PM

Its very poor business practice. I wouldn't associate with any company that conducted itself in that manner.

CrazyTech 12-27-2005 06:42 PM

Sorry I haven't shared with those who have PM'ed quite yet but I'm doing so for my own good at this point. I will be sharing my experiences very soon.

f9-Gene 12-28-2005 08:50 PM

My personal belief is that if you either give free hosting or some sort of incentive for a review it diminishes the honesty and reliability of that review.

aeromit 12-29-2005 05:30 AM

Not ethical at all however a lot of providers do it. I'm affraid it is very hard to fight it. And i'm not sure we should.


Senad 12-29-2005 07:36 AM


Originally Posted by aeromit
Not ethical at all however a lot of providers do it. I'm affraid it is very hard to fight it. And i'm not sure we should.


That' the type of talk that ruins the hosting industry. You don't just sit and do nothing...then more and more people will keep lying to their customers...I guess we shouldn't do anything about unlimited...umetered...etc...either offers either :rolleyes:...Oh wait we did do something and customers became educated and now there are less and less unlimited offers around.

InnovativeHost 01-03-2006 01:36 AM


Originally Posted by aeromit
Not ethical at all however a lot of providers do it. I'm affraid it is very hard to fight it. And i'm not sure we should.

cheers will all catch them in the end. The customers that they do get off of the false or inflated claims/reviews will come to find that they are not getting what they are paying for (or are in fact getting what they are paying for - depending on how you look at it). There are a lot of uneducated customers out there that will take anyone’s word especially if it has a nice color scheme and a flash graphic or two. But for each of the uneducated customer there are 2 educated ones that will find your legit service, be happy and tell their friends and co-workers about you....which in the end is better off for you.

As was previously stated, you can generally sniff out pretty quickly the companies that are trying to artificially inflate their image.

CrazyTech 01-03-2006 11:39 AM

Well now it turns to advice time.

Let's say that there is a certain company that you have an account at. You've been suspicious of the company because of good reviews at multiple venues and simply great timing by staff members to add to the thread. It's quite obvious what they are doing and they're doing it at several places.

Let's now say that you have an email (header, etc.) with the details telling clients that you'll be up for a prize if you go give us a review here or there. Is it even worth contacting the place to tell them about the incentives being offered or is there simply not enough proof right now?

Senad 01-03-2006 12:18 PM

Easily enough proof with the headers at hand from the e-mail.

Since I know of who you speak of ...personally I think that it is time that this sleasy company is shown for what it is. The owner continues to lie to customers by falsly advertising and doing illegal things which I will only mention if CrazyTech decides to release the name.

This isn't the first time they have had these sleasy scams being done (3 times from what I remember) and frankly their claims at being the best and boasting to be the best should based on truth not lies or incentives.

I would also post it on the three main hosting forums and their forums in which they are the most active so customers educate themselves even further about their lies and deception.

On a side note: I did attack them at the other forums CrazyTech for other illegal activities only for them to beg me to delete that proof which I ignored. The owner of that company cannot be trusted and is totally irresponsible. I still wonder why WHT or some of the main forums have not banned that company name. I've attacked them/their customers on several forums (including these) because they usually do a hit and run post about their company never to reply.

vito 01-03-2006 04:26 PM

Ethical practice? No.
Acceptable practice? No.
Should you name them and shame them? Yes.
Are email headers enough proof? Yes.
Should we ignore people like this hoping they just go away? No.


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