Wednesday, January 28, 2009

David Friend, Carbonite, and the Case of the Employee Reviews

The folks at EMC were kind enough to point out this blog post by David Pogue, which exposes the embarrassing issue of some reviews that were posted by employees of Carbonite. In 2006, two Carbonite employees posted glowing reviews of their company's back-up service. They used their real names, but didn't disclose that they worked for the company. Carbonite competes with Mozy, an online backup service owned by EMC.

I called Carbonite CEO David Friend this morning to find out what was up. He acknowledged that not disclosing that the Amazon reviewers were connected to the company was a mistake. "We had eight employees at the time but no sales," he said. "Frankly, every little company does that kind of stuff." But since 2007, he said, the company has explicitly prohibited posting-sans-disclosure as part of its policies.

Friend added that Pogue didn't contact him before he published yesterday's blog post -- which was based on info from an ex-Carbonite user using a pseudonym; Friend has since posted a comment on Pogue's blog.

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Blogger Jay Levitt said...

"Frankly, every little company does that kind of stuff."

Frankly, everybody lies a little on their mortgage application.

Seriously? That's all you've [David] got? Plenty of other people are ethically impaired too?

I'm staying far away from Carbonite, lest we discover that frankly, everybody snoops through your backups a little bit.

January 28, 2009 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that friend says every little company does this is an insult to the little companies out there that relies on building a better product, instead of a better ad campaign.

January 28, 2009 10:49 PM  

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