Anyone who knows me, knows that I research the heck out of something before I finally open my wallet and buy it.
I usually start my research by finding and reading as much as I can about all of my possible choices. Then, once I have a list of products or services whose features and prices fit my needs, I concentrate on learning as much as I can from any negative reviews and comments that I find.
I figure that if I need or want the particular good features that a product offers, and I can live with whatever is the worst that several people have reported about it, then that product is probably going to be a good fit for me.
My strategy, though highly successful for me over many years, doesn’t guarantee that I won’t run into any problems, as demonstrated by my recent purchase of a D-Link DSL modem/router. At the time that I ordered it, I was well aware that a few Verizon DSL customers had reported that they hadn’t been able to configure it to work with their DSL connections. But I didn’t find a significant number of problem reports or any clear evidence as to what the problem might be, so I took a chance and bought it anyway. I figured that I’d probably either not have any problems with it, or I’d be able to figure out how to solve any problems that came up.
I was wrong.
There’s an old saying that says, “Don’t ask a barber to tell you if you need a haircut.” In that same vein, I know from long experience that you have to consider the source of anything that you read online — that is, if you can even determine who the source is.
That brings me to today’s story. Carbonite, the highly advertised online backup service, has reportedly stacked the deck in favor of its service by having its employees write glowing reviews about it all over the Internet.
I don’t know what, if anything, is going to happen to Carbonite as a result, but that type of activity sure smells like fraud to me.
Of course, Slashdot’s readers have a lot to say about the whole Carbonite situation.
I wonder how many of their comments were posted by Carbonite employees.
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