If you are a regular follower of Apple Tech Talk, you know that we have reviewed many products from Aukey (see our complete list here).
By now, some of you have heard the in the last few weeks, Amazon has removed Aukey, and some of its sister companies from the U.S. Amazon site because of an allegation that the company paid to place good reviews on the Amazon site. If this is true, it would be a violation of Amazon’s terms and conditions for its sellers.
There is no question that Aukey has been a great partner to Apple Tech Talk. They have provided a significant number of products for our testing and review. Most, if not all of those products have been provided at no charge to us and Aukey has rarely requested we return those products at the conclusion of our testing. This is due, in large part to the fact that we require manufacturers to provide prepaid shipping labels for the return of their products. It is our experience that for items of lesser value, the cost of shipping and the handling of the returned item is more expensive than the value of the item being returned.
This is not unique to Aukey. Many of the product manufacturers we deal with waive the return of their less expensive products.
As indicated in our standard disclosure, and reaffirmed in each of our reviews, unless stated otherwise, Apple Tech Talk does not receive any other consideration for our testing and review of products. In addition, we do not share our reviews with the product manufacturer or anyone else associated with that product, before it is published on our site. Again, unless specifically stated, the opinions expressed on Apple Tech Talk are strictly our own without any external influence.
We were disappointed to hear of the actions taken by Amazon against Aukey.
First and foremost, we do not support the concept of “buying reviews”. We have, and always will, provide honest and unbiased assessments of the hardware and software we test. We owe it to you, our readers as well as the companies that provide their products to us.
In many of our reviews, we have identified design and/or operational issues that hurts the overall performance of the product. We are often contacted by the manufacturers, AFTER our review is published, to address those concerns, and we are proud to know that many time, we are responsible for updates that come from our testing and review, that makes a product better.
Second, we think Aukey makes excellent products and would be surprised if they felt the need to buy positive reviews to make their products look good. With few exceptions, we have found Aukey products to be high quality at reasonable prices. There shouldn’t be a need to buy reviews, as we think the products speak for themselves.
We have reached out to our contacts at Aukey for a response to the actions taken by Amazon, but to date, have not received a reply. Regardless, buying reviews is wrong and we agree that, if true, Amazon’s first responsibility is to its customers.
With all of that said, we want to be clear that Aukey has never done anything to try and influence our testing and review of their products. They have never asked to review an article before its publication, never asked us to remove or modify a negative comment about one of their products, and never offered to pay a fee to post a positive comment about one of their products.
As such, we continue to consider Aukey a valuable provider of products to the Apple user community, and will continue to test and review Aukey products that we believe would be of interest to you, our readers.
If Aukey provides any additional information regarding this matter, we will certainly let you know.
We would also be interested to know your thoughts on this situation. Do you think a company that may pay for positive reviews deserves your business, if their products are good and meet your needs? Or does something like this mean they lost you as a customer? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below.
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