from the how-not-to-win-fans dept
It is true that Reddit user trevely's original review did make some strong claims, which clearly, the router maker, Medialink, objected to. Trevely has since edited his review to clarify which parts were opinion and which were clear facts. Medialink's main complaints were that the original review claimed that many of the positive reviews of their router were fake, and that the router was just a rebranded version of someone else's router. Still, the original review was no worse than many standard negative reviews, and given how many other reviews Medialink had, you'd think that Medialink would just let this go, rather than call in the lawyers -- and suddenly get so much more attention to the negative review. Oh, and more attention to the positive reviews... and their legitimacy.
Whether or not they are actually fake, some Reddit users have certainly spotted some fairly questionable 5-star reviews, like the one guy who seems to think that the router is actually a set of car headlight bulbs. And, others have long suspected fake reviews on the product, so it's not like trevely just made this up out of nowhere.
As for the rebranding claim, well, as the original review noted, that seems to be confirmed by a filing with the FCC, in which Medialink directly says that the equipment is "electrically identical" to the Tenda router that trevely was pointing to. Oops.
Meanwhile, Amazon's seller rules are pretty strict about not letting its merchants try to influence user reviews -- either pushing for positive reviews or threatening over negative ones. Given, as treverly noted in his own initial review, that Medialink seems to exist almost entirely based on Amazon, breaking Amazon's rules by threatening a negative review (with a questionable lawsuit, no less) may wipe out the channel the company relies on. Either way, what Amazon does might not matter, because now the Reddit crowd has jumped in, and Medialink/Mediabridge's name may be even more associated with bogus legal bullying than crappy routers -- though I can't see how either one helps the company very much.