Also, here is a screenshot of the review breakdown for this camera.
Looks like over 1,000 people accepted the "honest" rebate...
Just to play undisclosed advocate here, it is tricky to simply condemn TENVIS without condemning ourselves as well.
Consider if the world was made up of 100% honest and upright folk; then those who genuinely believed the camera was a great deal would give it 5 stars and receive a bonus. Those who didn't wouldn't. No moral problem.
Should we hold TENVIS responsible for the ethical failures of others?
Furthermore, there is nothing inherently immoral about having the 'bribe' affect your rating. For instance, let's say I buy the camera for $50, I try it and it's pretty good, maybe worth 4 stars. But I feel it's a little expensive, if were only $10 bucks cheaper then maybe... Voila! 5 legitimate stars for the $35 camera.
Just my 35 cents worth.
After a year-long undercover operation that netted 19 companys, here's what the Attorney General of New York state had to say about reviews which have the appearance of independent consumer reviews but are actually bought and paid for by the vendor:
"Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution. And companies that continue to engage in these practices should take note: "Astroturfing" is the 21st century's version of false advertising, and prosecutors have many tools at their disposal to put an end to it."
source: the government of NY state
Just noticed this thread now... any updates on this situation?
I only ask because I had a similar encounter with these guys: when I was active on another forum, they once sent me, unsolicited, a "free" camera to evaluate (it was their "new at the time" 720p PTZ). Within about a week they were emailing asking me to write a good review on the forum. I replied that there were several glitches and I couldn't honestly do that. They said they were working on it and "expected" a glowing review from me in the meantime. A couple weeks later they sent me an update and reminded me that I was to be giving them a good review...
IIRC, I did finally write something about it being a decent camera for the price, after the firmware updates made substantial improvements. Couple months later I loaned to someone and it never came back...
Anyway, that was a few years ago, sounds like they're still using the same kind of tricks.