Business

Monday 28 July 2014

Blackberry takes no responsibility for alleged fake BBM reviews

Louise Kelly

Published 25/10/2013|10:39

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A man is silhouetted against a video screen with the Blackberry logo as he pose with a Blackberry Q10 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Files
Blackberry said they had “no knowledge of how these reviews were created or populated”

Smartphone firm Blackberry has responded to claims that reviews for its recently launched BBM for Android app were manufactured, saying they had “no knowledge of how these reviews were created or populated.”

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"We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this," Victoria Berry, communications director for BBM at BlackBerry told CBC News.

Earlier this week, the struggling wireless device manufacturer launched BBM for Android and iOS – and users’ suspicions were aroused when five-star reviews immediately flooded in for the app.

The hundreds of thousands of posts – both positive and negative – were largely written in poor English and seemed to be repetitive in content.

Some tech bloggers have said that this indicates some outsourced marketing company may have been posting the reviews. 

Fake reviews are not uncommon and many companies, including Samsung, have been fined to this spurious behaviour.

But while BlackBerry's BBM app was reportedly downloaded 10 million times within 24 hours, this unsavoury development may tarnish the firm’s reliability.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry published an open letter to customers in a bid to reassure them of their future during "challenging times".

Slow sales of new models such as the Z10 led to a 45pc revenue decline last quarter and a $1bn loss.

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