MONTREAL, CANADA- Bell Canada, (NYSE: BLC) The Candian telecommunications giant was caught writing fake reviews for its applications, on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Mobile apps are essential providers of services for tech companies nowadays, especially for carriers. Some of them are carefully crafted and some aren’t, the latter usually resulting to poor performance rates as well.
Canada’s most prominent telecom company, Bell, has been apparently facing problems with its very own application line up. Mainly due to poor development, the apps have accumulated a series of negative reviews, a fact that pushed back users from downloading them, while even some decided to switch to another provider.
Though, the particular apps have managed to make a remarkable comeback at a very short timeframe, gathering a plethora of 5-star reviews. The incident made some people wonder what is the deal with the sudden enthusiasm over the apps, since they did not go under any significant updates that would attract users.
As correctly firstly pointed out by blogger Scott Straten, those reviews were stemming from actual Bell employees, and not any of the network’s customers. Straten figured that out by conducting some further digging, where he found the LinkedIn profiles of the 5-star reviewers. Those people were working as directors, marketing managers and a variety of other positions for Bell Canada.
The applications that were found guilty for fake reviews were MyBell Mobile and Virgin My Account on both Apple’s and Google’s respective app stores.
After the allegations were confirmed, Canada’s competition bureau issued a whopping CAD$1.25 million (US$970,719) fine to Bell for the particular matter. Moreover, Bell has made a pledge to reorchestrate its compliance program by informing employees to reject any review requests for one of its own apps.
In addition to that, the company is forced to sponsor a workshop to “enhance Canadians trust in the digital economy,“, as part of the scandal’s ultimate moral.