There's no company in Canada considered more "blue chip" than Bell Canada. And now they've been caught cheating -- again.
Last year Bell employees were encouraged to flood major app distributors iTunes and Google Play with positive ratings for the company’s new mobile app, MyBell Mobile.
The federal Competition Bureau has fined Bell $1.25 million for encouraging its employees to post fake app reviews and ratings.
The reviews have since been deleted. The app now rates an aggregate score of 2.9 stars on the Google Play Store.
But the ill will remains. As one unhappy user writes on Google Play, "Mobility plan is too much, app sucks, don't believe in the 5 star reviews they are all fake and Bell got fined for them."
Bell has agreed to host a workshop that will “promote, discuss and enhance Canadians’ trust in the digital economy, including the integrity of online reviews.”
“I am pleased that Bell Canada demonstrated leadership to fully resolve the Competition Bureau’s concerns in this matter. Bell’s senior management acted quickly to remove the reviews of the apps that had been posted by its employees and has taken steps to prevent it from happening again,” said John Pecman, Canada’s Commissioner of Competition, in a statement issued to mobile industry news site Mobile Syrup. “I commend the shared compliance approach taken by Bell to resolve this matter, which will benefit both consumers and the digital marketplace.”
You can read the story here: http://mobilesyrup.com/2015/10/14/bell-fined-1-25-million-for-inflating-its-own-app-scores/
As Mobile Syrup points out, earlier this year Canada’s Privacy Commissioner issued a scathing report on Bell's Relevant Advertising activities, through which the company sells data on its customers' media usage to third parties. Bell quickly agreed to terminate the program.
Rick Spence is a business writer, speaker and consultant who believes business can be better than it is. His other blog, Canadian Entrepreneur, focuses on best practices. This blog focuses on worst management practices, fumbles and foul-ups. Because Rick believes we learn more from mistakes than we do from good examples.
The title and logo were inspired by a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that really should employ a proofreader.