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September 10, 2006

That's Odd

We bought a Toshiba D-RW2 DVD recorder this weekend, in order to save off the 9/11 coverage from CNN tomorrow. After getting it set up and running, I decided to look at comments from other owners, so that I could get a good feel for others' experience with it. At Amazon, I found this review by "Jonathan E. Kite":

This is a very basic DVD Recorder. It doesn't have a ton of bells and wistles which is what makes it perfect for beginners. The lack of DVD-ram is upsetting, considering the DR-W4 is only thirty more for many more features, but sometimes less features are nice, the simplicity makes it easy for my entire family to use. You cannot access menu items when discs are finalizing/formatting/or even when shows are recording, which is unfortunate. Otherwise, it is a great starter by a company that makes reliable products.

I decided to look up the other player, and realized that the reviewer must be talking about the Toshiba D-R4, and just typo'd the name. But then I noticed something else. Search on Toshiba+"DR-W4" in Google, and you get the exact same review at over a dozen sites, unattributed, and with different review dates. Some of the other reviews from Amazon appear to be duplicated as well.

So, are other online shops just copying Amazon's reviews and "branding" them as their own customers? Are these by agreement with Amazon, or illicit? It seems really, really strange to me.

Actually, we bought a Cyberhome unit, then immediately exchanged it for this one. Do not buy Cyberhome equipment, because it's complete crap. Apparently, the break very, very quickly. But we did not have time to determine that, because the player only displayed black and white. Online support linked from their web site goes to a non-existent page, and their phone support said that telephone and email support was unavailable. Joyous. I suppose we deserve that for not looking around at reviews in advance.

Posted by jeff at September 10, 2006 6:54 PM

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