Meshforce often comes up in Amazon searches as a very attractively priced mesh WiFi setup kit – really rivaling some of the big name kits on the market which can easily be twice as much or more. But not everything on Amazon is as it seems for this company. Read on for a little insight into how Meshforce is lying and cheating their way through Amazon to have overwhelmingly positive and biased reviews.
I was first introduced to Meshforce with a bunch of Facebook ads. I like keeping on top of new technology so I decided to read into them a bit further. Information is a bit sparse, but outside of overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews, a lot of Reddit content I could find also seemed to echo that; users saying “well I don’t know much about them, but the Amazon reviews sure look great!“.
One of the targeted ads I got let me fill out a survey for a chance to win a free Meshforce kit to evaluate and send my feedback to them. I had a feeling I knew where this was going, but I filled out the survey anyway to confirm my suspicion.
I was contacted back the next day with a few more qualifying questions. This time I was talking with an employee of the company though, and not just a SurveyMonkey form. Another day passed, and it was confirmed that I qualified. But – by now the opportunity to beat up the product and send the manufacturer my feedback had changed into something far more sinister – I was now being pulled into an Amazon product ranking manipulating scheme.
Here is the email I received:
Hi, Thank you for your quick response. MeshForce M3 is a great mesh WiFi system to replace your old wireless router, for product information please click here. If you have any question about the product please feel free to ask me. We sincere invite you test the 3-Pack product for free. (Retail value CDN$219) Here is how to: 1: Place order: We will provide a link for you to place an order on amazon, then reply me with your order number. 2: Receive payment: Please let me know once you receive the product and use for two week, if you are satisfied with the product, please post a 5-star review on amazon. We will reimburse the product price by PayPal. 3: Not satisfied? If the product does not work well, or you are unhappy for any reason, I will assist you return and refund in full. Additional Review Reward: If your review contains detailed unbox/setup experience (with detailed texts, images or video), you will receive additional CDN$10. Remarks: - Checkout with a valid credit/debit card when you place order. - To be eligible to submit a review on amazon, make sure you have minimum 50 dollars/67 canadian dollars purchase across amazon. (In past 12 months) To confirm your participation and get your purchase link, please reply me this message in next 48 hours.
This sure explains all those positive Amazon reviews, doesn’t it!? Meshforce is having people legitimately buy the product (to get the “verified purchase” flag on Amazon), making them review it, and holding their money hostage until a five star review is posted on Amazon. Only then do you get your refund and the “free” product.
But wait, there’s more! You will be paid additional money for more detail and pictures in your review!
Now that you know this, can we truly trust any of the Meshforce Amazon reviews? No, no we can’t. This is ultimately a very dishonest and dirty company who are cheating the system to make their product look good. Sadly, this happens every day in shocking numbers with the product reviews you see on Amazon for all sorts of sellers, but it rattles my cage extra when we’re talking about a several hundred dollar product. People are making investments and large purchase decisions with this – far more than a cheap impulse buy on Amazon, and they are making those decisions based purely on lies, manipulation, and deceit.
Further research seems to show that the Meshforce kits are “bottom of the barrel” as far as mesh WiFi go. They apparently don’t use a very good chipset and are ultimately just Chinese junk with a fancy name on the company. For only a little more than the Meshforce, you can get the TP-LINK Deco M5 kit, and the Deco is held in pretty high regards as far as performance, chipset and affordable price go.
Remember: Always watch for key signs of false reviews on Amazon. Most legitimate reviewers leave quick, short reviews from their phone or desktop. The average reviewer does not write long form reviews, and especially does not include large quantities of digital photographs (maybe some quick and dirty cell phone photos at most), nor will they include videos of the product. When you see these telltale signs, it’s often a very clear indication that the manufacturer is doing exactly what Meshforce is doing and buying their reviews. This is a problem running rampant on Amazon from Chinese sellers, and Amazon still does very little to combat it even when clearly reported to them – they want your money, and if fake reviews and dirty sellers make them more money, well…