Sorry Steam users - WTFast Gamers Private Network can't exchange your positive reviews for free premium time. Because that's a bribe.
Let's say you're selling software on Steam, but a significant portion of customers are giving it negative reviews. How do you handle this? Do you try to respond to legitimate criticisms and improve your product? Or do you privately email customers offering free premium access for countering positive reviews? Oh wait - you can't legally do the latter because it's what's generally referred to as "a bribe". But that's exactly what WTFast Gamers Private Network suggested - to which Valve and the Steam Community responded about as predictably as you'd expect.
WTFast advertises itself as a client/server program that helps online games run faster and have fewer latency problems. But when WTFast started getting negative Steam reviews - citing that it didn't work as advertised and even caused crashes - CEO Rob Bartlett leaped into action. Apparently feeling the problem was actually trolls trying to ruin WTFast's prospects, Bartlett wrote the following in an email to customers:
Now we are on Steam, which is awesome, but there are also a TON of trolls on Steam leaving negative reviews; it is very frustrating. We know WTFast isn't perfect and it can be always improved; some of the negative reviews are legit and we are using the feedback to help improve WTFast. However, there are a ton of negative reviews that are blatant lies and pure trolling.
It would be extremely helpful if you can leave a positive review about your experience using WTFast. Simply say which game you were playing, and the results you got with WTFast. This will help us to counter the trolls.
In exchange, we will give you a free month of WTFast premium time!
All you have to do is leave a positive review on our Steam store page, and then link your review in an e-mail to [email protected] - that's it!
If you leave a really impressive review, we will give out 10x 3 months premium time to the 10 best reviews (to be decided over the next month).
Now I understand that premium time isn't a tangible thing you can grasp like currency, but that still looks a lot like buying positive reviews. At least that's what the Steam Community thought - who immediately forwarded the information to Valve before hitting WTFast with even more negative reviews. Bartlett quickly followed up with a new Steam announcement:
I am writing this message as an apology to our fans who have given us great reviews about their experience using WTFast. We are unable to give you a free month as we promised. Valve has told us that we cannot offer free WTFast premium time in exchange for reviews.
We screwed up, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We really appreciate our fans around the world for their continued support, but we cannot give you any incentive to vouch for our services. Your support means a lot to us. We really do value your voice to show that WTFast does get great results for a lot of users.
Sorry, Steam users. You can't have that premium lag-free experience that WTFast promised for writing positive reviews... because Valve said so.
Source: Steam Community