MSI allegedly attempted to bribe YouTuber to prevent a negative review

David Matthews

Posts: 379   +70
Staff member
WTF?! A YouTuber claims that MSI tried to prevent a negative review by paying them off. If true, this compromises the integrity of a company that in general makes some pretty good hardware and (from our experience) doesn't resort to this kind of behavior. It's unknown at this point if these actions were sanctioned by the company or are the work of a rogue PR employee.

Many of us rely on product reviews from trusted, independent sources to make informed purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, it seems that some manufacturers (or PR people) aren't willing to accept negative feedback. Tech YouTuber TechteamGB tweeted that MSI attempted to pay them so they wouldn't post a negative review of the MSI Bravo 15 laptop.

TechteamGB posted a video that pointed out numerous flaws of the Bravo 15 including an underwhelming display, poor thermals, and shoddy trackpad build quality. Before posting the review, he contacted MSI to confirm his findings. However, MSI insisted not to post the review and allegedly offered to pay him not to post it.

After posting the review, MSI asked TechteamGB to remove the word "disappointing" in the video title but was turned down. MSI apparently even asked AMD to take down the video (the laptop comes with a Ryzen 4000 series CPU). Fortunately, AMD sided with TechteamGB instead of MSI.

While neither AMD nor MSI have publicly responded to the allegations, prominent tech channels such as LinusTechTips and our own Steve's Hardware Unboxed have reached out to help.

This situation is bad all around and a horrible look for a company that has ironically made some excellent gaming laptops. We'll update this story pending any statements from MSI or AMD. The "offending" video is below if you're interested.

Permalink to story.

 

m4a4

Posts: 1,870   +1,626
TechSpot Elite
Hmmm... never really known MSI to have good build quality. Though I admittedly haven't been paying close attention anyways.
I do remember that a buddies MSI gaming laptop several years ago was dying only after a years use. And just haven't heard much good stuff since...
 

brucek

Posts: 429   +493
If these were one-off issues (I.e., the reviewer got a lemon, but others of the same type were fine), it already sounds like this reviewer was open to having this explained and verified.

It they were not one-off issues (they applied to all manufactured units), then aren't they going to show up in every other review anyway? What's the point of silencing one reviewer when a potential buyer is just going to end up viewing a different review that says the same thing anyway?
 

SilentMarket

Posts: 35   +24
A company is doing what a company does: profit. Reviewers shouldn't behave like scavengers. This is not MSI's top tier laptop, of course it has more issues.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cosminmcm

Nobina

Posts: 2,562   +2,171
Too bad, personally I've found MSI to be fairly reliable, never had any issues with their motherboards or GPUs.
 
Bro, times tough. Should have took the money and never bought another MSI. Or make and off beat suggestive video with ways around description so that didn't break agreement. After payment of course and requested in crypto currency!
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 477   +320
TechSpot Elite
So let me see if I understand. A tech company has resorted to underhanded tactics. In that world, its called a week-day.

In the last 24 years or so if I bought my gaming laptops from totally honest builders, with totally honest parts suppliers, none of my gaming laptops would have a CPU. Or a GPU. Or well, I wouldn't have a laptop.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,047   +630
A company is doing what a company does: profit. Reviewers shouldn't behave like scavengers. This is not MSI's top tier laptop, of course it has more issues.
Irrespective, the reviewer has the right to call stuff for what it is. If you scrimp in manufacturing process, buyers have the right to know WHAT was scrimped on. Can't have a cry about it when people talk about it in the open.
 
Reading between the lines.."MSI apparently even asked AMD " all this is speculation and very unlikely to be a factual event. key descriptive word AMD..
 

Eldritch

Posts: 229   +269
Bro, times tough. Should have took the money and never bought another MSI. Or make and off beat suggestive video with ways around description so that didn't break agreement. After payment of course and requested in crypto currency!
Tough times is just an excuse people with lose morales use to console themselves. Some of us have moral values and in review business, it is everything.
His stand against MSI will benefit him far more than being corrupt. His views and subscriptions are gonna sky rocket esp sice HardwareUnboxed and Linus got involved.
 

mrvco

Posts: 83   +71
If these were one-off issues (I.e., the reviewer got a lemon, but others of the same type were fine), it already sounds like this reviewer was open to having this explained and verified.

It they were not one-off issues (they applied to all manufactured units), then aren't they going to show up in every other review anyway? What's the point of silencing one reviewer when a potential buyer is just going to end up viewing a different review that says the same thing anyway?
If nothing else, MSI should have just said it's clearly a bad unit, paid to have them send it back and sent the reviewer a proper "review unit"... I.e. a ringer.
 
Now we know what append at TomHardware VS Hardware Unboxed about X570 MSI mother board!!!
Without saying that the X570 MSI tomahawk as been reviewed but as not be produced because you can't find one ant where.
Is a coincidence that few days ago the MSI CEO "fall" from a roof and die?
 
  • Like
Reactions: JDaDJ
Also I find it amusing that someone would try to bribe them with the very item they just trashed, yeah I get free is still free but still....
 

candle_86

Posts: 440   +323
The going to AMD to get the video removed is an a******* move. Don't think I will ever touch another MSI product again if they think they can just bully reviewers.
I stoped buying their products when I bought a brand new big bang ii and found the CPU socket loose in the box. Fry's denied my return due to the situation and I could understand their position, they did however offer me $100 off a replacement. When I contacted MSI about it I got a reply from them saying it's impossible and they can fix it if I'm willing to pay for the repair. They didn't care I bought it new and the recipient showed it bought 3 hours prior to opening the RMA. That's when I stopped dealing with them
 

candle_86

Posts: 440   +323
Tough times is just an excuse people with lose morales use to console themselves. Some of us have moral values and in review business, it is everything.
His stand against MSI will benefit him far more than being corrupt. His views and subscriptions are gonna sky rocket esp sice HardwareUnboxed and Linus got involved.
It benefited hardocp, tomshardware, and Anandtech when they revealed Intel's underhanded B's back in 2000 with the Pentium III 1.13
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0dium and Eldritch

kimo1

Posts: 70   +104
Out of interest I occasionally read reviews about these "excellent gaming laptops" on good ol' Amazon: same issues over and over for many years; overheating, throttling, vacuum cleaner level loud noise, short lifespan, useless battery, forced trash software bundles, spyware, horrible customer support.
I don't buy advertised products - that's what I've learned from watching picture box: only trash is advertised. I consider details under specs, I consider reviews, and then end up with with amazingly good hardware. Hardware which was told to be bad by smearing campaign from competition who's hardware is the worst.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pop Mihai Ioan
Amazing how ungrateful people are.
The guys gets free laptops worth thousands, making lots of ££ selling them afterwards and from his videos/review sites.
Then, when the advertiser decides not to supply FREE goods to him anymore and instead to close the deal, he plays the single poor guy shooting videos from his cottage song. Yeah, now he's a victim.
What the hell do you want instead? You probably wanted them to thank you for the bad review, and continue to deliver the free stuff?! Are you crazy!? All rhetorical.
And did you ever think that maybe, just maybe you got a faulty laptop?
 

Steve

Posts: 2,638   +2,537
Staff member
Amazing how ungrateful people are.
The guys gets free laptops worth thousands, making lots of ££ selling them afterwards and from his videos/review sites.
Then, when the advertiser decides not to supply FREE goods to him anymore and instead to close the deal, he plays the single poor guy shooting videos from his cottage song. Yeah, now he's a victim.
What the hell do you want instead? You probably wanted them to thank you for the bad review, and continue to deliver the free stuff?! Are you crazy!? All rhetorical.
And did you ever think that maybe, just maybe you got a faulty laptop?
This is real facepalm worthy stuff. You've assumed a lot here for someone who clearly doesn't understand the process.