The official disclaimer is:
“I have been given a HTC Mozart with Windows 7 Phone by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my own user experience and personal opinion and are not made on behalf of Telstra”
What does this mean (apart from the fact that I have a fundamental disagreement with Telstra legal’s grammar – “aitch” should be preceeded by an “an” – seriously)?
In lay terms, even though Telstra have given me a free phone to play with and keep, they don’t own me. In fact, in regulatory terms, I understand that they would be in a pile of trouble if I don’t give honest feedback.
Check out this Telstra Exchange blog post for more information on the Social Review program.
I have my own disclaimers.
I work in a Government department that has been known to have significant dealings with Telstra from time to time. My work is entirely uninvolved with that side of the department. I did not mention my place of employment during the contest so it’s not like Telstra knew this either. I know no more about that side of the department than what might surface in the media (most of you lot probably know more about it than I do). My selection was on merit (for what it’s worth – I find that as amusing as anyone else) and I ensured that there was no conflict of interest through internal processes at work before accepting the offer to take part in the review.
My wife was a participant in the original Social Review program (which reviewed an HTC Desire running Android 2.1). I didn’t mention this during my application, largely because I thought it would count against me. It turns out that Telstra did at least a bit of due diligence because the application assessors were well aware. Indeed, it may even have worked in my favour. Go figure. I will be using the opportunity to get the opinions of an Android user from my wife during the course of this review process.
If you have any other questions to ask of my involvement, comments are open below. Feel free to ask. I reserve the right to either delete abusive comments or leave them there to demonstrate that you’re a bit of a douche.