Say, you and your family are booking a weekend trip and are not familiar with the hotel choices, of course you are going to go check out the reviews online to see what other hotel guest are saying about the place right? Because that’s the smart thing to do right? Other guests are posting a truthful experience right?
WRONG! While the intention of these hotel review sites was just what we expect from it, not all reviews are accurate. As a matter a fact, many of the reviews are purposely being fabricated to either run down guest ratings by competitors, increase guest ratings or a million other reasons we could go on about.
These days, many businesses, especially service industry like hotels and restaurants, live or die by their online reviews. On the surface, the reviews should be a great tool for future customers, but, just like any other business endeavor, if there’s a way to be on top of the competitor whether it’s to lie, cheat and steal their way to the top, there’s always someone going to take EASY Street and not HONEST Street.
While we agree with everything that this author in this article covers, it’s our opinion that they are pretty seriously missing the boat.
Let’s break these rampant fake reviews into two different categories:
A.)fake positive reviews B.)fake negative reviews
One of the most common ways we see that this is being done is, that competitors themselves write fake positive reviews on their own sites. Or they have buddies do it, or some even do go to outside services to write these fake reviews. Yes, believe it or not, Keyboards for Hire-Review Hit Men! Whether or not a business really does have a great place with great service, who will really know? If each review is getting fabricated, who knows what a REAL customer wrote as an accurate review.
If that’s not bad enough, then you have the other extreme where competitors write fake negative reviews. Which intentionally brings down a business’ reviews. For example, we are currently working a case where a competitor is attacking almost every similar business in their location with 100’s of fake reviews. So even when a good business with a TRUE 5 Star ratings starts getting hammered with a hundred negative fake reviews, their online business rating starts to drop. To any prospective customer looking online for that type of service, chances are they will bypass it because of the poor rating. It’s an absolute shame this is how some people chose to do business, but that’s the kind of thing we see every day.
As depressing as all this sounds, if you or your business find yourself a victim of “fake reviews,” fortunately, these people can often be found and dealt with. First you need to know how, find someone with cyber investigative experience who knows how to handle these issues. Second get proof, take screenshots of all and any information when you see it, and third, take them to court and recoup your lost revenue and additional monies for all the grief they caused. It might seem like a pain to deal with but in the end you can most certainly BANK on the satisfaction of the “attacker” being caught.