Fake Reviews – Google my Business v Trustpilot

Mar 3, 2021

Fake Reviews – Google my Business v Trustpilot

Most people nowadays check out reviews before they purchase services or products.  But how accurate are reviews and how do we know whether they are fake?  Here we compare two platforms and how they deal with fake reviews.

With so many free email service providers, it’s incredibly easy to open a new account with any review site.  Indeed if you visit some of the freelance job sites there are people making a living out of leaving negative and positive reviews. Whilst this violates the policies of review sites some sites are poor at monitoring such activity and in many cases don’t acknowledge that reviews are fake at all.

Fake positive and negative reviews

Fake positive reviews may display as solely 5 stars. With the best will in the world there is always going to be a negative review. You can’t please all of the people, all of the time.  Of course, it could be that the provider is absolutely excellent but with 100% positive reviews more research is needed. Fake positive reviews can result in highly disappointed customers. When they receive a product or service that is well below their expectations they realise that all those 5 star reviews are a little odd.

Fake negative reviews can significantly damage your business. These usually come from competitors who either hire “professional reviewers” or get someone working in their organisation to leave the reviews.  Often it’s done by setting up new accounts with fake details.

If you are receiving a lot of fake reviews as we did commencing last Friday, when 16 were left on Google my Business, you must reply to them.  Ours came from people who have never used our services.  We suspect due to some of the content that a competitor is trying to shoot us down.  It’s also possible that some genuine clients of other polygraph providers have mistaken us for them.  Many polygraph businesses have similar company names. We have responded to all the fake reviews appropriately.  We know that consumers not only read reviews but also the replies to them, so if it happens to you, always ensure you reply.

Google my Business

Naturally we complained to Google my Business but their complaints procedure is not an easy process to go through.  We have 18 offices and fake reviews were left on 16 of them. This means that we have had to effectively make 16 individual complaints.

The options Google my Business gives you as the basis for your complaint often don’t apply to your specific issue. So despite non-clients writing bad reviews of our services, which they have never used, they don’t necessarily violate any of Google’s policies when applied to any basis of complaint option Google gives you.

Finally we obtained an email address to contact Google my Business. This has resulted in communication between us that involves more time consuming tasks so that they can investigate the matter. Meanwhile these negative reviews stay visible to the public. We have yet to quantify the loss of revenue to our business.

The outcome of their investigation will define whether or not we continue to stay on the Google My Business platform.

Trustpilot

It’s much more difficult to post fake reviews, positive or negative on Trustpilot. They use a combination of dedicated staff and smart technology to protect their platform.  Using fraud detection software and advanced algorithms, most suspect reviews are automatically detected.

In addition it is easier to communicate with Trustpilot’s support team when reporting misuse and less complicated to provide the information they need to investigate.

There will always be people who maybe give you 4 stars instead of 5 and maybe the odd client who only gives you one star.  But we are happy with our experience on Trustpilot.  At least we know that any fake reviews are being dealt with efficiently and effectively. Genuine negative reviews help us enormously to improve our service.

Do you have a bad experience related to reviews on Google my Business or any other platform?  Contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

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