This is a follow up on our previous post 6 Tips on How to spot a Scam Website or Scammer as they are directly related to one another.
No one can dispute the enormous positive effects being listed and indexed in Google search results has on a companies future business prospects. If you are a business owner and you do not have a Google My Business listing yet please leave this blog post and apply for one immediately. You can always come back and read this post later. With the good comes the bad and sometimes there is just people, in the words of Alfred Pennyworth, who want to watch the world burn.
“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just wanna watch the world burn“
When a customer leaves a negative review on Google it can be extremely harmful to your business as studies have shown that 90% of potential customers look at social media reviews to determine whether they want to do business with a company or not. If the negative review was honest, you most probably deserved it but you have the opportunity to remedy the situation and win the customer back and hopefully the customer will change their review. Its a whole different ballgame when the customer (I use the word customer loosely here) has never done business with you and feel they have right to leave a negative review. That sort of entitlement is borderline mental illness.
Fake Review 1: Local Guide Reviews
A small part of the fake negative reviews is what Google terms Local Guide, these Local Guides can leave reviews with impunity. Please Note: not all Local Guide Reviews are fake, some of them have actually visited or done business with the places they have reviewed. The Local Guides get points for leaving reviews for which they don’t get payment for but they do get perks like early access to new Google products based on the points they have accumulated. As an owner run business servicing a niche market, we have to work closely with our customers when it comes to label, logo and product requirements and for that reason we know all our customers names personally and the Local Guide who left a review on our Google review page is definitely not a customer.
Fake Review 2: The customer who has never done business with you
This customer (the term customer is being used loosely in this section) is the inspiration for both this post and the previous one. This potential customer was not happy with the overwhelming evidence we provided him/her that we are legitimate and the customer then left a review on Google that we are not legitimate. Google has since removed the fake negative review as this customer was asked to give evidence of why they say we are not legit to which they never responded too. This customer feels more like a competitor in the perfume business as this customer was sent screen grabs of another customers label and box requests as evidence and then was also sent a picture of the other customers order with the printed labels and boxes while the order was being packed.
Fake Review 3: The dishonest customer
This customer had been doing business with us for a couple of months and we received several repeat orders from them. On this occasion she asked for her waybill number to track her order. A picture of the waybill was taken and the customer was sent the image via WhatsApp. The customer then got upset since her address was not displayed on the waybill but our address. The picture was zoomed in to clearly display her waybill number which was what she was looking for with not enough space to show the waybill number and her own address much further down. I proceeded to explain that our address as the sender appears first on the waybill and then the receiver(her) address under our address. The customer did not accept this explanation and I told her I’m unable to help her any further if she does not believe me. All she had to do was get an old waybill of the previous orders she had received from us to verify this. She could also track the waybill number we provided her with online. The customer then proceeded to write the false accusation on her review that I was swearing at her and calling her names. I replied to her review requesting screen-grabs of me swearing and calling her names as proof. I also let her know that if she didn’t place the screen-grabs that I will place them upon which the customer removed the false compliant but left the one star review. She had no reason to remove the complaint if what she had said was true. If I knew she was going to remove the complaint I would have taken a screen-grab but unfortunately I only have the email notification of her complaint with a whole section of her false complaint not visible. Take screen grabs as soon as you get a fake negative review, if you intend suing the customer that might be the only evidence you have.
Fake Review 4: The disgruntled neighbor
We do not have personal experience with this type of review but a quick Google search will have many search results for this type of review. We will update this post as soon as we do. Hopefully we will never get this type of reviewer.
Fake Review 5: The jealous business competitor
We do not have personal experience with this type of review but a quick Google search will have many search results for this type of review as well. We will update this post as soon as we do. Fake review 2 The customer who has never done business with you might also turn out to be this reviewer in disguise.
It’s possible to sue a customer who left a fake negative review if you want to spend the time, effort and money to get hold of the dishonest customer. A simpler solution would be to request Google to remove it as we did with Fake Review 2. Google refuses to remove Fake Review 3 as they probably can no longer see the customers original complaint and my response since it has been removed.
To request Google to remove a fake review click on the vertical ellipses menu on the right of the review and select the option that best describes the review. Fake Review 2 was removed within a couple of hours of sending the removal request but it can take many days and in that time you might loose a couple of potential customers which you could probably sue the reviewer for. On the other hand, it would be difficult to prove the loss of potential customers due to fake reviews. The best course of action here would be to rather take the moral high ground instead of wasting more time, effort and money because of dishonesty. As the saying goes…
“There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
-Phineas T. Barnum-