This article in the NY Times points to a possible turning point in online review policing. David Streitfield writes: ” New York regulators will announce on Monday the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.”
Online reviews are a powerful marketing tool — bad ones hurting businesses and good ones bringing new customers. So the temptation on the part of businesses to pay for good reviews is great.
Mr. Streitfield again: “In some cases, the reputation shops bribed their clients’ customers to write more fake reviews, giving them $50 gift certificates for their trouble. They also went on review sites that criticized their own fake-review operations and wrote fake reviews denying they wrote fake reviews.
The investigation was aimed at companies based in New York, but it will have a wider reach. “This shows that fake reviews are a legitimate target of law enforcement,” said Aaron Schur, senior litigation counsel for Yelp, which has taken an aggressive approach in screening out reviews it believes to be false. Yelp recently sued a California law firm for writing fake reviews of itself.” Read more here: Give Yourself 5 Stars?
It’s sad when businesses have to resort to getting false reviews to look good. Why not do a better job and get great reviews from customers?