Fake Google Reviews

7 posts in this topic

Maybe this topic has been covered, and maybe I should have known better...but I still would like to post this to warn those who haven't heard--

 

Before enlisting the service of any business that requires a substantial amount of money, be it an attorney, Masseuse, etc., the first thing I do is check Google for reviews. Anyone with a massive amount of positive reviews (over 100 preferably) are the ones I give a call.

 

I searched for an attorney to handle a civil matter and chose one who has over 300 positive reviews ("An expert!" "He knew every trick the other attorney tried and beat them mercilessly until they begged to settle!" "Returns your calls and emails within the hour!" ) In our initial appointment, when I remarked that I was impressed with the reviews he had, he made an odd response: "HONEST reviews from REAL clients!" (duh?) Long story short without getting longwinded, when I hired the guy, he consistently went MIA ignoring my emails and phone calls, months later wrote me and said that my claim was small and that it would be better to just drop it and move on, deliberately withheld an important court appointment from me which caused me to lose by default, and then mailed me a bill. I wrote him back and threatened to turn him over to the Rechtsanwaltskammer for legal malpractice, and unsurprisingly, he hasn't since then contacted me to recover any money. I wrote a Google review detailing my experience with him, and he responded to the review with "I have no idea who this person is or what he is talking about. He never hired me and has never been in my office. This is probably a rival attorney just trying to make me look bad!" Scrolling through his reviews, I noticed that any negative posting was replied with this same comment. Even more disturbing is the fact that after about a week or so, my negative review was "flushed" away with about two dozen or so new fake positive reviews, which generally negates everything I said and makes it easier for other unsuspecting consumers to fall for the trap.

 

A similar instance happened when I looked up an enlisted the help of a moving company who boasted an impressive number of positive reviews--they gave me a quote for one figure, and then tried to demand double the quote amount once the contract was completed, stating that I had much more to move than agreed (even though it was the EXACT SAME THING when someone personally came to do an onsite survey for the initial quote). I paid the initial quote and told them anything else would be settled through an attorney. Again, when I left a negative review, it was responded with, "This person was never a customer of ours."

 

Now after seeing a hole-in-the-wall tattoo parlor with a 200+ glowing reviews despite only opening this summer, it has pressed me to look into the prospect of businesses posting fake reviews. As it turns out, you can hire call centers in places like India to spend all day creating fake Google accounts and posting fake positive reviews on your behalf. One of the glaring clues is that most of the each of the users on the review boards have only posted one single review, and that these reviews are posted within the same time frame. (That lawyer must have had one HELL of a month to get 80 reviews in the same month!)

 

 I don't know if there is any law in Germany that bans this type of deceptive behavior (There ought to be!) because to me it is the same as false advertising, but I just wanted to make you aware of this issue. I'm definitely going to second guess and investigate anyone with a rave amount of praises! 

 

Thanks for listening.

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Yelp has been monitoring reviews for years and puts the suspect reviews in a separate section.  Any reputable site does the same.  If you see the same reply to negative reviews, why become their customer?  caveat emptor

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I phoned up a specialist to ask for a specific procedure, following a referral from a GP.

The specialist's receptionist had no idea what I was talking about. I offered to phone the GP back for clarification, but the GP's receptionist said that that was something they should know at the specialist's.

 

When I phoned the specialist back, their receptionist still didn't know what it was. When I told her what the GP's office had said, she started screaming that I had to specify what the procedure was. It's a big no-no to scream at patients, so I hung up.

 

I wrote a review on Jameda, detailing the above.

 

The specialist replied to my review that he acknowledged my complaint, but that his receptionist needed more training.

 

Later, the specialist complained about the review, and Jameda asked me to clarify. What I said was true, and the specialist didn't deny it, but Jameda still pulled the review.

 

So I wouldn't trust reviews too much...

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Yeah, unfortunately personal recommendation from friends/people you know is still the best way to go. Especially in this internet age.  
Google, yelp, jameda, amazon, etc., all websites are full of fake reviews.  

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14 hours ago, vaonba said:

Google, yelp, jameda, amazon, etc., all websites are full of fake reviews.  

 

That is a fake review of fake reviews.  If you can detect fake reviews on those sites, so can the sites.  It's in their best interest to have valid reviews.

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On 12/28/2020, 8:25:55, catjones said:

Yelp has been monitoring reviews for years and puts the suspect reviews in a separate section.  Any reputable site does the same.  If you see the same reply to negative reviews, why become their customer?  caveat emptor

Yelp? Not necessarily. They have their own dirty business practices. 

I suggest this Louis Rossmann's video for further details: https://youtu.be/C67Lh4LE5LY

Give him a chance. He is a very interesting person (not for politics, but for laptop repair knowledge).

 

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I typically read only negative reviews. This is useful especially for products. It often means that there is something wrong or the product has an unexpected design flaw. Positive reviews such as "looks great" or "arrived on time" are useless. Amazon sellers have repeatedly contacting me with the offer that they reimburse my purchase if I write a positive review (and send a printscreen). 

 

Reviews that cover restaurants, hotels, doctors, etc. are more troublesome. You never know who writes it. If this is a pissed customer or the competition...

If you see suspicious reviews on google you can also look which places the autor typically reviews. My GF has recently found a dental clinic in Munich. Most reviewers have around 5 reviews total. A bistro in Moscow, restaurant in Nebraska and dental clinic in Munich...

 

Maybe it is a good idea to go to places that have no reviews at all. It means that they can do business without the "kind help" of Yelp or google.

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