• http://umain30.com/ Main Uddin

    Why we run behind negative reviews if our product(s) has the creativity magnificence and useful ness then automatically customers will come and pay their dues and order for upcoming . [my own view ]

  • http://www.facebook.com/keenan.m.daniels Keenan Daniels

    People leaving false reviews on businesses should be sued and the safe harbor provision needs to go too, thus holding these companies making millions from false reviews responsible for their activity.

  • ScottyMack

    Although I agree that everything should be done to keep this type of situation from reaching the stage where negative reviews are posted, there are most certainly consumers out there who are less than scrupulous and know how to leverage complaint boards to get more than their fair share. Cow-towing to liars and thieves is hardly an action that anyone would consider to be a deterrent. I wholeheartedly salute businesses such as Dietz Development for suing bad customers and hope this becomes the norm. I was very sad to see badcustomer.com get taken down, since it was one of the only places where businesses could do to consumers what they have been getting away with forever – that is, warn other businesses about bad customers so that they could block them from being able to order from their websites. While organizations like the ACLU can scream about free speech all they want, words have meanings that can often lead to bad consequences. I hope her irresponsible free speech comes at a very high price!

  • Nataliya Yakushev

    Sadly, most companies start with #5 and often, this is their ONLY startegy. Even worse, they resort to search supression (aka hiring online reputation management company) and hope that will solve the problem.

  • http://twitter.com/dwightz Dwight Z

    Excellent article Neg. Sounds like one of tow, or a couple of things.

    Yelp, YP, Angie and other sites need to get the moderation and negative seo under control. It is way too easy for a person to post a comment. If a business is not active monitoring those sites then they could have negative reviews posted for days, weeks hurting potential sales. The algorithms for those public facing sites need to be managed and redeveloped or advanced ongoing.

    There needs to be more tools, or a tool that is simple for business owners to use, that is cost-effective or cheap that takes the review process out of the public format and places it on the business owners site. There also needs to be a level of transparency and business rules put in place so it cannot be gamed. It would be beneficial for the public / customers and the business owners to show this transparency.

  • Adam Zilko

    I have to completely agree with much of this (and especially Keenan) however, completely HATE the fact that companies like Yelp are allowed to push out and “filter” 100% completely legitimate reviews that were very tough to garner and tend to retain the poor ones making option 5 very difficult to execute on. We posted our strategy on option 5 here, and this has worked reasonably well however, cannot seem to help us w/ some clients on Yelp… http://www.firegang.com/garnering-reviews-multi-step-approach/

  • http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk/ Lace Llanora

    This is a very interesting case and to see how legal action actually affected the company’s SEO! Anyone interested might be put off just by the looks of the results. Although reviews can be very helpful in the decision process, there must be a level of responsibility within the platform and also on the reviewers end.

    It’s too easy to post reviews now, think negative eBay comments that affect several online sellers. Platforms must try to police such reviews and weed off fake ones without the proper proof.

  • http://twitter.com/fruittravel Fruit Travel

    i had a similar instance way back when one of my client asked me to ensure that their site doesn’t appear on top for negative reviews. Somehow wrote to some website owners to take those reviews back. But it went in vein :(

  • http://twitter.com/dese1ect Chris Recouvreur

    So you think that negative reviews are all basically dishonest? These sites aren’t supposed to be the yellow pages. I’ve left negative reviews for businesses that have responded pleasantly asked me to give them a second chance and generally I’ve taken them up on that and updated reviews accordingly. However any business that can’t either correct real criticism or ignore false criticism doesn’t belong on the market.

    Users of sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. know that there are going to be bad reviews (not everyone loves you) and generally look at the total scope of the ratings. I think it would do Dietz and others more good to encourage happy clients to leave good reviews (even if you have to do some sort of promotion) to bury a bad review than to ruin your online reputation through lawsuits.

    Consumers also have a right to voice their opinion. Dietz is clearly acting as the censor demanding a sum so large as to quiet anyone who would try to write such a review about him again. This isn’t a typical case because of his actions, not to mention his lack of communication through legal channels in advance of filing suit. I support Jane Perez because she first had shoddy work done(look at the pictures on numerous sites), had property go missing, fired the contractor, beat him in small claims court, and now is being retaliated against with a defamation suit. You should to: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/309293

  • http://veribo.com/ Veribo

    The right to freedom of speech and opinion is vital. Review sites do play an important part in helping consumers make informed decisions. When negative or inaccurate information is published online about your business it’s imperative that you respond immediately. Give your customers a way of contacting you that is not in the public eye. Make sure that you respond to your unhappy or disgruntled client, try to resolve the issue before it hits the internet.

  • israelisassi

    The text below is from a story I wrote about my experience with Yelp. Personally, I think they should be shut down.
    Yelp Filtered Reviews Can Accidentally Punish a Business

    Israel Isassi – Friday, August 03, 2012

    Yelp is an interesting animal. The impression I get is that it’s geared primarily for reviewing restaurants, clubs, and other social settings. They rely on an automated system in an attempt to determine if reviews are from real people since people are always trying to “game the system”. Unfortunately, some aspects of this system have serious flaws in my mind and end up punishing a business. An actual case I involved myself in had to do with Krav Maga Houston, which I have been studying self-defense since the last week of January 2012.

    Krav Maga Houston (link to Yelp review) had a 2-star rating on Yelp when I got involved in early July. A little research revealed they had 8 reviews (mostly negative) that Yelps’ system felt were from actual humans. It appears this determination was made mostly because these people frequently reviewed many, many places. The top-most negative review was from someone who is an “Elite ’12” reviewer with 179 friends and 123 reviews. This person hadn’t reviewed Krav Maga Houston since January 2010!!!

    Additionally, Krav Maga Houston had 41 reviews which were mostly positive with ratings of 4 to 5 stars. These are being filtered out because many were first-time reviewers on Yelp or had very few reviews. My own reviewalso was filtered out, I suspect as well because I had only 1 review on their system and no friends. Honestly, I don’t eat out much and I don’t frequent bars and clubs so I didn’t really find Yelp useful.

    Jump forward to today and Krav Maga Houston now has a 2.5 star rating which is a half-star increase. Yelp now shows 43 filtered reviews which is an increase of 2 reviews. It was 44, but my review now shows up at the top spot for Krav Maga Houston reviews. To read filtered reviews you have to login to Yelp. The only change on my part has been that I have 7 Check-ins at Krav Maga Houston, 7 friends and have completed 4 more reviews for other businesses. I guess Yelp now believes I’m an actual human and trustworthy reviewer.

    As part of this learning process, I sent an email to Yelp via their website link in an attempt to help them understand the potentially harmful side-effects of their automated review system. More than a week later I have had absolutely zero response from Yelp. I’m sure they are busy people and don’t expect my message to be considered high-priority, but it would be nice if they at least acknowledged that they received my message. Maybe everyone is out on a yacht somewhere enjoying themselves.. Time will tell.

  • Andrew Lee

    Or the site could ban the users and move on.. I don’t want to hear they’ll just bypass it because there are plenty of ways to prevent that such as requiring legitimate credentials to post reviews. It will cut the trolling down to almost zero.

    There are already enough exceptions on freedom of speech these days. It’s sickening the way people use lawsuits to step on our birthrights. Don’t like it? Move to a police state where you can enjoy the fact that talking trash will earn you some prison time.

    Don’t get me wrong I have no respect for the people lying about a business but the website is partially to blame for having such a easy signup process. Neither party deserves to be sued. One party should grow the heck up and the other should enable better security precautions.

    Look at it this way WiFi security is garbage and the tools on backtrack “which is not needed you can download all the tools freely” can tear it apart fairly quick. Once on that network they have free reign to run all over the web and do anything they like. Example Wardriving just to do illegal crap in such a obvious way it might end up with a innocent person being busted.

    Also before anyone says it, once you’re on someones network it would be a breeze to hijack their computer info and completely forge it onto your own.

    Honestly you don’t even need to be that tech savvy to do what I just said. You could learn it very easy with Google or if you don’t like reading there are plenty of tuts on YouTube.

    What I just said is of course completely absurd and remains in the realm of worst case. However the fact that it’s possible means free speech must always reign supreme.

    I know lying makes people mad as it should but the laws that would prevent that would effectively kill our constitution. I might add that we’ve already shed too much blood for our freedoms that some people blatantly disregard.

  • http://twitter.com/YoungDonnaYoung Donna M. Young

    Regarding point #2, to cool down first, I would also like to add that one should NOT take too long to respond. The longer the complaint is around with no response—the longer it festers and becomes more of an issue to resolve. Try to respond as quickly as possible to at least acknowledge that you are aware that they have a problem, and that you will look into trying to resolve it.