Monday, February 24, 2020

Who Can You Trust: Review Fraud

By Crystal Hosking, Hosking Hardwood Flooring

article_reviewsThe internet has made finding reviews on goods and services easier than ever. Online reviews are a great way for potential consumers to find more hands on information about a specific future purchase as well as for seasoned consumers to voice their opinions on their experiences.

But, what happens when a company takes a review site (ConsumerSearch, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Epinions, etc.) and shapes results into more favorable outcomes for their own benefit? This is a common practice (however unethical) in marketing strategies and can trip up consumers looking for legitimate company/product experiences.

There are a couple different ways in which companies can force a specific outcome on these review sites. Primarily, a company can search out competitors and post inaccurate reviews against them. As mentioned before, this is unethical, but it takes a dig at the competition and puts the acting company/product in a better light. Secondly, there are specialized marketing companies canvassing the market now which promote the fact that they can get companies more positive online reviews and/or get negative reviews removed. These marketing companies pump out these falsified reviews, deceiving consumers who are simply looking for honest information.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know whether a consumer review you read online is valid or not and because of this, many online reviews now need to be taken with a grain of salt.


Tags: buying hardwood, marketing, reviews


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