We’ve all shopped for a hotel online, or tried to find a good restaurant, or done some research about a company or website we were thinking of doing business with. We try to do our homework and read all the reviews we can find, so we are informed and can make an educated decision. But, after a closer look by investigators, we find most of the reviews on the Internet are not trustworthy. And the problem is only getting worse.
Have you ever purchased something from Amazon.com with hundreds of positive reviews, only to find that it is a piece of junk once you receive it? Have you ever booked a hotel on AirBnB or TripAdvisor that had the best rating but turned out to be a dump? What about a product from a major store? Maybe a good place to eat that you found on Yelp wasn’t so great after all?
Well, you’re not alone if you’ve learned that you can’t always trust the positive and negative reviews! The evidence is piling up, and consumers are learning to take the good, the bad and ugly reviews with a grain of salt.
The Problem with the Bad Reviews
Many negative reviews are legitimate and valuable information for consumers. However, these reviews account for less than half. Investigators estimate that more than half of the negative reviews online are posted by competitors publishing false information in attempt to ruin the competition. Because most sites do not require any real verification of the review or reviewer, it has become very easy for unethical individuals to try to ruin a company’s reputation. The person publishing false reviews may even be based in a foreign country, hired to go after anyone. So how can you tell which negative reviews are real? There are some useful tips to find real reviews, but is isn’t easy.
The Scam Reports and Extortion Sites
There is a new breed of evil brewing on the Internet, and the sad fact is, it is a booming industry. Countless websites that allow anyone to post unverified information about a scam, rip off report, or bad review on a company are widely found in the search results. These websites do not verify the authenticity of the negative review, and will not even take down the false report or review if given clear evidence that the review is fake. Why do they do this and how is it legal? It is simple mafia tactics. As Bloomberg reports, the way to make money rebuilding reputations is to first have them destroyed! That’s right, and there is much money to be made in this ugly new world.
Sites like RipOff Report and others allow any person or competitor to post unverified negative reviews on any company, and the goal is that the company will pay the website to remove or edit the information! If you don’t pay, the website warns it will not edit or take down the information, and will allow more fake negative reviews to follow. Sound like the definition of extortion? The RipOff Report is the target of many lawsuits as a result. But there are other websites cashing in on this same unethical business model. Dozens are hosted overseas in countries such as Russia, Romania, Ukraine and Malaysia, so taking them down is not going to be easy.
How to Find the Real Reviews
While there is no sure fire method of finding a website with all verified and truthful reviews, some websites are certainly more reliable than others. Wymoo ® International has an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and the reviews posted on the BBB website are verified by the BBB and Wymoo International employees as being actual clients of our company who used our services. The Better Business Bureau has been operating since 1912 and is a non-profit organization.
TrustedSite, which partners with McAfee, is another option which seems to attract more legitimate reviews than some of the other websites. TrustPilot is another option. Bottom line is to read the reviews when doing your research, but also be sure to take into consideration the company’s response to your phone calls and emails, and your actual conversations with the company.
Has the company taken the time to answer all your questions and concerns? Does the company respond quickly to emails and phone calls? Is the company verified by reputable organizations like McAfee and the BBB? Does the company offer secure payment methods on a secure website, and offer payments via PayPal? How long has the company been in business and is it registered?
For More Evidence, Contact a Professional
If you’re considering making a significant investment with a person or company, and especially if this person or company is based in another country, don’t try to do all your research alone. Get real evidence and facts. Speak to our expert private investigators today about your options for a professional background check service or complete due diligence investigation.
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