Reporting Spam Reviews
I posted this in the Spam forum and did not get a response. I hope someone can help me here...
My business is very new (8 weeks old) and I have two locations. A week ago, a negative review popped up on one of my locations, pretending to be a client. They gave me 2 stars. I contacted google and said that I am a new business and still working on the marketing piece to get clients. In fact, you really have to know my full business name & location to even find it because it does not show up in search results as it is brand new. I explained that I believe the review is fake and possibly posted by a disgruntled, unstable ex colleague & competitor. Google refused to take it down because it did not violate review guidelines and it appeared that the client had an actual experience with the business. Not to mention, the reviewer spoke about their experience with me and did not mention the business by name. Exactly one week later, the same reviewer posted the same exact review, verbatim, word for word for my other location and gave me a 1 star. They also went back and updated the rating for the first location to a 1 star. The profile of the reviewer only has two other reviews-pretty random and all places were reviewed in the last week or so. One of those places is in the same line of business as I am but it is a positive review.
The same colleague in question has 4 different locations and within the last week or so has positive reviews posted across all 4 of the locations. (Also, the websites for all 4 locations are pretty much clones of each other with a few changes made here and there. For one website, the physical address on the site does not match the GMB address. How did Google allow that?) Another oddity is that their last review was 3 years ago. The reviews are verbatim, word for word and one review is actually posted for a brand new business which is only a few days old. The reviewer profile in question is also very new, created in the last week or so with some random reviews of other places thrown in. There is another reviewer profile that gave glowing reviews to the same business across two locations overnight but posted a scathing review for a competitor in the area.
Posting the same content multiple times is spam, according to the Google review guidelines. How do I escalate this issue because I did not have much luck on the phone? Also, how do I access the private contact form to send over this information? What evidence does Google need from me to prove that this is spam?
I also plan on consulting with an attorney regarding this issue.