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We're being attacked with bad reviews by a competitor and we don't know what to do...

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

In the past week or two we have been receiving numerous 1-star reviews/complaints by people that have never been to our facility, and they are describing instances that have never occurred at our facility.  In an effort to try and understand why this is happening, we found out through a disgruntled employee at one of our competitor locations nearby, that they were using our Google Maps profile as a tool to try and help their own business.  This person informed us that the owner of that company had been telling his employees to create or use fake gmail accounts and to then leave fraudulent complaints about us. We are baffled by why someone would stoop to such lows, and we are at our knees trying to figure out what to do...can someone please help???

 
We have contacted Google about this but to no avail, and the reviews themselves don't outwardly violate Google policies, even though they are 100% fake.  Are we screwed?  Does anyone have any suggestions?
 
Thanks!
 

We're being attacked with bad reviews by a competitor and we don't know what to do...

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Chris,

 

Do you know if these accounts can be directly connected to the competitor via their profiles? Their full names are showing so if you can prove that they are indeed employees (employer listed on Facebook, etc) it could be possible to have them removed.

We're being attacked with bad reviews by a competitor and we don't know what to do...

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Jenna,

 

That was certainly our hope, but it appears that the owner of the competing company specifically instructed his employees to use non-identifiable profiles. And the crazy part is that all of these 1-star reviews literally came in within a window of 72 hours or so -- we all realize that life isn't fair at times, but it just seems so blatantly unfair that Google wouldn't at least consider the suspicious frame of time in which these all came in. From what we were told by the disgruntled employee, the owner actually offered his employees money to take these actions...the whole thing is awful and we're so upset that our hard work has been so willy nilly undermined with such impunity :(

Re: We're being attacked with bad reviews by a competitor and we don't know what to do...

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

@Chris C I see so many similar threads on this forum echoing the same frustration and it's a shame that Google will not take action against these tactics. But they say best defense is a strong offense so I would recommend the following actions:

 

1. Reply. Use a strategic statement that makes the situation clear to anyone who views these reviews. I found a great example in this article:

 

 “We take these matters very seriously. However, we have no record or recollection of any customer experience fitting your story and description, nor can we verify anything about your identity from your Google+ account, which appears to have just been created for the purpose of disparaging our firm.”

 

2. Get positive reviews. New, positive reviews will eventually bury the negative reviews and bring your star rating up. I'm sure this can be a challenge with regards to privacy, but people will generally see through fake reviews if your reputation is otherwise sterling.

 

Given that, I would still gather any evidence you can find that these reviewers are connected to your competitor and contact Google support.