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Review Extortion

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

My business was called the other day in reference to a purchase a customer made 3 months ago. They were upset they found a piece that was a clone, but still the same product for a lot cheaper than I sold to them. I tried to work with the customer, but they threatened to leave a bad review if I didn't do something about it. I couldn't give them a refund, because it just didn't make sense to give a refund to a customer who enjoyed their piece and were happy with it for 3 months, until they found a clone for cheaper. They even came up with a story and were saying lies as to what I told them about the piece to try and get their way. We weren't able to come up with a solution because they seemed to be asking too much, but left a one-star review because of it. Is there any way to report users who threaten bad reviews if you don't comply with them? I can't flag the review because it doesn't violate the guidelines in the report, but if I can explain the situation I feel like it could be a flagged review.  

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Review Extortion

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Salim A,

 

That is a unique and unfortunate situation. 

 

At this time, I am not aware of any stream to use other than flagging a review. I do hope we get more options in the near future. Perhaps someone else here can provide something more. 

 

Kind Regards,

 

James

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: Review Extortion

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I hope so, too. As a small business, a single 1-star review can definitely make or break us. We don't have hundreds of 5-stars to filter out a single 1-star, but hopefully as we grow big enough for the review to be like a rain drop. Thank you for the response, do you think anyone from the Google team would see this post or help in any way?

Re: Review Extortion

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Salim A,

 

You are welcome and I only wish I could offer more help. 

 

If you can get even a few 5-star reviews, it would absolutely off-balance things to your benefit. You can also reply nicely to the review and in as few of words as possible state some kind words (do not hash out the review and/or details) and hope to do business with them again and have the chance to make it up to them.  Be cautious and careful with every word.

 

I am sorry you were not pleased with our attempt to make you happy. We hope we can earn your business down the road. 

 

Yes, Google does see what is posted here, what you say, what I am saying, etc.. And many other professionals are, too, and could offer up something more to this. Just because I have replied, does not make it my help issue to answer and leave you with that. We do care about everyone and am here to offer the best possible help to you and all members here. 

 

Kind Regards,

 

James

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Review Extortion

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 5
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

It can be tough to deal with, but as @James_Clemens mentioned - it is a good idea to reply to reviews, good or bad.

 

Keep in mind that often, people who leave bad reviews just want to feel heard or listened too.

 

No business is perfect. But how you respond to and deal with customer feedback/complaints can speak volumes about your image and professionalism. 

 

To add some additional pointers:

 

- Always aim to diffuse the situation or possibly take it offline (such as encouraging the person to get in touch with your support team).

- Never get into a heated debate, reply too aggressively or too defensively - remember the whole conversation is 'saved' online for others to see too.

- Aim to keep a professional, neutral tone.

- Explain the situation where appropriate, though keep it brief.

- If you really are at fault, apologise for this - offer a remedy or some way to move forward past the problem.

 

 

Unfortunately, statistics say that people are more likely to leave a bad review than a good one.

 

There is a bit of an art to dealing with bad reviews, sometimes you can even turn them around into good ones. 

I hope some of these pointers assist.

 

If your service is good you'll have plenty of good reviews to push down that bad one in no time.

Review Extortion

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

In this day and age, I am not sure that extortion is so unique.  I had a guest, who after using a groupon for 50% off a birthday party, then demanded that I remove all of the add-on foods from his bill after everything had been consumed.  He said that if I didn't remove all of the additional items he would leave bad reviews on every social media site.  Of course I could not remove everything, but did take off some of the items.  This was not good enough for him, so he spread vicious lies and horrible reviews everywhere he could.  For the past 2 months I have been fighting with all of the service providers to remove his nasty review.   

Review Extortion

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have been hit by review extortion 3 times this year and every time Google have done absolutely nothing to deal with it, you can't currently even report it or challenge the review under the grounds that it was left as extortion! 

 

Other review sites such as Yell have taken them down as I was able to report it with them but Google don't want to admit that it is a massive widespread problem!

 

My advice is try and guide people to leave reviews on other sites rather than Google and offer them an incentive for positive reviews like a 10% cashback etc.