Mar. 01, 2019
Since my last post on fraudsters garnished so many comments, I thought if you readers don't mind that we take another shot at it. So here goes...
This time the topic is "Customer Reviews". There is a medical website that will let you link to them requesting client reviews, which you can accept or hide on your business listing. The website encourages visitors following a visit to the doctor, first thanking them, later requesting a review. Following a five star review, they request that your client go to Google and place a review there as well.
Let's discuss each step carefully.
Google discourages businesses from sending clients to their site to place a review, knowing full well that companies will primarily send happy customers who will not give 1 or 2-star reviews. That aside, the fact that the owner can edit which reviews show on their website is mocking the entire purpose of reviews. And adding insult to injury, only 5-star reviews are pushed to add the review to Google.
The problem is many people believe that Google is using the star rating system in its formula for search. Research has proven that 5-star reviews tend to get people to purchase from a new source, even though many know that there are plenty of fake reviews out there.
So what does the Medical website get in turn, monthly fees (and good luck canceling your service), plus a ton of traffic making their site even more valuable plus attracting additional clients.
To be fair the Medical website will allow you to include your reviews from their website on yours using a very simple script you just drop into your site, and they do get some people to give reviews on their site and a few to Google as well.
The problem is after two to three months, the number of people who respond starts to drop, mostly because medical patients routinely visit their doctor, and once they've commented don't feel the need to comment again. So the doctor tries to cancel the service, and good luck with that, the only way to stop it is to call your credit card company and stop the payments. One final note, most doctors let this go on for longer than it should and with the new payment rules you can only get American Express to go back three months.
Just in case you might be wondering, yes there are companies now who will give your competitors 1-star reviews, but be careful, you don't want the embarrassment of getting caught. I have come across one of these entities in the New York area and reported their activities to websites they wrote really bad reviews for their clients.