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Fixing Fake Facebook Reviews


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I get really great reviews from customers and I take it oddly personally when I don't get 10/10 or 5/5. I want customers to to feel great about their decision to use me and tell friends and family, and yes, strangers on facebook.

So... out of the blue I get 3 random reviews. 1 star. No comments. Nothing.

I panic and scroll through my inspection logs and contact information for these 3 unhappy campers to see what was up.

Huh? They are from Seattle, and California. They don't know me from Adam, because I sure don't know them. Checked facebook for a remedy to dispute fake reviews and well... they have nothing (Not surprised, I'm still waiting for the DISLIKE button) .

Then I tried contacting the posters thinking they may have my awesome inspection company, Sage Inspections, confused with a local plant store or something, but I can't message them because we are not "facebook friends". I looked a bit harder and concluded these folks don't actually exist.

So a day or two later I start getting multiple email offers to "repair" my internet reputation. Hmmmm.... for a small fee bad reviews can be removed and replaced with good ones. I deleted them as spam before the lightbulb in my head went off at how convenient and coincidental the timing was.

I don't have a great solution, but learned you CAN disable all ratings on facebook. It's kind of a drag since I had some nice words and great ratings from good people, but I cut and pasted those to my website and I have great ratings elsewhere for those that are doing some due diligence.

So, if you find yourself needing to kiss facebook's ratings goodbye until there's a mechanism to dispute opportunistic extortionists here ya go.

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They hid the setting in the address section. The downside is it also disables you showing up on a facebook map, but who wants people coming to MY house? I'm going to theirs.

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Why would you use Facebook for reviews, etc... Totally useless as far as getting folks that don't already know you. Actually when I'm shopping for a product or service I never depend on the published reviews unless it is on Amazon....kind of hard to fake a bunch of reviews on Amazon!

Put your efforts in a good website and Life is Good!

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I don't do Facebook. Can you respond to reviews? Or can you post a review noting that the bad reviews are not local and therefore are fake? Maybe post your response with a one star rating. I know that seems odd, but those are the ones that catch my eye and I am more inclined to read them.

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All of the review related social media options suck. Suck bad.

Angie's List (sort of) has a response capability, but it's not real time and the responses don't get posted. Yelp is the worst. The rest are scattered in the middle somewhere.

These sites are as much online therapy as they are review based data. People go on and just vent sometimes. They're all stacked against business and put a wall up between customers and business.

I'm working on another way.....

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Don't use Facebook as a marketing force for anything. I have a page for my business but it's only for people I actually know. It lets them know that I do this thing for a living but that is about it.

I will check my statistics at the end of the year but I have probably gotten 30 jobs from Yelp or Angie's list this year. I do not advertise with them.

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What works for some, doesn't work for others. I get friends of friends contacting me through facebook to do inspections for them.

Go figure. Didn't know about the review thingy but fake reviews suck in general. I don't pay for any online advertising, well, except for my website.

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  • 1 year later...

You should search your company on Google and see what comes up first in the results. Put your energy towards those channels like Google reviews, yelp, or whatever it is that comes up...

The more reviews on those sites, the more likely a potential customer will stumble upon those reviews before FB. I would agree that FB reviews hold little weight at this time, but not to say that won't change in future...

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I would also hope that your customers are educated enough to differentiate between a real review and a fake review by a non existent person. I generally look at the profile or at least the picture and location of the reviewer to tell if it is legitimate.

There is a lot of false info out there and some people surely write their own 5 star reviews. I have even heard of restaurants leaving bad reviews for their competition, but hopefully that is not the case here...

Good luck with it :)

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I had someone leave me a bad review. I looked him up in my records and could not find him. I sent him an email asking for the property address, he provided it, and I had never inspected the house. I explained he had the wrong company / inspector and would he please remove his review. He responded that all he new was the inspectors name was "Mark" and that was the end of it as far as he was concerned; he did not remove the review. I found out he is a dentist so I left him a bad review. HA! Revenge of the reviews.

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