Got a fake review from a competitor.......how I handled it. | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Got a fake review from a competitor.......how I handled it.

Spazznout

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Feb 13, 2011
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Ohio
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Matt
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So a few weeks back we got a review. see below.

Bill... Fake review.JPG


We are Clean Extreme. You can see the review in the image above. I bout pooped my pants when I read it. So I searched our customer base for the last name of the person that left the review. Its been 4 years since we serviced someone with the last name of Johnson...

So I clicked on the users profile. First 2 reviews were the one he left for me and another for a tan salon. Then I looked at the next 2. See image below.


fake 2.JPG


Then it became clear. He reviewed another air duct cleaner with 1 star. And then another with 5 stars. It was too obvious.

This guy has a 2 star rating on google. And the only reason its that high is he has well over a dozen fake reviews he generated himself. People have come back and rated him 1 star and said that the other reviews are fake.
So we look at his BBB

Holy CRAP

The BBB put out a Press release a few years back on this cat. You can see it under the red triangle at the top of the page notifying of negative alerts.

BBB.JPG



So now that we knew who was targeting us we needed to do 2 things. 1 Get the review taken down and 2 in doing so making his only play to self incriminate himself by omission with the removal of the fake review.

Here is the letter my brother/office manager crafted. If anyone needs to use it as a template they are more than welcome. Simply cut out Clean Extreme and put in your companies name and cut out Air Duct Busters and paste in the party that is making false claims against you. Make sure you are sure it is this situation and not a genuine customer complaint as the language is direct with legal implications attached.


Response to negative review

"Clean Extreme is a small, family owned and operated company that prides itself on many things, but most of all is our integrity, trust, and commitment to our customers. This is NOT a real review by ANY of our customers. It was written by one of our COMPETITORS wishing to cause us harm and it will NOT be tolerated. It is a cowardly act of defamatory libel and a civil tort. We are now taking the appropriate actions to deal with this individual including contacting Google to have the review and reviewer researched and investigated as well as our Attorney to pursue legal action against the perpetrator.

Please click on the link for this reviewer and you will see that he/she is maliciously targeting competitor Duct Cleaners while leaving a stellar review for a particular Duct Cleaner (Air Duct Busters) who currently has a multitude of very poor reviews on Yelp.com, Google.com, and The Better Business Bureau who went so far as to make this statement, "Alert: BBB Central Ohio investigated Air Duct Busters and on December 11, 2017, a press release titled BBB Warns Central Ohio Consumers Against Local Air Duct Cleaning Company describing their failure to honor Groupons, unsatisfactory customer service and shoddy workmanship was issued."

Do not let this review interfere with your decision in choosing an Air Duct Cleaner as it is not legitimate. As before, you can and will always be able to trust and count on Clean Extreme."


We put that response to the fake review up and withing 12 hours the negative review disappeared.

The trap snapped and we had them.....

My lawyer took care of the rest the next day with cease and desist letters.....
We have a huge documentation trail and we are going to leave it at that as the negative review was only visible fore 48 hours the restitution in the case would not cover the legal bills. He felt we would win, but they would delay as much as possible and make it not worth it. As well as the Franklin county judges do not like libel and slander cases in general without severe gross provable losses. So I would probably NOT get punitive damages which can be 3x the award for losses in Ohio. However fi he strikes again, we will pursue it and make it a number that stings as well as judges on documented repeat cases will take action and be more willing to award punitive damages.....
 
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