Dispute with customer reviews site

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by wilsjames, Sep 10, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    We own a company and signed up to free service to collect genuine customer reviews. Over the last 5 years we had built up a very good reputation as we operate a good customer service with around 90% of our client reviews coming back 4 or 5-star. Not every customer was happy, but like with any company there will always be disgruntled clients.

    Over the years the provider offered us their paid subscription of £500 a month (£6,000 per year), and said this would give us the facility to edit or delete reviews as we deemed fit. We refused this as paying £6,000 a year to collect reviews is against all standards we try and set as a company. We want people to be honest on how they find us - good or bad.

    On our last call with them, they offered us the service again and we had to tell them all calls are recorded and threatened to report them to Ofcom - the comms regulator. Within 3 days of this call they removed over 1,000 positive reviews from our business page, possibly because we refused to pay them £6,000 per year, leaving only a handfull of negative reviews.

    We contacted clients who previously left reviews and asked them to leave them again. The provider kept deleting these reviews telling them they could not verify the authenticity of the review.

    Here is the thing, they never contacted one of these clients asking for proof and our clients emailed them back to say they could show proof that they were customers by showing invoices and reciepts. All emails were ignored.

    What is the point of a review site if they can seemingly manipulate companies into becoming their customers just so they can then edit reviews? Surely that is not a fair and impartial service?

    I have lost all faith in them and we have looked into suing them, but their offices are set up overseas and do not fall under EU law. How do we fight them or can they simply just do what they want?

    If I search for reviews on them on other review sites it seems we are not the only company they have allegedly done this.

    Any advice would be great.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,751 1,869
    Certainly not worth trusting.

    Ability to edit or delete reviews, no wonder so many companies only have 5-star rating. And nice little earner for them.

    False picture of the companies. Including yours.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    We have lost all faith in this platform we done everything by the book is there any advice that can be offered can we get our company website removed from the platform as we did not ask fro it to be put there in the first place
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #3
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,751 1,869
    Besides the implied contract did you ever have any other contract?
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #4
  5. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    no other contract at all no
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #5
  6. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,172 260
    Can't you just delete the page for your company and be done with it?
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #6
  7. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,879 287
    Hello Wils, welcome to the forum. I am no fan of these platforms, but removing so many legitimate reviews is not something I have ever heard of before.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #7
  8. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    No, they say we have no rights to get the page deleted even though we did not place it there in the first place.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #8
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,751 1,869
    Then without someone else being able to tell them to delete it - sounds like they won't be deleting it.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #9
  10. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    should i try going to our local MP ?
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,751 1,869
    Not sure what you expect your MP to do that you cannot. An MP in their role as MP has the same abilities as you outside of parliament.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #11
  12. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    I suppose your right and the fact their head office is based overseas there is little she can do.

    A simple Google search has brought up hundreds of companies in the same boat as us.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #12
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,751 1,869
    Googling would have worked better before you started using them.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #13
  14. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,569 985
    Did you read their terms? I suspect if you are telling them you do not want to be contacted it, it probably falls outside one of their terms.

    We have some reviews on there and we get maybe 1 or 2 calls a year asking us to upgrade but I just tell them I cant justify spending a few hundred pounds a month on their system. I do not think it generates business for us, but I do think it helps to reinforce that we are a decent company if that makes sense.

    There are plenty of alternatives - facebook, google, reviews.com/.co.uk (I forget which) just go elsewhere.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #14
  15. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    hindsight is a wonderful thing and i agree i wish we did this
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #15
  16. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,569 985
    We send an email to customers asking them to leave a review and we put links to various customer review sites on there, some will leave reviews on 1 others will leave it on 2 or 3. I never thought of it as spreading the risk but I suppose it does do that.

    If you can get your customers to leave reviews on another page, I would get signed up elsewhere and ask them to. 1000 reviews is quite gutting to lose as chances are it will take a while to build that back up again but there is nothing you can do so best to just concentrate on what you have control over and crack on.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #16
  17. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    yes i know allot of our old customers have since changed phone numbers and or email addresses we are either looking at using yell.com or reviews.co.uk has anyone any experience of them as we dont want to be left in the same situation years down the line again
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #17
  18. ecommerce84

    ecommerce84 UKBF Regular Free Member

    558 166
    I’d go for Google or preferably Facebook.

    At least on Facebook people are almost always always using their own account in their own names which gives a bit more credibility than some Anon E Moose account elsewhere.

    Your provider has you over a barrel and they know it. I don’t trust customer reviews for any large company - good or bad, as I know how easy it is to manipulate if you are happy to spend a bit of cash on doing so.

    They would very be quickly be able to verify the authenticity of your reviews if you were able to put £500 per month in their direction.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: ecommerce84 Member since: Feb 24, 2007
    #18
  19. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,172 260
    Good business model tho don't you think.

    Just slap every single company you can find on there with "unclaimed" status.

    Chances are if you are an established brand or just if someone types your exact company name into Google, that page will show up - all you need are a few unhappy customers to start googling and your page comes up, asking for it.

    Then they sucker you into paying £££ to remove them.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #19
  20. wilsjames

    wilsjames UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Thank you yes Google Facebook and one of the other big review portals is what we now want to use.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: wilsjames Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #20
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.