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1 negative review is ruining my reputation

     
12:45 am on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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There is 1 and only 1 negative review of my business online. The bad review was posted at scamchecker.com which is bad enough since the name of the website implies that my business is a scam. A scraper site called complaintsboard.com scraped the review from scamchecker.com so now it looks like I have 2 bad reviews. They both show up in the top 10 for a search of my business's domain name.

It looks like complaintsboard.com has been sued by ripoffreport.com:

[scribd.com...]

but it hasn't stopped their scraping. I figured out which customer posted the negative review and I contacted them to ask if they would remove the review in exchange for a full refund even though they had already received their order. They agreed, I issued the refund, they did not remove the review, and they no longer respond to emails. I don't think it would make much difference if they removed the review at this point since it has already been scraped.

Is there anything I can do?
12:48 am on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Try pushing it down. If you don't already have a link from aboutus.org and similar sites, get one... they will have your domain in the title and there's a good chance it'll rank above those that don't.
6:44 pm on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, which other sites are good for this?
6:51 pm on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Open a Flickr account and a StumbleUpon account and populate them with content, then point a few links to them so they indexed.

There are lots of sites and services out there that enable you to use your own name in the title and in turn control your brand name online.

All part of your online reputation management.
7:51 pm on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Does it have an area to psot a rebuttal to the review. I have a couple on ripoff and posted my version of events and called them out for more. I then took proactive approach and took the spot away from their review. It shows up but under mine I think now 2nd page.
creative gives a few you can set up your own reviews be sure to use the same phrase the search brings up yours.
7:56 pm on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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One thing to be careful of is that any rebuttal you post wouldn't strengthen the negative page for your brand names or related phrases. Think carefully about how you word things, for SEO reasons as well as customer relations.
9:38 pm on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Is there a link from those sites to yours? If so, I'd jack the referrers and give them a rebuttal to read that resides on your own site. Don't feed the machine, it will only make things worse.
1:57 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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All I can report is what I did to the negative reviews I was hit with. If you don't post a rebuttal on the site it came from then it looks like your guilty and I for one posted a rebuttal. Don't be afraid of a negative review jeeze guys if all you ever got was "best in the world" "these guys rock" and so on I would steer clear of a site such as this. Can't please everybody there are jerks all over that expect more than what they bought.
I did what I did on ripoff probably the biggest out there and didn't look back. If your scared to post a rebuttal to a negative review then your in the wrong business.
4:39 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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if all you ever got was "best in the world" "these guys rock" and so on I would steer clear of a site such as this.


We only get reviews like this. Some people even write things like "lovingly wrapped" - whatever that means. We use paper for wrapping, not love but what the heck. I guess it's because we use colored paper for wrapping the products and white paper for stuffing - but that only is because some people used to throw out products with the packaging material and then complain they had not received everything.

Anyway, back on topic: The best way to combat a negative review is with positive reviews. We signed up for one of those review websites and ask our customers to post a review there. This has several positive effects:

- Reviews are not scattered around the internet. To post a review they only have to click a link we send them so they are more likely to leave a review on this review site we pick then on some other random website.
- One negative review has not a big effect if you have hundreds of positives. Of course if your have lousy customer service and your customers are not satisfied then you are screwed anyway in the long term.
- The reviews show up in Adwords and on Google product search.
- The review website we picked offers moderation. So if someone posts a negative review you can temporarily veto it and then it is removed for some time and you can try to resolve the issue.

Until now we did not have a negative review but if we get one it is not such a big deal this way.
6:46 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I like the idea of moderation for negative reviews. Which website does that?
7:58 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I like the idea of moderation for negative reviews. Which website does that?


We use trustedshops.com

I don't know however if they are available in the US or only in Europe.
5:04 pm on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It looks like trustedshops.com is only available in Europe. Does anyone know of a US review website that has a moderation system?
2:18 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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resellerratings.com used to be good until they bumped their monthly membership fee from $29 to $129.
1:37 am on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The best thing you can do is post a fair rebuttal to the review.

It's easy to become very defensive, especially if you feel the review wasn't fair, but try to take responsibility as much as possible. Chances are you probably could have done things better in some area, no matter how small. Express that. It shows you as a moral merchant, and morality trumps mistakes every time.

On a side note, if you're offering a refund for the customer to remove the review, you likely messed up in a fairly significant way. A small gesture such as a future credit is sometimes necessary to ease an unruly customer, not a full refund. If a customer deserves a full refund, you shouldn't need a bad review to motivate you to do this.
3:24 am on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Fair rebuttal only makes sense. People understand that some customers are unfair and angry. Everyone, in almost every possible job scenario has had to deal with them.

At the same time, signing up for quality profile websites as another poster mentioned, and ensuring that you register and complete local listing websites can really help to reduce the exposure of the negative rating.

Another good tactic is to simply ask other satisfied customers to post good reviews where the negative review is posted. Sometimes having a negative review, in a sea of great reviews, is a good thing.
5:17 am on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Why not ask your own customers for feedback and post a selection of the responses on your own site.
6:03 am on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Try creating some sub-domains of your site, such as blog.yourdomain.com, news.yourdomain.com, etc and link them from your main site. That should help, plus what others have mentioned above.
1:39 pm on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Tonearm, Complaintsboard is a pretty bad offender -- they actually seem to scrape reviews from other sites algorithmically combine them and post them new on their site.
10:33 am on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We have an autoresponder that goes out to customers 10 days after they ordered and asked if everything was ok? If not then to let us know - if it was I ask for a review on some of these review sites. Helps to build up lots of positive reviews.

Good luck
3:10 pm on Mar 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We have an autoresponder that goes out to customers 10 days after they ordered and asked if everything was ok? If not then to let us know - if it was I ask for a review on some of these review sites. Helps to build up lots of positive reviews.


We use the API of our parcel service to check if the parcel has been delivered and then send the email only a few hours later, asking if everything was ok - if not to contact us, if yes to leave a review.

People are pretty impressed by this, because they think we manually check the shipping status to see if the parcel has arrived. Also if something went wrong there is a good chance our email arrives before they leave a negative review somewhere instead of complaining.
4:25 am on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Definitely start a twitter account, facebook, myspace, linked in and any other social media account with your domain name and create some content there. That should push it down some.

Probably the worst ones we've gotten were from mis-informed customers. One the customer called to cancel their order the day after it had shipped... he wrote a terrible review making claim that we refused to cancel... well duh... it had shipped.

Another one we contacted the customer to inform them of a backorder and told them if they wanted to cancel to contact us... we never heard anything and a couple of weeks later their item shipped. Their review claimed we never shipped their item.

Unfortunately both are on Google seller reviews and there is nothing we can do about it. We've contacted the customers numerous times with no response.
4:37 am on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Work on search engine reputation management.Write the positive review and spread it online.You can control your online reputation by filling the top slots with content that presents you and your company in a positive light.

Research the situation and find out is there merit,If not, provide the facts and ask for corrections.Be honest, be transparent and listen.
6:24 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've created accounts with a few social media sites but they aren't showing up in Google. How long should they take to appear? Do I need to point links to them, or will Google find them on its own? I'd rather not link to them unless I have to.
9:37 am on Apr 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Boy, I can relate to this. It's so hard to let it go sometimes.

There was a guy a couple years back that for whatever reason, decided he was going to start a negative post about a product of mine on the #1 forum for the niche. He didn't even buy it new... He got it at a garage sale. He had no idea what he was talking about, and luckily people who are good customers of mine backed me up and made him look stupid in the end. But like always... A couple negative types piled on in the thread. What bothered me the most is that the first guy took all these terrible photos showing the inside guts of our product, which 1. Makes it look like crap. And 2. Shows the whole world how it works. One of the negative guys that piled on has since been going around using that post as a reference to tell people they should make their own. I already confronted him about it once, and just basically asked him: "What exactly do you have against me?" He of course played stupid and acted like he didn't realize he was focusing on me. Since then, I've found three other forums where he's done it. Just found another one yesterday when I checked a back link in the logs. It's like he has some bizarre obsession with trying to talk people out of buying our stuff. He's never even bought anything from us... I don't know him from Adam. It's just weird.

And the best part is... When you search on the product name, the negative post comes up #3.

It's one of those things that probably doesn't do all that much damage overall, but it just bugs the hell out of you. Then on the other hand... The idiot does post a link to our site after all. It would be great to know if any sales actually come from that. That would make me feel better. lol
4:35 pm on Apr 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I used to get a lot of sales with the referrer indicating the customer used my domain name in a search. Since that negative review I've gotten zero. I'm still waiting for Google to index the reputation management stuff I've done. I'm linking to them from one of the pages on my site. The worst part is the review is barely even negative at all, it's more of a comment. scamchecker.com and the multiple sites that scrape it present it as a scam to get more traffic.
8:32 am on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A scraper site called complaintsboard.com scraped the review from scamchecker.com so now it looks like I have 2 bad reviews.

Tonearm, Complaintsboard is a pretty bad offender -- they actually seem to scrape reviews from other sites algorithmically combine them and post them new on their site.

I was wondering where did you get all this information that complaintsboard scraps reviews? or it is a scrap site?

Because I have posted there original content several times and I did check around before posting about the site. It looks quite legitimate to me - at least with the information I have.

The only thing I noticed thus far with some of the complaint related sites is they get lots of spam posts from various entities to manipulate complaints and cloud the issues. But I still use the site as a reference in many occasions.
4:19 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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For me it's first-hand experience.
8:01 am on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm still struggling with this. I built accounts with several sites, tweaked the settings for maximum visibility, posted my domain name around them as much as possible, and linked to them from a prominent page on my website with my domain in the anchor text. They're doing OK in searches for my domain, they're sprinkled throughout the first and second pages of the results along with the single (slightly) negative review which has shown up under several domains. I've used Yahoo Site Explorer to check for websites linking to the reviews but there appear to be none besides internal links from the same domain.

The review itself would hardly put anyone off, but the websites that display it have labeled it with terrible terminology in the title tag. Searches for my domain used to make up about 50% of referrers for orders and now there are none. This is costing my business a lot of money.

I've considered a lawsuit against these websites but I can imagine it could be ineffective or worse. What else can I do?
6:50 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What else can I do?

I remember many years back talking with DigitalGhost about DMOZ. One time, in order to get a site listed he simply sent a $1,000 check to the editor. Check was cashed. Website was quickly listed.

So... have you looked into buying your way out?

A tool/weapon that I have had the misfortune to see up close and personal many times is the DMCA. Send it to all sites involved including Google. Repeat often until things change.
 

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