Ripoff Report is a website that asks consumers to post negative reviews of companies they believe have ripped them off.
In theory, this seems like a great idea. These days, many people rely on online reviews when deciding where to buy a computer, which lawyer to work with, or even which movie to see this weekend. Ripoff Report’s idea is that by sharing negative experiences, users can raise awareness about rogue companies and slimy sales tactics and ultimately save other consumers’ trouble.
However, the site doesn’t do much to ensure that users’ reviews are truthful and accurate. The users posting the reviews were customers of the companies they are reviewing. Pretty much anyone can quickly post whatever they desire about a company as long as they have a valid email address and click a few buttons. While other review portals usually offer businesses one of the best ways to respond to various negative reviews, Ripoff Report also provides little recourse for different business owners when consumers post lies and half-truths. In addition, once a review is posted, it stays there forever, is easily discoverable through major search engines, and is not removed just because consumers and businesses have resolved a complaint.
This can be a huge and embarrassing problem for businesses, even those that do everything in their power to resolve complaints and keep their customers happy. If you’re among the many companies that have been wrongly named in a ripoff report and you’re concerned, here’s what you can do.
Four options for businesses affected by an untrue ripoff report.
While there are no surefire methods to remove an inaccurate or untrue ripoff report, there are a few things you can try:
If you believe the report is a lie and can prove it, you can go to arbitration to resolve the matter. Unfortunately, this is not the best solution as you will be charged a $2,000 arbitration fee. That’s a lot of money to have a post removed, and it’s probably only a real option for businesses when a report is both damaging and outright false.
2. Become a member
Ripoff Reports can start to feel like a big scam for businesses affected by negative and untrue reports. The site allows you to pay to join their “Corporate Advocacy Program,” which means you can pay to have your information changed from negative to positive. It’s not clear how much it costs to become a member, but I wouldn’t recommend paying for it. It might do the job you want, but that’s just an absurd service they offer. It seems likely that if this fact were better known, it would also annoy people who send legitimate reports about the site.
3. Respond with a rebuttal
One of the best ways to respond to a ripoff report that is not true is to respond with a rebuttal. This allows you to provide more facts and your side of the story, which is probably the best solution if the negative report is based on a misunderstanding or if someone is getting a little emotional about the whole thing. Clarifying the situation in your post will often make the situation clearer and make it seem as if you were right; according to the Ripoff Report website, your rebuttal can include positive references that show you are reputable.
An explanation of why you believe the report is wrong in some way. Remember to be as accurate as possible! If you think the story is a hoax, you should say so and demand proof from the author that the transaction or event happened.
Contact information is provided so that those seeking more information can contact you.
Let’s know if there is any other useful information that you think interested readers might need to know about you or your company.
4. Remove your report from Google
Search Engine Land details another option to try to remove ripoff report from a Google search. If you are convinced that the damaging information is untrue, you can file a lawsuit against the author for defamation or other related legal claims. You can then obtain a false report from the court and submit it to Google to remove the offending information. This will not release you from the Ripoff Report site, but you will no longer appear in Google’s search results.
Let’s Wrap Up:
Also, remember that to offset negative reviews and show that your business satisfies customers, you can encourage satisfied customers to post reviews on review sites or provide testimonials for your website – at least most of the time.
Do you need help dealing with other negative online reviews about your business? Are you ready to work on a better review strategy? Contact us today. We are one of the most trusted online reputation management companies. We’ll help you clean up your mitigate problems, online image, respond effectively to customers, and build a positive online presence that will survive a few unfortunate words?