Vermont Business Magazine The online-reviews system is an opportunity for great businesses to shine and attract more customers. According to BrightLocal, 79% of consumers believe they have read a fake review in the last year. So how do you determine what reviews are real and those that are not? "In today's world of uncredible information, it can be difficult being a consumer, especially considering there are more shopping choices than ever before,” says Tom Isabelle, owner of IsabelleLighting.com. “At IsabellesLighting.com, we encourage shoppers to look closely at who you are shopping from to find out if the business is BBB Accredited, and what complaints they may have (if any). Do a quick search on bbb.org to see if the seller is BBB Accredited. I can assure you, with the small amount of time you invest in doing so, you will be glad you did!"
Fake reviews aren’t just a problem for businesses to figure out. Fraudulent customer reviews hurt people as well. Whether a fake review is written by a business owner or a fake negative review from a competitor, the real victim is the potential customer. People are looking for accurate information about businesses and trusting online reviews as a source for that information.
“People tend to trust the services that offer online reviews. People must figure out if those reviews are coming from real customers that have actually dealt with the business firsthand,” says Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI, & VT. “This is why no anonymous or third-party reviews are accepted on bbb.org; all reviewers must verify their email address.”
If the business verifies that it is their customer who has placed the review, BBB will post it and add a “BBB Verified Reviewer” button to the review – unless BBB has sufficient reason to question the authenticity of the reviewer or compliance with this Policy.
BBB offers the opportunity for customers to share their experiences with businesses via BBB Customer Reviews. Here’s how it works:
BBB sends a confirmation to the email address of the reviewer, to ensure that the email address is real and there is a real person there. BBB will not post a review for which it does not receive a validation email.
Once the reviewer confirms the email address, we then send the review to the business (usually via email).
The business has three options to respond to the review within 3-10 days: Ignore - Respond - Not My Customer.
If a business response is provided, the review is posted immediately and will have a “BBB Verified Reviewer” icon to alert other people that the business has verified the review was posted by an actual customer.
If the business claims “Not My Customer,” BBB alerts the user and requests substantiation of the marketplace interaction.
If BBB does not have the business verify the customer, or the reviewer is unable to provide confirming information, we will post the review (unless there is other cause not to) but will not label it “BBB Verified Reviewer.”
BBB has the right to not post any reviews we believe may be false.
Source: BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island & Vermont. December 4, 2017.For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org.