Online reviews can have a major impact on a business’ success. While it can be difficult to receive any negative review, those which are fake can be particularly frustrating and difficult to manage. Here are some actions Michigan business owners can take to respond to a fake online negative review.
Respond to the review: One quick and easy way to set the record straight is to respond to the review on the platform itself. For example, a business owner can encourage readers to be skeptical about the veracity of the review by writing that there is no record of this interaction. The reply can include an offer to further investigate or make things right so readers understand the business takes complaints seriously, even if the reality is that the review in question is fake.
Report the review to the platform: It can be difficult to have fake reviews removed from websites like Google or Facebook. However, it is not impossible. These websites do have options to flag or report the review for as a violation. While their investigation may not always come up in the business owner’s favor, it is worth trying.
Legal action: It may be possible to take legal action if the business owner is aware of who is leaving the fake reviews and has ample evidence to support their claim. If there is clear proof that they are being left by a competitor or someone else with malicious intent, and damages can also be proven, a case could be made.
While there are some examples of successful lawsuits involving fake reviews, business owners should not count on legal action to fully resolve the issue in the short-term. Taking steps such as reporting the review to the online platform and responding publicly can help to mitigate damage in a more immediate way. Those who wish to explore the legal options available to them in combatting fake reviews, especially those left by unknown individual with malicious intent, should contact a Michigan business lawyer.