My brain went into overdrive; why would anyone bother to create a one star review saying they hadn’t visited somewhere?
Then the penny dropped!
Clicking on the reviewer’s profile, I could quickly see that this person was travelling all over and had even been asked to review a business which presumably is usually resident roadside and which he helpfully told me was “just a lay by!”
There was no end to this chap’s helpfulness – he had managed to review 284 businesses in one week!
Removing Google Reviews
Anybody who has ever had a bogus review will know how hard it is to get these removed as Google will only do so if it breaches their policies – and frankly this one didn’t fit nicely into any of the options offered; there was definitely no box that said: ‘helpful individual responded too literally to invite to review business’!
So, getting my most diplomatic head on, I wrote a response to the reviewer on Google my Business and explained, as kindly as I could, that he had very effectively damaged the online reputation of over 200 businesses in the last week, during which time he had travelled far and wide! Of course I worded it nicely, explaining that I knew he hadn’t deliberately intended to do this, but would he be kind enough to remove it and help the company save its reputation AND the curiosity of thousands of people who would be wondering why he wanted to tell them, where he hadn’t been?
Luckily, within 5 minutes of posting the request and him receiving notification of the response, the chap, who was obviously glued to this app, and who I assume, was probably slightly embarrassed now, took the review down, although I did note that the others he had posted were still very much present (how long would it take to revoke 200 + reviews)?
I am certain that Google didn’t anticipate that their numerous invitations to review would have been met with quite so much enthusiasm and honesty – but maybe the mechanism for pointing everyone with an android phone, by default, to the business reviews section may not have been thought through as well as it might? Definitely smacks of a deceptive delivery in my books – AKA a googly by Google!
Sorry – couldn’t resist! 🙂