A guy shows TODAY how he posts fake glowing reviews for his own resort and restaurant on TripAdvisor, and trash talks the competition. This doesn’t mean that customer review sites like TripAdvisor aren’t worthwhile, though. Just take his own advice and throw out the best reviews and the worst. The ones in the middle are the most likely to be from real people reflecting their real experience.
We’re generally quite critical of companies that try to squelch negative online reviews, astroturf them, or just bribe customers for positive ones. Not only is this behavior bad for consumers, but the experience of one company shows that it’s bad for businesses, too.
Over a year ago, we wrote about Lifestyle Lift and its attempts to astroturf a customer review website (while simultaneously suing that website for trademark infringement, naturally). But then they caught the attention of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office, and now they’ve agreed to pay $300,000 and will stop publishing fake reviews online.