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What to Do When You’ve Received a Fake Review

Respond to the Review

While you may not be able to have the review removed, you do have the ability to respond. Yes, if the review is indeed fake you will not be able to actually resolve the problem for this person, however; you can make it clear to other customers and prospective customers that you are aware of the review, you take what reviewers say seriously, and that as a business you are dedicated to remedying situations “like this.”

Just as there are guidelines for leaving a review, Google has some tips for responding. Your response should not be defensive, keep it brief, and do your best to respond as you would for a negative review.

Flag the Review

You can notify the team at Google regarding a violation of their review policy by flagging the specific review.

1. Hover over the review in question and a flag icon will appear.

2. Click the Flag icon and you will be taken to the Report a policy violation page.

3. Enter your company E-mail address and select the Violation Type

Then you’re done. You will only hear from a team member if they require additional details from you or if they have information to share with you.

When flagging a review:

A) If you can, have several people flag the review in question. There is power in numbers and it’s possible it may help increase awareness and ideally action.

B) Once a review is flagged try to wait a couple of days for a response or ideally for it to be removed, however; if the review is loaded with hate-speech, profanity, and/or has highly sensitive content, I would say escalate it immediately. Flag and report, then immediately contact a Google support team member.

ANOTHER OPTION

Report the Review to Google Small Business Support

If the fake review has not been removed using the flagging method, get in touch with a support associate. You can do this through:

1. The Google My Business Dashboard

  • Log into your Google My Business page.
  • Go to the Reviews section.
  • Click on the home menu and select Support.
  • Choose a method of Contact – Phone or Email.
  • Fill in the necessary contact parameters, Add a screenshot of the review in question, and wait patiently (you should hear back within 24-48 Hours).

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