We’ve seen a few cases this week of companies trying to pad their reviews by writing on their own company. TripHarbour.com, our colleagues just down the street, just posted a blog entry about a major PR company organizing a bunch of reviewers to pad reviews – astroturfing is what they call it. It seems Royal Caribbean Lines’ marketing folks actually hired people to write reviews. It’s all good until you get caught, and in this case they got caught. The consumerist website posted about their antics. I like the Captain’s quote in the Trip Harbour blog.
The answer lies in the old PR rule which states, “If you’d feel embarrassed reading about your plans in tomorrow’s newspaper, it’s probably the wrong thing to do.”
In our case we see these attempts at review padding commonly. It’s okay to ask your good customers for reviews – but posting on yourself, or having your employees post as if they are customers – not cool!
Should we reject these reviews and post on the company’s listing site that we removed a review which was submitted by the owner? It might expose these companies whose ethics you want to consider when hiring someone to come into your home? Let us know!