I was checking for reviews of auto glass shops in the Miami & Ft lauderdale area today and found that things seem a little bit different than the last time I checked a few months back.
I noticed that Safelite had a Better Business Bureau rating of 3.8 in a Google search and only a hundred and twenty or so reviews, where a few months back I remember seeing a much lower rating and many many more reviews. I wondered what happened, so i clicked the Google search link to the BBB page for Safelite.
In the BBB page I found that Safelite has, at the time of this post, 123 customer reviews and of those 123, 117 are negative. Which brings the question: How does Safelite’s BBB page show a 3.8 rating on a Google Search when 117 out 123 reviews are negative? The answer I don’t know, but I did read that there are ways for businesses to manipulate reviews.
For instance there are review platforms that have partnered with the top commercial review sites like Yelp, Google Plus, Yellow pages and many many more that allow companies to pay for review interference/review manipulation by diverting bad reviews to the business through a web site they log into and determine if the negative review will be shown or not.
If reviews are being manipulated to show only positive reviews, then where does a consumer go to see real reviews — good and bad? Luckily, there are still some review sites that cannot be manipulated…
ConsumerAffairs.com is still a great place to see real reviews. BBB.com is another good source (though it seems in search results the rating can be either calculated incorrectly by BBB or manipulated by others). There are also niche sites that offer reviews less subject to manipulation (though it might still be possible) just like pissedconsumer.com where they show Safelite has 67 reviews and 514 complaints at the time of this post.
Consumer reports has a nice article about some online review systems titled: “The Truth About Online Ratings Services – Consumer Reports”.
I found that the following review sites can have bad reviews diverted to the business if the business paid to be part of a platform that partners with these sites:
3. Advice Local
5. Angie’s List
6. Best of the Web
35. Magic Yellow
39. Merchant Circle
44. Navteq GPS
60. Zip web
Sites that seemingly can’t be manipulated or altered by the business: