Government plans to bring in new laws to combat fake reviews

Posted on Friday, April 22, 2022

The government has announced that it plans to clampdown on fake reviews in a bid to protect businesses and people from false comments.

Proposals include making it “clearly illegal” to pay someone to write or host fake reviews.

A competition watchdog will get new powers to fine firms up to 10% of their global turnover for bad business practices.

The average UK household spends about £900 each year after being influenced by online reviews and spends £60 on “unwanted subscriptions”, the government said.

Under the proposed rules, there will be new laws against offering to write and commissioning fake reviews.

Websites hosting consumer reviews will have to take reasonable steps to check they are genuine.

Jonathan Winchester, CEO of customer experience consultancy, insight6, said: “This is a welcome change – consumers should be able to put their trust completely in third party reviews, especially in professional services like estate agencies.

“It’s a sad realisation that some businesses opt to buy fake reviews rather than invest in improving their customer experience and generate genuine positive reviews.

“Businesses shouldn’t be afraid of some negative feedback. Managed correctly, it offers an opportunity to learn and improve, resulting in an improved customer experience and new genuine positive feedback. Genuine customer insight – good or bad – is priceless in the pursuit of 5-star reviews!”

Winchester inues: “As a customer experience specialist, when working with businesses who have had some negative feedback, I often find that it is a very simple fix. We recently published our Professional Services Client Journey Report which found many estate agencies making a catalogue of simple but extremely costly mistakes – all of which were easily avoidable.

“The first step to positive reviews is becoming aware of issues and giving your customers the outlet to vent their frustrations. Many have no process in place to request or monitor feedback, and that’s when people head to the internet.

“Once a feedback process is established, we can help implement new strategies to improve the whole customer experience – this could include ironing out a glitch in the customer journey, or upskilling staff.

Via @PropertyIndustryEye