Remember when you were young, and you would use words and phrases that were cool among you and your friends, then suddenly, you caught your parents using the lingo? Every ounce of cool it once had disappeared in an instant, and you knew that it was time to find another word or phrase. Sometimes, the team at WebPunch feels that way about the term “Reputation Management.” Mom used it in front of our friends, and now, “Geez Mom! You’re so embarrassing!”
There’s a very good reason why the phrase “Reputation Management” has lost its luster in our eyes; manipulative and deviant types who have recognized the growing need for it over the years are looking to capitalize, and they’ve sunk their greedy and shady teeth into the term. We’re here to warn you about them.
In January of 2020, Fox 11 News out of Los Angeles completed a month-long investigation into a so-called “Reputation Defense” business, built upon the promise of removing negative reviews on behalf of companies looking to maintain an outstanding online reputation. It’s easy to understand why a company might want to do this, but these false promises made by this fraudulent business were formed by a disbarred lawyer filing defamation lawsuits against non-existent defendants. In one case described by Fox 11, a lawsuit was filed against RipoffReport.com over a negative review and “incorrectly accuses a Florida resident… of writing… [the] Ripoff Report complaint” (1). The problem is, a resident from California wrote the negative review, and the lawsuit incorrectly identified the reviewer by another name in the paperwork. Essentially, this lawsuit was happening unbeknownst to the real reviewer, with the idea that the “defendant” would not show up in court, leading to the judge ruling in favor of the company looking to remove the review and legally require RipoffReport.com to do so.
In another case, a lawyer considering himself an “internet defamation attorney” worked with a hacker to illegally access platforms like Google and RipOffReport, charging his clients anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars in the process. This scam even involved actors who may or may not have known their name was attached to the lawsuit.
Needless to say, it’s imperative to avoid frauds like this. A strong online reputation for your business should not be acquired through false litigation and illegal hacking. These types of scams are built on false promises and could land you in a lot of trouble and make you an unwilling or unwitting participant.
When it comes to building your online reputation, WebPunch believes the path to success lies in how you engage with your customers in the review space. We work to help generate positive feedback for your business and make it easy for your clients to share their glowing 5-Star reviews. We respond on your behalf to each review, ensuring your customers feel both seen and heard. This goes a long way in demonstrating that you value your customer’s feedback and experience with you. When that difficult negative review comes along, we work with you to tell your side of the story and hopefully find a resolution. Just this week, I discovered a previously negative rating on a business page had been converted to a positive review, and all it took was a little conversation, correspondence, and understanding. This is certainly a cheaper, and more importantly, legal way to go about things, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Sure, some of those pesky negatives that come up might have grounds for removal, especially if they violate the platform’s terms of service or are made in error. We’ll help handle those for you too.
Even though the term “Reputation Management” can mean a lot of things to different people and influence how someone decides to manage your reputation, WebPunch will never take actions that are illegal, unlike these shady lawyers. If you have any questions about your online reputation and are wondering how to harness the power of your customer feedback, we’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of service.
Jon Frisch is a Content Creator at WebPunch. He lives in Pasadena, CA, and spends his time writing and recording music, playing guitar, and performing. He recently got married to his amazing wife, Abbey! He is the fun uncle, or funcle, if you will, to ten awesome nieces and nephews. Jon loves a good karaoke night, writing comedy scripts, taking road trips, and finding the best coffee shops in town. Jon never passes up the opportunity for a good pun or a lame-dad joke.