How Can You Tell This Testimonial is FAKE??

35 replies
Actual sales page testimonial (except for the product brand name):
"Yes, it is so cool and completely copies my favourite games in my computer. In a word, XXX is a Powerful Game Backup Tool.
Mark ----- DC, US."

My first clue that this is probably a fake was that no one in the U.S. spells "favorite" with a u.
#fake #testimonial
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Favourite, colour, and other similar spellings are usually from non-American English speaking countries such as the Canada, Australia, or the UK. Because the address is listed as US doesn't mean the person is originally from here. Of course, you could be right, too.
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520883].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jay Jennings
    On the other hand, maybe the product publisher is non-US and "edited" the testimonial when it came in. Might not be fake at all. I don't think there's enough info there to make a determination.

    EDIT: Or, "Mark" is from the UK but now lives in DC.

    Jay Jennings
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520893].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
      Yeah. i am in canada we spell things like favourite normalicy etc
      Americans spell favorite normalcy etc never understood that but i don't think it is fair to judge it fake it may very well be genuine

      -WD
      Signature

      "As a man thinks in his heart so is he-Proverbs 23:7"
      Coming Soon http://graphicsdon.com

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520901].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
        errr....I have a question....

        What keeps people from just making up testimonials?

        ...also....as someone who is about to release my first product.....is their a procedure that you all go through to harvest testimonials?

        ....do you just say "Here is a free copy, try it, and I'd like a testimonial when you are finished..." or "Here is a free copy, it would be great to receive a testimonial at the end...." ?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520908].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

          errr....I have a question....

          What keeps people from just making up testimonials?

          ...also....as someone who is about to release my first product.....is their a procedure that you all go through to harvest testimonials?

          ....do you just say "Here is a free copy, try it, and I'd like a testimonial when you are finished..." or "Here is a free copy, it would be great to receive a testimonial at the end...." ?
          As of December 1 of this year, the fine for using fake testimonials is up to $11,000. That's a pretty good deterrent.

          As for getting testimonials, that's changed too. It's common to give out review copies and ask for a review, but now you have to disclose it when someone is compensated, and the FTC considers a free product as compensation.
          Signature

          Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520940].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            As of December 1 of this year, the fine for using fake testimonials is up to $11,000. That's a pretty good deterrent.

            As for getting testimonials, that's changed too. It's common to give out review copies and ask for a review, but now you have to disclose it when someone is compensated, and the FTC considers a free product as compensation.
            Thanks alot Dennis!

            hm....so, I would have to write "Person received a Free Review Copy" under their testimonial?

            Is there a little grey area here? I mean....it just seems like IM could 'interpret' things a little different in regards to how much they feel they actually need to disclose.....

            ....also....if someone purchases the product, and comes back and gives you a testimonial without you asking for it...then, that doesn't have to be disclosed does it?

            (I know there are occasions where someone likes a product THAT much...and incurred such great benefit from it...that they will willfully come back and give a testimonial...)
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520948].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

              Thanks alot Dennis!

              hm....so, I would have to write "Person received a Free Review Copy" under their testimonial?

              Is there a little grey area here? I mean....it just seems like IM could 'interpret' things a little different in regards to how much they feel they actually need to disclose.....
              The grey area isn't in whether or not to disclose the arrangement. The gray area is more in how you describe it.

              Rather than say "person received a Free Review Copy" you can say "given a preview copy", "furnished with a review copy" or some such. Take the emphasis off of 'free' and put it on 'saw it before it was released'. Also, you can stress that the comments are a review, rather than a testimonial.

              I've accepted products for review, but only on the condition that I would furnish my honest opinion, good or bad. Giving me a free copy of something never guarantees I'll say nice things. What the person asking for the review does with it is up to them.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521607].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author YanKirby
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            As of December 1 of this year, the fine for using fake testimonials is up to $11,000. That's a pretty good deterrent.

            As for getting testimonials, that's changed too. It's common to give out review copies and ask for a review, but now you have to disclose it when someone is compensated, and the FTC considers a free product as compensation.
            Does this apply to info product owners who are not from the US??
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520976].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author ExRat
              Hi Wd Products,

              Yeah. i am in canada we spell things like favourite normalicy
              Do you mean normality? My dictionary rejects 'normalicy'.
              Signature


              Roger Davis

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521044].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
                I think that was a word made-up by a US President. Might have been Nixon - can't remember for certain.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521056].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
                Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                Hi Wd Products,



                Do you mean normality? My dictionary rejects 'normalicy'.
                normalcy

                noun
                1. The quality or condition of being usual: customariness, habitualness, normality, ordinariness, prevalence, regularity, routineness, usualness. Seeusual/unusual.
                Normalicy

                the state of being where things are how they should be.
                After going through many drummers, travis and kyle returned to normalicy by letting eddie back in the band

                Essentially is Normality

                -WD


                Signature

                "As a man thinks in his heart so is he-Proverbs 23:7"
                Coming Soon http://graphicsdon.com

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522991].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Mandy Swift
              now that's more like it ... if they can actually track down the person on the end of the website to actually enforce it!
              Signature
              Mandy Swift
              Helping you Muscle up your Marketing and getting your business Fit to Perform Online. Find me at: http://MandySwift.com
              ...because fit businesses perform better...
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1524358].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Glenn Leader
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            As of December 1 of this year, the fine for using fake testimonials is up to $11,000. That's a pretty good deterrent.

            As for getting testimonials, that's changed too. It's common to give out review copies and ask for a review, but now you have to disclose it when someone is compensated, and the FTC considers a free product as compensation.
            I would imagine a lot of scammers will go for offshore
            hosting, domain registrars etc. where they can't be
            touched.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1524320].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Joe808
    All of those product testimonials across the internet are fake. Don't you know that, LOL?!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1520923].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Does it really matter? I mean ... most of the testimonials out there are fake? Tracking them down is a waste of time. Leave that to the FTC and if you are purchasing a product, base your decision on factors other than testimonials.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521305].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author scottgallagher
    Sure, there are other spellings. I'm a Canadian, living in the US. this testimonial is in the US. When in Rome, do as the Romans. I don't spell favorite with a 'u' even though I'm Canadian. I live in the US, so it's favorite.

    Testomonials are shady imo if references to a real person aren't present. People are scared of testimonials because competition might get wind of that client and try and win their business. If your client is happy enough to give a testimonial, they won't switch, the relationship is simply too strong.

    therefore, i don't trust testimonials that don't put a first and last name, location and for b2b businesses, a business name. otherwise, go give someone a lolipop for a testimonial and use their first name, it'll as effective and much easier to earn.
    Signature
    Father, Entrepreneur, Author, Adranalist
    I teach entrepreneurs to build a sustainable Internet Marketing Agency with real value. I have many free resources and paid training programs available

    -->My Training Website
    -->My Agency Website
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521632].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rakoom2002
      Just in general, I would take testimonials lightly. They really dont amount to much besides eye candy. This is the reason why the FCC started regulating advertisement material, and one of those being testimonials.
      Signature
      $5 for 10,000 backlinks. $5 Video Intros. Check out my fiverr gigs http://fiverr.com/paramountprmr
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521660].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JR Rich
        Sounds to me like this could be a heck of a business model for some enterprising individual;

        Create a membership site that does nothing more than provide actual testimonials for every IM product under the sun. For example, for a membership fee of - say - $20 a month, they'll buy up to 5 of your products for the discounted price of $2 a piece and then send you a real, by-God testimonial for each of those products.

        Of course, the testimonial could turn out to be negative - assuming the membership site runs in an ethical mode, so you'd better be creating a decent product!

        The FTC be damned!

        Regards,
        --JR
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1521808].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Originally Posted by opportunitiesaplenty View Post

    Actual sales page testimonial (except for the product brand name):
    "Yes, it is so cool and completely copies my favourite games in my computer. In a word, XXX is a Powerful Game Backup Tool.
    Mark ----- DC, US."

    My first clue that this is probably a fake was that no one in the U.S. spells "favorite" with a u.
    My spellchecker automatically highlights Americanised spellings are being wrong. Maybe their one does too, and they had it on auto-correct.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522058].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author danabbamont
      There's really no way to police testimonials, therefore there's no reason to not just write fake testimonials. I've seen this in action.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522072].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by YanKirby View Post

        Does this apply to info product owners who are not from the US??
        It may, there are many countries that have or are adopting the FTC's policies in part or in whole.

        Originally Posted by danabbamont View Post

        There's really no way to police testimonials, therefore there's no reason to not just write fake testimonials. I've seen this in action.
        The FTC has said they don't have the manpower to investigate each business, so they rely on complaints. If no one complains, you'll probably be safe. If someone complains, and a complaint could come from a competitor as well as an unhappy customer, that's when the FTC will step in. If you use testimonials, you must keep a record of them! If you are investigated and can't product the testimonials you claim, get your checkbook out because you will be paying a fine.

        Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

        Thanks alot Dennis!

        hm....so, I would have to write "Person received a Free Review Copy" under their testimonial?

        Is there a little grey area here? I mean....it just seems like IM could 'interpret' things a little different in regards to how much they feel they actually need to disclose.....

        ....also....if someone purchases the product, and comes back and gives you a testimonial without you asking for it...then, that doesn't have to be disclosed does it?

        (I know there are occasions where someone likes a product THAT much...and incurred such great benefit from it...that they will willfully come back and give a testimonial...)
        There is a little gray area here, if only because the FTC has been vague in their wordings. Perhaps that was because it's a bureaucracy, or perhaps it was intentional so they can apply their own interpretation as they see fit as they go along.

        I use Auto Web Law to generate legal forms. I did a quick write up about the new FTC regulations and Auto Web Law for my newsletter subscribers. I'm not sure, but I don't think I'm allowed to post the link here because I have an affiliate link on the page, but if you go to my newsletter page and scroll down to the last item in the Bullet Points section you'll find a link to it.

        You don't have to disclose anything for unsolicited testimonials, per se, but if the testimonial boasts results that aren't typical, then you're suppose to disclose that results aren't typical, AND new to this disclosure, you have to say what the typical results are. This has a lot of people in an uproar because how do you determine what is typical for a new product, or with so many variables?

        Hope that helps. Oh yes, I've also linked to several articles on that page where there are some good discussions about this. Two of them have interviews with FTC representatives. One seems quite lenient about the new laws, and they other seems kind of officious and harsh to me, so whether you get smacked could depend on who handles your case if you are investigated.
        Signature

        Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522278].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
        Originally Posted by danabbamont View Post

        There's really no way to police testimonials, therefore there's no reason to not just write fake testimonials. I've seen this in action.

        This is the quote of the year right here....lol
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1523199].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    I try to write for the Americans a lot of the time but often fall into my own way of spelling without thinking, and so sometimes I'll even spell the same word twice in two different ways in the same place, 'licence' and 'license' being the worst offenders.

    It would probably become clear quite quickly to a reader that I don't have a favourite way of spelling 'favorite' and am a stranger to a spell checker
    Signature

    Plot short fiction, long fiction, even outline non-fiction * Edit the question prompts to suit your genre * Easily export text and image files for use with your word processor or Scrivener.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522101].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Damien Roche
    Does look a tad sketchy.

    On spelling - I 'market' to the crowd. When I speak to my us clients, I use favorite, color etc. but then adapt when I speak to people from uk etc.

    Think of it what you will.
    Signature
    >> Seasoned Web Developer (CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby) <<
    Available for Fixed Fee Projects and Hourly ($40/hr)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522164].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    You simply ignore testimonies because most are fake. People can write anything they want, and there is nothing you can do about it. You will see little tiny fonts at the bottom for disclaimers.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522179].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WebSolutionKey
    Of course! Most of the testimonials nowadays are fake. But don't presume all testimonials to be fake ones. Also, if someone needs to cheat you with fake testimonials,it is not a big deal for them to write a fake one using proper US lang. The hysteria of giving jobs based on testimonials no longer exists. I never check for testimonials. Rather i would check their quality & reliability giving some small work and then go for big deals.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522185].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sean Ski
    I don't even pay attention to testimonials... If the marketer has all of his/her ducks in a row they'll get you onto their list, prove that they know what they're talking about, build rapport and then sell you on it... I don't need any testimonials after that.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1522400].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by opportunitiesaplenty View Post

    My first clue that this is probably a fake was that no one in the U.S. spells "favorite" with a u.
    I do. You lose, try again.
    Signature
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1523021].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Roger, and others from "across the pond".

    I'll bet you guys cringe every time you hear an American from the US criticize others on their use of English

    Matt
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1523063].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      There is absolutely no way to tell that this or any other testimonial is fake,
      real or a little of both. Yes, some marketers fudge their actual testimonials
      a bit to make them sound better.

      Ultimately, what does it matter to you?

      Are you buying the product just off of some word from some guy you don't
      know from Adam?

      I don't.

      I buy a product from reading the description and then determining if I think
      it will be of use to me.

      Now if I see a testimonial from somebody I know personally and know
      would never endorse something that they didn't believe in, I would take
      that into consideration after I checked with the person to make sure
      they actually gave the testimonial.

      Yes, some marketers take people's names and their photos and place
      them on their sales page with a totally bogus testimonial. (Old timers,
      remember the last one that was drug up here? It was a long time ago
      and had guys like Willie Crawford [with a wrong photo, or something like
      that] and other big name marketers. The sales page looked like crap)

      Anyway, you need to take testimonials with a grain of salt and do your
      research on the product itself based on the marketer's reputation and
      unbiased product reviews, if you can find them.

      Ultimately, if you buy the product and it doesn't live up to your
      expectations, refund it...plain and simple.

      Too many people just chalk it up to an expense and let people get away
      with selling crap.

      If more people returned the crap, maybe we'd have less people selling it.

      Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the subject.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1523088].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Speaking of testimonials, I found another way to look at and buy WSOs.

    I was scanning through the WSOs the other day and even though I didn't need the product I was looking at, I saw several testimonials from people here that I respect and it got me thinking about something.

    As I said, even though I did not need or even want the product I thought for the $7 I could see what my respected Warrior peers viewed as a "great product", "over delivered", "learned a few things about..."

    In other words, I paid $7 to get inside of the heads of some other Warriors and could see how they saw certain products and their standards and expectations of another Warrior's work.

    Very educational experience.

    Matt
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1523123].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author domainarama
      Here's are two more reasons I ignore most testimonials:

      If the testimonial was written within a month or so of purchase date (or installation date if not purchased) I ignore the testimonial. Two reasons:

      1) Most people want to like products they spent money to buy. There is a subtle tendency to overvalue a new product immediately after first use. Here's an interesting fact about print advertising: after buying, most people read more advertisements for the product they bought than they read before they bought the product. People earnestly want their new widget to work.

      2) Many times you don't know if a product is really good until you use it for a long time. A product doesn't look the same after two or three months as it did after a week. You might not love the product as much in the Fall or Winter as you did in the Spring.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1523174].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mandy Swift
    Fairly eagle eyed of you. But why would you care?
    Signature
    Mandy Swift
    Helping you Muscle up your Marketing and getting your business Fit to Perform Online. Find me at: http://MandySwift.com
    ...because fit businesses perform better...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1524348].message }}

Trending Topics