Reputation Extortion Businesses?
A friend of mine told me someone called him out of the blue from "Angie's List", offerning to remove a negative review for a significant fee; the only way to do it, according to them. They weren't interested in finding out the truth, and removing it for free because it is wrong to knowingly harm the reputation of a person or business which did nothing wrong to deserve it; just interested in getting their removal fee.
How do I know they were really from Angie's List? I don't; it could have been a random scammer using them, and I'll never know cause my bud told them to suck it without verifying anything, so I am asking; is this their biz model; post crap about people and then charge for removal? That has to be illegal; maybe it's extortion, or maybe a lesser charge, but I hope and believe it must be some kind of crime.
I hadn't thought about that story for a while until I was researching a company that buys and sells cars, and Googled "[business name] reviews". Half the page was Ripoff Report listings, and the top one was a hysterical liar. Another was less ridiculous but still nasty, and I believe totally false.
Then I noticed that they are pushing a rep management service for businesses. How convenient to post nasty crap, and then offer rep management; perhaps not as in your face as charging to remove each negative review, but a conflict at best, like selling yourself as both prosecutor and defender at the same trial.
Any insights into whether my impressions are accurate, or perhaps over or understated would be appreciated. If it is as it seems to be, I would like to find a way to help in any organized effort that is afoot to take these parasitic people down.
On the whole, you get what you pay for.
Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.
Direct Response Copywriting