Agent reported to advertising watchdog after complaint challenging its Google reviews

An agent was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority after a series of favourable Google reviews.

The reviews appeared on the right-hand side of the page when “Ace Relocations” was searched for on Google.

A complainant, who believed the reviews were paid for, challenged whether the Google reviews for Ace Relocations, in Putney, London, were genuine.

The complaint was resolved informally.

An ASA spokesperson said: “The advertiser confirmed that they have removed the reviews and in future will be monitoring their reviews.”

Yesterday, a Google search for Ace Relocations showed 181 Google reviews with an average 4.2 rating.

There is no suggestion that Ace Relocations did buy any reviews – a practice which is possible but not recommended, according to a number of online blogs.

The Competition and Markets Authority is the enforcement authority, and could bring action under consumer protection regulations. The CMA says that all reviews must be “genuine, relevant and lawful”.

https://blog.reviews.io/thinking-of-buying-google-reviews-think-again

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3 Comments

  1. jeremy1960

    Ah,  resolved informally! Do the folk at asa draw salaries for making all these toothless decisions?

    Report
  2. Malcolm Egerton

    a practice which is possible but not recommended’ – a practice that is categorically illegal! If anyone suspects a competitor of acting illegally with regard to reviews, the agency to contact/report the business to is the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority). They have the powers to sanction – fine and expose – businesses that contravene their regulations and agents should make sure they know their rules, which, amongst others, expressly forbid a) selectively inviting ‘happy’ customers to write reviews and b) using any mechanism that is ‘invitation only’ (e.g. Feefo).

    Report
    1. propertyguru11

      Isn’t Purplebricks doing that? How is that legal if that’s the case?

      Report
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