How to Report Fake Reviews to the ACCC

How to Report Fake Reviews to the ACCC

So we all know that soliciting fake online reviews can do serious damage to your local small business (and to the person who writes the fake review).

But what if you’ve noticed fake reviews popping up for your business thanks to a disgruntled employee or dastardly competitor?

Well you should certainly report them to the website hosting those reviews. Most review platforms will have some way of flagging the review as fake or inappropriate. Make sure you provide as much detail as you can about why you believe the review to be fake.

What if that didn’t work?

Sometimes the review platform won’t take down the fake reviews – not enough staff, not enough information, just don’t care enough – you’ll probably never know the reason.

But as an Australian based company you do have one more avenue – reporting the fake reviews to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission(ACCC).

The ACCC has taken action in the past over fake reviews and takes this practise very seriously.

Businesses and review platforms that do not remove reviews that they know to be fake risk breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

How to report fake reviews

It’s actually a little tricky reporting fake reviews to the ACCC – although all their documentation mentions the need to do so, there’s no easy link or path provided.

So I called them to find out the best way to do it.

Their suggestion was to use the Contact Us link on their website and then select either the General Enquiry or Small Business Complaint form.

Provide as much information as possible to help the ACCC investigate the complaint properly.

Follow ups and further information probably won’t happen

It is highly unlikely that you’ll get any response to your complaint sadly, but you can keep an eye on the fake reviews and keep reporting them if nothing appears to happen.

Use this power wisely

Remember to use this reporting power wisely – reporting fake reviews is good for everyone, customers and business owners who do the right thing. Reporting reviews simply to ‘do in’ your competitor is not going to be good for anyone, lest of all your karma!

 

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