The issue of fake reviews is one that rarely affects insurance brands, but can be a cause for concern as negative reviews can affect your brand reputation. So it’s good that the CMA is looking at Google and Amazon in the UK, and in particular how slow they are to respond to complaints of fake reviews being posted.
There is an official UK Gov statement here by the way.
IE magazine did some digging around and found three insurance companies, all of which had over 1000 five star Trustpilot reviews, not a single 1-4 star review. Many of the reviews were remarkably similar as in; “X explained everything in detail to me, really friendly staff, pleased with the service, would recommend..” and so on. One of the brands five star rated is actually trading from a hot desk office above a pharmacy, and its holding company has just 4 grand in the bank according to Companies House.
Let’s be honest here, although Trustpilot isn’t as trustworthy as it might like to be, the FCA could also do more to clean up the fake reviews within the financial services sector and protect consumers.
Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said:
“We have repeatedly exposed fake reviews on websites including Amazon and Google, so this investigation is a positive step. The CMA must now move swiftly towards establishing whether these companies have broken the law.
“This should prompt Amazon and Google to finally take the necessary steps to protect users from the growing tide of fake reviews on their platforms and, if they fail to do so, the regulator must be prepared to take strong enforcement action.
“The government must also give online platforms greater legal responsibility for tackling fake and fraudulent content on their sites – including fake and misleading review activity.”