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Fake and Paid Psychic Reviews


Fake and Paid Psychic Reviews - ACCC Investigates Online Reviews


Last year, in my psychic reading editorial I warned the Australian and international public about fake and paid SEO psychic reviews, and I also raised this issue with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and our local member of government.

ACCC Guide for Online Reviews

It seems we're not the only Australian online business that has been dealing with malicious online reviews by anonymous tech smart reviewers. The amount of fake and misleading reviews on business review sites and online directories has resulted in the ACCC creating best-practice guidelines for online review platforms in order to protect consumers and businesses from fake, incentivised and misleading reviews.

This news is welcome by Vine Psychic Reading Line because over the last six years we've been dealing with persistent and belligerent business sabotage by marketing companies and SEO services engaging in these deceitful practices on behalf of psychic competitors.

To ensure customers know we have world's best practice in accepting psychic testimonials and reviews, I recently provided full transparency about our customer testimonial process.

I've been working in the psychic reading sector for over 30 years and in that time I have been honest with my clients about the type of reading I do and recommend prospective clients to view my psychic video and FAQ before deciding to book a phone consultation. This ensures you have full knowledge about how I use my spiritual breath technique and that I don't require upfront questions to do a psychic reading.

Anonymous Reviews

This is why it was surprising to see anonymous psychic customers going online over a three week period, to denigrate my psychic business. Any professional business has a complaint mechanism in-house to ensure if a customer has any issues they can contact the administration area. The first point of call is to approach a business and raise concerns. This did not happen.

We immediately identified that the anonymous customer complaints were not credible. We saw a pattern of behaviour, which reinforced that the anonymous reviews were SEO generated to denigrate my online phone psychic business. Most reviewers had not even had a reading.

On investigation Vine Psychic administration found marketing companies were writing psychic reviews on Google+, and many online business review platforms. The favourable reviews were business-to-business partnership or affiliate relationships recommending each other.

We also identified that most online business reviews were anonymous, or didn't have a real name. Many review platforms seemed to have a regular weekly or monthly customer review by someone who used letters and numbers instead of a real name. This is how we came to find out some Australian and international online psychic reviews were only using paid SEO reviews.

It would seem that a lot of online small businesses have also come to this realisation and have raised concerns with the ACCC about reviews that are breaching the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010. They have contacted their state and federal government ministers and the ACCC to report similar types of issues as we have raised.

Restaurants Hit Hard by Fake Reviews

The restaurant and holiday accommodation industry has been hit hard by fake and misleading reviews. So have many other small businesses. The Consumer Act is important to protect customers, but also small business deserves equal protections to stop untruthful and malicious comments being placed on online forums and advertising sites.

It seems the SEO generated reviews for the psychic chat industry might be getting some long overdue attention from the ACCC. The ACCC guidelines state that the marketing companies that have set-up fake recommendations by fictional people, should declare their business partnerships and conflict of interests, and remove fake recommendations.

Complete Disclosure Required

The guidelines require complete disclosure of commercial relationships, reviews from family, friends or paid SEO reviews. The psychic reviews that have affiliation link arrangements are required to disclose business to business partnerships under the ACCC guidelines. If the removal of fake and negative paid SEO reviews was enforced by tighter government regulation, the Aussie public would have greater confidence about which reviews are genuine and which reviews have been fabricated for unethical reasons.

Australian psychic reading customers deserve to have the best protections in place to stop marketing companies and SEO from falsifying fictional characters and directing you to psychic and video chat lines. The fictional characters are set up by marketing companies representing psychic chat providers. It is obvious the ACCC guidelines are being abused by online marketing and SEO psychic providers so they can be found on the search engines before legitimate spiritual psychics.

Consumer Beware

It is up to you, to research whether the so called independent psychic recommendations are true or whether they are directing you to select sponsored psychic chat sites. If you are an international consumer you also can raise your concerns if the business is using misleading and deceptive business practices that you know fall outside of the consumer laws of your country.

The ACCC needs to know which psychic businesses are creating fake reviews or buying paid reviews and recommendations. As the psychic consumer, you can research the psychic business and identify if the psychic reviews are by marketing or SEO companies. This also applies to social media. If a psychic is placing up online reviews and testimonials to back their psychics ability, make sure they are genuine.

Responsibility

Just like newspapers, if online review sites were legally responsible for everything they publish on their sites, businesses would be protected from malicious and unfounded attacks like the ones we have outlined above. Consumers would also be sure that the reviews on the best psychic directories were legitimate and unaffected by conflicting interests and vexatious complaints.

At present, online review sites are not representing the best interests of buyer or seller and it is wise to be discerning of overly favourable or overly critical reviews. Until Online review websites can pull themselves into line with the ACCC guidelines, or are forced to do so, you can be excused for giving them a wide berth.

Love and Light
Vine




April 29th 2014



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