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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
April 29th 2014
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