Fake reviews and other online review problems

Continuing from previous analysis, we have a new investigation into online reviews.

Do you use online reviews and if so, how do you approach it?


In addition to the article, when looking at recommendations on community Facebook (FB) groups I have found multiple positive reviews which when I checked out the reviewer’s FB profile turned out to be a spouse, relationship partner, business partner, or even an employee.

When it comes to online reviews, I take out the outliers both positive and negative, then look at the remaining review(s) critically; and research, research, and do some more research until I am satisfied that the review is genuine.


there is a fake tech support firm based in pakistan who pretend to be anywhere else in the world, their name is Microtech but they have lots of different names and websites, They are not only fake but a criminal gang. On sites like reviews.com or a dozen others they have people come in to give fake reviews. They’ve been around for many years. These people like so many others are unstoppable

Are you able to clarify further details of this business and it’s alternate identities. I looked on line. There are numerous businesses with that primary name in a number of countries. They appear to be legitimate. Sometimes a dodgy group of crooks borrow the name of legitimate businesses, so what you have read somewhere may have substance in that sense.

Are you able to share where and how you came across the information related in your post?

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yes, i’ll do my best. I work in computer support in Australia for general business and home computers. Ive been in this business for over 30 years now.

Certain firms like microtech keep coming up. These most recent case was the same as others. This firm fluctuates between being happy with the annual service fee but charging every time they actually fix something, and then at some point they open event viewer and show their remote customer all the errors, claiming these are errors which require serious attention. In the most recent case they took $500 for the so called repair.

microtech 668 bourke street

put the above search into google, you will notice this company microtech comes up but no website is listed. It claims an address in a serviced office but says servicing India.

Yes, you’re correct that it uses the names of legit business under the same name yet strangely gets away with listings on google.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: BCS Strata Management (and its parent company Pica Group) questionable customer services

I look for evidence that the reviewer knows what they are talking about, and actually owns the device being reviewed. If they own the device and have used it, they will have various positive and negative things to say, as well as unmet expectations perhaps due to misleading marketing spiel.
I also discard reviews which appear to be a bit too simplistic, as this suggests the the review could be fake, or the reviewer does not have many expectations or understanding of the product they are reviewing.
And I discard simplistic badmouthing reviews as these suggest to me the reviewer has no idea how to work the device under review.

While this approach is by no means foolproof, it does help to sort some of the wheat from the chaff.



Don’t use Facebook. The only review site I ever check is https://www.productreview.com.au/

No one can keep out liars/scammers but at least they try. Main drawback is ltd coverage as they can only publish what people submit. It’s worth making the effort to put in feedback there, be it pro or con.


I do use online reviews. Recently I had tried to get the attention of customer service at Kogan after a poor experience with their premium service “Kogan First”. I had no luck with this, so went to Product Review, wrote a negative comment and was then offered mediation with Kogan before publication by Product Review.

This was successful and I now feel no need to proceed further with that review. So I feel that is a good result.


Great that you have a result.

Rhetorical question.
Do Product Review approach other negative reviews the same way before publishing?
IE for certain suppliers is there a deal between the supplier and Product Review that keeps some negative reviews from being seen?

Product review need to make money to run their site. Does this come from the advertising revenue from the manufacturers and retailers whose products they collect reviews for?

Hopefully this was an exception all the better for @Phloesmum


With review removal services, I have less faith in online reviews these days. If you have not heard of them, Google “remove bad reviews” and there are dozens of businesses offering these services.

Most recently, I have purchased bedding from Canningvale.com (Melbourne based business). I posted a mixed review. Some weeks later, I noticed that they edited my review (kept the good bits and deleted the other bits. Also changed from 3 stars to 5 stars). After several experiences like this, I decided to stick with personal referrals from someone I know.

If I have to check reviews of a business, I note the number of reviews each reviewer have posted. Is someone likely to post one 5 star review and no other reviews? Sure, the business could have asked for a review, and they don’t usually post reviews. However, it reeks of a ‘professional’ reviewing service that generates hundreds of positive reviews for a few hundred bucks.

It would be nice if we could count on the authenticity of reviews again.


Just need to do your homework and do plenty of research.Not just one site but many other’s to give you the full picture

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Have a look at recent reviews on Product Review regarding Nick Scali. There is a very clear pattern.

The bad reviews describe the problem and the failure of Nick Scali to find a remedy. They often go into detail, some provide images. They do not mention the name of the person they are dealing with. If the contact person is mentioned it is to show their shortcomings.

The good reviews are short, mention the name of staff member who was so wonderful, tell us about their efficiency, competence, friendly and timely service. They say almost nothing about the problem itself. The writers don’t seem bothered by the furniture having a problem at all but they are ecstatic about the resolution. How can you say there will be another 29 week wait for goods to be replaced and then give 5 stars?

“So what”, you say - good reviews will say good things and bad reviews will say bad things. That is not the point, look at how they say it. Consider why the good reviews are all very similar and the bad ones are all different.

Has anybody ever seen so many 5 star reviews (14675 out of 17921)?

Well yes I have right here with Plush. The same kind of numbers and the same pattern of service complaints and rave reviews as with Nick Scali.

Nick Scali owns Plush. Which two furniture vendors get horrid reviews here?


The product review site claims that they use sophisticated algorithms to detect and block bot generated fake reviews.
Seems this is just a claim that doesn’t pass scrutiny.

The furniture companies enjoying these reviews have seemingly deployed fake review bot software which is widely available. Just the sheer number of reviews says that there is automation going on. Many ‘chat’ bots on web sites include review functions that could generate posts to external review sites if the logon process was basic.

You can get a better view of user reviews if one filters to only include verified entries.

PS. It is laughably easy to submit a review. A good one. No userid needed. Just any email address. My gregr post went straight on in minutes. I was kind to NS.

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When using Product Review, only select for Verified Reviews. Unless you can provide a receipt or equivalent correspondence, the reviews won’t be marked as Verified on the site. The unverified reviews are not worth looking at in my opinion - equivalent to own site, facebook or google review. e.g. compare Nick Scali Furniture | ProductReview.com.au verified review report to the previous All reviews link. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Nick Scali.

Also, in my experience, putting up a Product Review verified review yourself is most likely to finally get a quick response from bad or slow responders. That assumes of course that they have someone monitoring the PR site.


A step further, when applicable look at the ‘claims made’ posts. The great sales people and smiling faces are irrelevant. An easy to use website and fast delivery? Impressive if one gets a shonky product with zero response to a problem or even basic question. Being fobbed off when there is a problem is relevant. Posts about the product are relevant when the ‘reviewer’ has had it more than an hour (ie first impressions do not matter).

Also, look for trends across many of those posts and do not take any single one at face value.


I don’t bother too much with reviews. You need to read reviews with some knowledge of the product to see what people are trying to say at times. Then have the ability to pick out the pertinent and what are hopefully the accurate points.
Sometimes the poor to bad reviews you can see people have not taken the time to read instructions, don’t have the technical expertise necessary to grasp how the equipment needs to operate or function.
The Chef LPG stove bought, the reviews were mediocre at best. Best baking oven and accurate temperature control oven owned or used.
FB is probably the last place you would want to rely on for reviews. The shills on FB who are obviously getting commissions or rewards to promote a product or service are very active. The other thing I find interesting is how so many people are highly gullible to advertising and hearsay on FB. How incorrect technical and scientific incorrect statements get embroidered on and believed I find fascinating. When you try and correct them they get confused by facts. The other thing I find interesting and see companies that play on the fact that many think paying a reassuringly high price gets them a better/superior product, which often and isn’t always the case.


Absolutely right PhilT. My point is that if you’re using Product Review to learn about a product, filter by Verified Reviews first. If that gets rid of a large portion of ‘reviews’ assessing claims becomes a much less time-consuming job.

I then look at the 1-3 star reviews first. The problems described, in addition to any corrective action by the seller monitoring the reviews tells me if the product/service is worth going into further. Everything is good until you have a problem with some products.

I know some people here are interested in the ‘review industry’. If that’s not you, read no further.
I tripped across this site yesterday when looking at some reviews Feefo Reviews | About Our Company so thought I’d share.

“We take the guesswork out of growing your business and building the best customer experience. Feefo connects you directly with your customers. Real feedback, means real insight, and we give you the tools to use it to build relationships, improve your brand reputation and make informed decisions for the future.”

They have some interesting ‘tips’ for companies re value of customer reviews https://www.feefo.com/en/business/search-results?term=reviews+online . Worth a look e.g. Do Shoppers still Trust Online Reviews?; Is it Worth Paying for Online Reviews? | Feefo; How to spot a fake review | Feefo; Impact of Online Product Reviews on Customers’ Buying Decision; How Much Do Online Reviews Affect Client Decisions?; Sentiment Analysis For Product Reviews | Why Should We Use It?.


I treat FB reviews as worthless. However, where FB does provide value is on a company’s page; if you have a problem with something and the company appears disinclined to deal with it, a post on their FB page usually elicits a prompt response.


You would think that having access to huge amounts of good information online would help people to make better decisions, instead the web provides a conduit for them to suck up whatever accords with their beliefs and prejudices.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.