Do you ever wonder if the comments on Ripoffreport.com or sites like complaintsboard.com are true?
I never did until I read comments about my own business and wondered who all the anonymous comments were from that I didn’t recognize. I’m a small business and the problems that my clients have actually had with me or my staff over the years are few and far between. And when I do have a problem, I hear about it and try to resolve it.
That’s why I started to wonder who would make up negative things about me, despite my 18 year track record as an ethical and effective tax attorney (with an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau) and scores of positive testimonials and reviews.
One answer keeps popping up.
A little research on Google suggests that a new practice of targeted Internet defamation is getting more common.
I encourage all my prospective clients to check with authoritative sources about my reputation as a tax attorney with the state attorney general, BBB or another trusted media source (for example, your local newspaper). These organizations have gone to the trouble of researching and validating anonymous negative reviews and comments.
When a company gets in hot water with consumers by systematically making claims that they can’t back up (or simply unfair business practices) it doesn’t just generate a few negative comments, it generates a lot of them. That in turn gets the attention of consumer watch dogs and authorities. For example, in an April 2011 article The Houston Chronicle reported on a recent example of this that involves the State of Texas and JK Harris.
It’s not an easy problem for any business owner to address but here are some of my suggestions on how to find real scams, con artists, or businesses who simply don’t care about their clients.
What can you do to avoid being suckered by bogus negative comments and reviews?
- Check trusted sources like your state attorney general’s office or trusted media for stories of fraud or bad business, marketing or sales practices for the company or firm you are considering.
- Check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating for the business you’re investigating
- Talk to the business about what you’ve heard or read about them
What about online reviews?
While I do recommend you look up online reviews of businesses and products beware that it has become common for people or businesses to make up or pay for both positive and negative reviews. In the case of negative reviews, competitors have been known to systematically target their competitors in an attempt to discredit the company they are competing for business with. That’s why we recommend that you check reputable sources that have properly sourced and verified the claims made against the company.
Until next time,
Jeff Fouts, Tax Attorney
Here’s a bio of sorts. I’m happily married with two kids. I’m a real small town tax lawyer, (Ellijay, pop. 1,584) not some fictional marketing character. I’ve represented tax clients against the IRS in all 50 states, and in 21 foreign countries. I have 18 years experience, thousands of satisfied clients, about 8 critics at last count, and an A+ BBB Rating.
I’m a member in good standing of the bar and have active memberships in courts from Georgia to Washington D.C., including the U.S. Supreme Court. My competitors covet my Google ranking but my clients covet my sound legal counsel. I deal directly with my clients and have a small, tireless staff of tax specialists.
You can put off your tax problem, or put us to work for you.