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Hi All: I am posting to alert you to a problem you may also encounter. I put a similar warning on the "Massachusetts Massage Therapists" group:

On Jan. 28, 2011, I became aware that someone (a person totally unknown to me) had posted a review on "Yahoo Local" explicitly alleging that my business includes sexual services. The review had been posted in May 2010 and I was totally unaware that it has been online on the Yahoo Local page for my town for 9 months!! I don't actively monitor that site and I had no idea this information was out there. I have 25 years in this industry as a respected massage therapist, I teach ethics in an accredited massage program and I have the highest reputation in this field. I have no idea who this "reviewer" is, or why I was targeted with his slanderous false claims. I have no  doubt that this has damaged my business and I have no idea how much my reputation may have been damaged with potential new clients, neighbors and others who have read his "review" which shows up on the Local page for my hometown.

I have been attempting damage control for the past 3 days and have had a very sluggish response from Yahoo - they appear to have removed some of the links to his comments, but other links are still easily available from a local search.

It appears that the only way I could have prevented this is to regularly monitor ALL the potential business review sites that may list us by our business phone number: Yahoo, Bing, Google, Yelp, etc. A giant time suck!

This whole experience has been a trauma and a lesson learned through the most distressing experience. I would like to know if anyone else has been targeted in this way. Also to warn you to check these review services for your own business.

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Replies to This Discussion

Oh gosh, I feel your pain.  I had something similar although not quite so severe happen.  An actual client who I worked on a few times a few years ago even and wrote a bad review after I charged her the full price of a massage - $110 after not showing up for her appointment. She was just complaining about the service, only getting a voice mail message when she called and commented on how she didn't like my massage.  It was posted on citysearch.com at the time and then other sites somehow pick up the review. I got citysearch to take it down but then have seen it recently even at wellness.com. 

Hopefully yahoo will take it down. Keep after them.  They may take awhile.

 

Do you know how many people have viewed it?  Yelp.com has stats about how many have viewed your listing. 

 

I would try to get current clients and friends to write a bunch of good reviews.  I know one clinic here that even gives incentives for clients to write reviews - like $10 off their next massage or whatever.

 

It is very distressing.  Just try to go on and do what you can to clean it up.  It is hard to say how much it does affect your business.  You just might have to do more marketing and work on your website to make sure it shows up higher in the listings than the yahoo results if possible.  I can help you more with that if you need.

 

Julie

Thanks Julie,


I have already had clients write positive reviews. One of the most frustrating issues is that  the Yahoo page is set up so that a general search for "Massage/my town" shows a live tab for the first review, which is the offensive one, next to my business listing. I am keeping up the compaints to Yahoo, but it has not been successful yet. No stats available on # of views. AAAGh!


Julie Onofrio said:

Oh gosh, I feel your pain.  I had something similar although not quite so severe happen.  An actual client who I worked on a few times a few years ago even and wrote a bad review after I charged her the full price of a massage - $110 after not showing up for her appointment. She was just complaining about the service, only getting a voice mail message when she called and commented on how she didn't like my massage.  It was posted on citysearch.com at the time and then other sites somehow pick up the review. I got citysearch to take it down but then have seen it recently even at wellness.com. 

Hopefully yahoo will take it down. Keep after them.  They may take awhile.

 

Do you know how many people have viewed it?  Yelp.com has stats about how many have viewed your listing. 

 

I would try to get current clients and friends to write a bunch of good reviews.  I know one clinic here that even gives incentives for clients to write reviews - like $10 off their next massage or whatever.

 

It is very distressing.  Just try to go on and do what you can to clean it up.  It is hard to say how much it does affect your business.  You just might have to do more marketing and work on your website to make sure it shows up higher in the listings than the yahoo results if possible.  I can help you more with that if you need.

 

Julie

Try Google alerts -- for your name, your business name, etc.  I get reports every day.

I was worried about a review on Yelp. I responded to the review. Many people finding me on Yelp now say it was the way I responded that made their decision to come in. Don't be so worried about the reviews. People who use review sites are pretty good at figuring out if they are accurate or not.

 

There are more important things to worry about and spend time on.

I am really sorry.

So far nothing similar .

Thanks Diedre - that is great information!

Diedre Seeley said:
Try Google alerts -- for your name, your business name, etc.  I get reports every day.

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