Internet Reviews & Scams

Online reviews are now part and parcel of the business world. There are a number of review sites which publish reviews on car dealers. Reviews can be good for business but of course more often than not, customers will only want to write about their bad experiences.

Whilst no-one wants to read a bad review on their business, customers are entitled to write about their experience as long as it is truthful and avoids defamatory statements. The best you can do with a bad review to is provide a polite response but, if the review is defamatory for example, it contains a statement calling you a criminal when you are not, you can serve a Notice on the host of the website. This Notice gives the host a chance to pass the details on to the actual poster. If the poster doesn’t respond, the host has the choice of standing by the comments and potentially facing a High Court battle for defamation themselves or, they could remove the comments from the website.

In our experience, some review sites are more clued up than others when it comes to their legal responsibilities. We have had an interesting time of late with the owners of a site called Car Dealer Watchdog. We would be interested to hear from members who have had dealings with this site.

If you find yourself in the position of needing help with a defamatory review, we can provide Lawgistics members with initial advice. There are scammers out there who claim to have access to each review site’s database and say they can get reviews removed for around £500. They can’t, so please don’t be tempted.

Authors: Nona Bowkis

Published: 17 Feb 2015


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KC1 (18/04/2016)
Car dealer watchdog should be shut down. They are scam artists of the worst kind. We have had customers read the completely false reviews, and have lost business due to all the lies. When challenging this with car dealer watchdog, they first told me I would have to join an 'arbitration programme' for £1500, and only then would they look into it. When I told them what I thought of them, they laughed at me, then put the phone down. I will contact Google to report the defamatory reviews which they refuse to erase. If anyone has any thoughts on how to shut them down, please post.
Aidan (29/03/2016) This particular website is a vehicle of fairly serious high value blackmail and fraud. The reviews posted to this website are largely not genuine, with genuine positive reviews removed and negative words embellished. I would urge all businesses who are victims of this scam to contact google to remove the listing and contact the police so that the perpetrators can be arrested.
Car dealer watchdog (09/10/2015)
I have had bad reviews listed on my site which I know are not legitimate reviews. I had a bad review and Car Dealer watchdog then Commented by adding they would never buy a car from us. How can they review when they have never even dealt with us. The site is not professional and not a true reflection or fair account of reviews. You should have to put in your car details to show which car you bought. This site should be taken down.
Car Dealer Watchdog (06/08/2015)
Terrible time with car dealer watchdog clearly a scam site once a review is posted they dont remove it they produce there own fake reviews and they then contact you to ask for payment so they can remove the review they then ask for a monthly fee to keep reviews from going on.Upon checking we found that they own two sites and cleaninternet when you look at these two sites they are completely unprofessional.Please take note they claim not to remove reviews and are 100% genuine they are the total opposite.

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