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There's not much to be said other than this is probably not a good idea.


BUY A REVIEW  "Click it for a really bad idea."


If there was a "super dumb" category available for 2012, they would currently be in first place. I think that ALL review aggregators/platforms can agree on this one!



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This article was not posted in an effort to sell you something. 

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Tags: super dumb

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Comment by Tom Gorham on February 22, 2012 at 8:58pm

I've never researched any of these groups but everything I read just continues to validate my viewpoint that dealers should stick to giving great customer service and ask their customers to give a review.  BTW, I don't stick strictly to review sites, I include Facebook.  You won't get stars there, but you'll get great word-of-mouth.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on February 22, 2012 at 11:12am

Great topic and post, btw, Scott!  Thanks!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on February 22, 2012 at 11:11am

Nasty business, these "black hat" reviews (purchased, in this case).  The FTC has weighed in on "reviews for hire" before with fine$.

So, I did this "data aggregation" experiment the other day to see if I could rebuild someone's actual name, address, etc. from just an email they rarely used.  I got so far that I darn near achieved DNA (it was a forum stalker, so I was motivated). Turns out a review site (unnamed, but not Google) was one of of several key data points in that success.

Sooooo, I turned that experience back to that business review site I stumbled on, just to see if I could track down how a business I happened to notice there (not a dealership) was getting perfect reviews all the time from DIFFERENT emails.  So I backtracked a couple of them as I could.

It's possible to see a pattern, even with "multiple" emails.

Comment by Scott Falcone on February 22, 2012 at 8:54am

Ryan,

Agreed that there should be "some sort of system for Google" (on a personal level)...would be nice, but the reality is it's their game, not ours and we, as customers, consumers, retailers, whatever can choose to use or not. Same goes for Yelp, etc. I fully believe there will NEVER be a perfect review platform as there will be critics on all sides. 

but doesn't this scenario demonstrate Google's unwillingness/inability at this point to preserve the integrity of their review platform?

Quite possibly it does...

You make the statement (sort of) that if we take IPitCrew at their face value, and their intentions were good, and they are not a buy a review type service, but just being good guys who really did have an opinion about their dealers, and wanted to share it, and had this idea on Jan 24 and just got them all out of the way, you still feel like it is a problem and I would ask that other than appearance, what harm was occurring? And I mean appearance to veterans like you and to me and others in the forum. I doubt the average user sees it the same way. Some will, for sure, but I don't know the real number. Maybe Google thinks like this too. I really don't know the answer and I am not really disagreeing with you, and I think it was not a prudent idea for IPit Crew to do this, just playing devil's advo not taking a stand, but it does showcase the quandary of systems that require judges and juries. Google would have to play that and to satisfy you and me they would have to not allow what IPitCrew did, but to satisfy the 10 dealers who know IPit Crew did not lie, they would have to leave them up. Our "system" of laws has existed for hundreds of years being refined all of the time using judges and juries and we see how well that works. I guess I am saying that I am not personally smart enough to orchestrate this environment of perfection and it will be interesting to see who is. My money is on no one and so we are left with the models we see and have to decide for ourselves, as users. 

On the subject of True Car"ing", I like where the industry is headed with regards to calling out vendors who need it. It should be done professionally and offer the option for a vendor to share their side and then the chips fall where they may. We are in a new era of transparency that vendors, whether they like it or not, have to get used to if they want dealer funds.

Thanks for your contributions Ryan...always enjoy hearing them (even if they are on the

"dark side" of the force sometimes...we do agree today :))

Well done IPitCrew on your statement of intent.

Comment by Ryan Leslie on February 22, 2012 at 7:53am

I really didn't intend to TrueCar anybody, but I think the proper term by the way, is "Thibeau-ing." ;)

I do know that one of the dealers reviewed is actively gaming their Google reviews and there are so many "buy-a-review" derivatives out there I incorrectly assumed that iPitCrew was just another cog in that system, my apologies. Reviews should be submitted for a business by their customers though, not submitted by you for your customers. Of course you guys like them, they hired you ;)

iPitCrew, I too appreciate how quickly you acted to remove the content. I'll take you at your word that it was nothing more than a "Thank You," but doesn't this scenario demonstrate Google's unwillingness/inability at this point to preserve the integrity of their review platform? 10 similar business from 6 states reviewed in the span of a couple hours from a single IP? How did that pass a filter? I think you are going to see major changes coming down the pipe that affect the way some stores are collecting reviews as Google simply can't stay credible in this arena with no effort to monitor content.

On the "TrueCar-ing" issue, that ONLY happens when a vendor refuses to change or worse, tries to defend a bad policy or procedure. This is a link to another forum where that exact thing is documented and kudos again to iPitCrew for their swift action.

Comment by Tom Gorham on February 22, 2012 at 5:01am

Thomas, you're funny. But I believe you're right!

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on February 22, 2012 at 4:16am

Is this the first example of social media changing a  proper nown to a verb...Ryan, did you just "TrueCar" someone?

By the way, actions taken by iPitCrew are admirable.

Comment by The iPitCrew Page on February 21, 2012 at 2:04pm

Ryan in addition to our response below to your original post. We also deleted our positive comments on Google regarding our clients. Although we definitely feel they deserve recognition for their efforts to improve the consumer purchase experience, I am sure we can come up with a more acceptable form of recognition to show our admiration and respect. Once again thank you for voicing your concerns...   


Comment by The iPitCrew Page on February 21, 2012 at 1:30pm

Ryan

Thanks so much for your comments! We respect your opinion and absolutely agree with your position. To be honest we never really thought much about the perception that might be created from posting multiple reviews in a single day. Now that you have brought this to our attention, we are going to review our policy and adjust to industry best practices.  Just to be clear we had no " ill intent" in mind iPitCrew is not a rating and review posting service. We are a full service Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency, and each of the comments posted were in regard to Dealers, who actually do business with us, and that we feel are on the right track in regard to providing exceptional world-class consumer experiences. We thought it appropriate to give them a nod of approval.

Again, I hope you and the community will accept our sincerest most humble apologies for not considering the perception of the action in its entirety. Thanks again for your input on this matter, it was a welcome lesson. There is always room for learning and improvement!

David Pritchard

Comment by Ryan Leslie on February 21, 2012 at 11:35am

Found another one today that has to be among the most egregious of offenders. Google, C'mon? This is making you look bad too!

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=6242346127317166743&hl=en...

iPitCrew's place page- where Username "IpitCrew" has written a review for...you guessed it, iPitCrew... If you click on iPitCrew's name you'll see that they also wrote a review for 10 dealers from 6 STATES all in a 24 hour period. Nothing says "trust me" like fake reviews...

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