Google refusing to remove a review despite police report


Chaddow

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Hello Everyone

I was wondering if anyone has some advice for me on the next steps I could follow here

The story so far :-

Got an email from a location in the Netherlands which is part of a bigger group which I help manage. They wanted my help in removing everyone favorite thing a no text one star review, left in May.


Before they contacted me they had gone back in there records and found when the person had stayed at the hotel in Aug 2017 , during his stay he had stolen a tv from the room, as a result a police report was filed they sent me this as well

With all this information I started trying to resolve the problem

First I flagged the offending review following the advice found in this artical [Quiz] The Local SEO Black Belt Quiz - Sterling Sky Inc from the folks at Sterlingsky

Then I filled out the relevant google form here

https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_inappropriate_reviews?hl=en&cfnti=6178800&cft=3

After the initial conversation over phone email I shared the police report with the google rep which has the name of the person who left the above review within it

I highlighted in the email that I felt the review violated the "Conflict of Interest" part of the Maps users prohibited content documentation

Prohibited and Restricted Content - Maps User Contributed Content Policy Help

Now two weeks later google has come back to me saying that they have looked at the case and are not going to remove the review due to the fact that they feel it does not fall foul of there policy :eek:

I have the case number that google has used for this within my email account. Is there anywhere I can escalate this further , or thoughts from the TC and the community here

Thanks

C
 

djbaxter

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Got an email from a location in the Netherlands which is part of a bigger group which I help manage. They wanted my help in removing everyone favorite thing a no text one star review, left in May.

View attachment 3941

Before they contacted me they had gone back in there records and found when the person had stayed at the hotel in Aug 2017 , during his stay he had stolen a tv from the room, as a result a police report was filed they sent me this as well
I'm curious: That seems to be an unsigned review. How do they know that the person who wrote it was the same person who stole the TV?
 

Chaddow

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Hello djbaxter

Sorry that was a really bad screen shot , I was to busy trying to tell the story :)


As I said this mans name is in the police report
 

djbaxter

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Thanks for the clarification. I'm trying to understand why Google would respond as they did.

A police report is basically an accusation which has not yet been tested in court. Your client filed a complaint but was there an outcome? Were any charges laid?
 

Chaddow

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I know he was arrested as a result of the indent, I have contact the hotel to check if the brought charges and will see what they say

If there were charges do you think I could take it back up with google?
 

djbaxter

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Well you could but even if there were charges that is not a conviction. If you look at it from Google's perspective, you are telling them that his review is malicious in retaliation for being charged with theft. He in turn could claim that the charges are malicious in retaliation for giving a poor review. How does Google decide which is correct?

You would probably be further ahead to reply to the review, or more specifically to have the client who received the review reply:

How do I reply to a review on Google?
Read and reply to reviews:

  • Sign in to Google My Business.
  • If you have multiple locations, open the one you'd like to manage.
  • Click Reviews from the menu. (Note that your business needs to be verified in order to respond to reviews.)
  • Click Respond to respond to a customer review.
  • Write a response and click Submit.
Read and reply to reviews - Google My Business Help - Google Support
Read and reply to reviews - Google My Business Help
Personally, I would like to see all reviews require a written review, not just 1 to 5 stars, but even that wouldn't necessarily protect anyone from false or malicious reviews.
 

Linda Buquet

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If you look at it from Google's perspective, you are telling them that his review is malicious in retaliation for being charged with theft. He in turn could claim that the charges are malicious in retaliation for giving a poor review. How does Google decide which is correct?
Totally right David! That's about what I was going to say. I know owners can be really sensitive about reviews, but look at it this way. ..

GMB and reviews are a free product. If Google investigated every review conflict which often is just a he said she said thing, or looked at evidence like police report or lawsuit or eviction notice or whatever...

They would playing judge and jury.
They would need lawyers just to deal with the law suits.
They would need a team of 1000 to keep up all the review complaints world wide..

The only reviews they will remove are ones that violate their TOS, such as swearing or racial remarks or whatever. Written words that look bad to Google basically AND that their attys have said are grounds for removal.

In this case there are no words to dispute and truthfully, having one 1 star review is not a terrible thing. I'm sure they think it is, but maybe you can help them see it in perspective. Just flat out tell them there is no way, because I really don't think there is. Then tell them you are trying to save them some $$ by not paying you to put more time into this issue.
 
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Hello Everyone

I was wondering if anyone has some advice for me on the next steps I could follow here

The story so far :-

Got an email from a location in the Netherlands which is part of a bigger group which I help manage. They wanted my help in removing everyone favorite thing a no text one star review, left in May.

View attachment 3941
Before they contacted me they had gone back in there records and found when the person had stayed at the hotel in Aug 2017 , during his stay he had stolen a tv from the room, as a result a police report was filed they sent me this as well

With all this information I started trying to resolve the problem

First I flagged the offending review following the advice found in this artical [Quiz] The Local SEO Black Belt Quiz - Sterling Sky Inc from the folks at Sterlingsky

Then I filled out the relevant google form here

https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_inappropriate_reviews?hl=en&cfnti=6178800&cft=3

After the initial conversation over phone email I shared the police report with the google rep which has the name of the person who left the above review within it

I highlighted in the email that I felt the review violated the "Conflict of Interest" part of the Maps users prohibited content documentation

Prohibited and Restricted Content - Maps User Contributed Content Policy Help

Now two weeks later google has come back to me saying that they have looked at the case and are not going to remove the review due to the fact that they feel it does not fall foul of there policy :eek:

I have the case number that google has used for this within my email account. Is there anywhere I can escalate this further , or thoughts from the TC and the community here

Thanks

C
I feel that at this point, it's better to focus efforts on helping their customers leave more reviews for them. This way, you'll start getting more positive reviews in, and that will drive the negative review down or reduce it's impact significantly. Also, I think that Google filed a patent some time ago that may have indicated that after 6 months old, reviews lose their weight.
 

Tim Colling

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I feel that at this point, it's better to focus efforts on helping their customers leave more reviews for them. This way, you'll start getting more positive reviews in, and that will drive the negative review down or reduce it's impact significantly.
I absolutely agree!

Also, I think that Google filed a patent some time ago that may have indicated that after 6 months old, reviews lose their weight.
Dunno about that one, though. I doubt that unless you have further evidence.
 

Tim Colling

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