How to Identify Trustworthy Online Review Sites

Posted by: Anna | 05/06/2014 at 09:12 AM

How to Identify Trustworthy Online Review Sites

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” This well-known saying is especially true in regards to review sites.

While sites like Google+ and TripAdvisor can help you find a nice restaurant or good deals, others have the potential to be more destructive.

Review vs. Complaint Sites

Users on sites like Pissed Consumer, Ripoff Report and Consumer Affairs can attack reputable companies without proper recourse. Competitors have been known to create fraudulent accounts in an attempt to cause as much damage as possible. This can result in a slew of complaint boards littered with misleading reviews.

None of these sites are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and few scored higher than an F on the BBB rating scale. For a hefty fee, some of these sites do give businesses the opportunity to provide a response, and even offer services to help resolve complaints.

On legitimate review sites, it’s easy and free to post owner responses in an attempt to resolve complaints or thank users for positive reviews. This is a key difference between valid review sites and potentially dishonest complaint boards.

Finding a Trustworthy Review Site

Even though there are some rotten apples in the bunch, you do have reputable choices when searching for honest reviews. Not surprisingly, the best resource is the BBB, but others like Consumer Reports, TripAdvisor and Zagat have also proven to provide dependable feedback.

Trustworthy online review sites create a level playing field by using strict filters to screen out fake reviews and deter spammers. They allow business owners and managers to create a free account and respond directly to reviews.

Another helpful tool, provided by Maritz Research, is a study of the most trusted review sites according to consumers. This is a useful guide to help you identify which sites are more likely to be reliable.

The Verdict

Although users now have to filter through a gamut of false information, making an informed choice is easier thanks to online reviews. Make your review search less complicated by going to reputable sites that showcase valid and dependable assessments.

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