The Challenge:

A client (an aesthetic surgeon) received a negative review from a “person” calling herself “Natalie Guzman.” Guzman accused our client of charging an unreasonable amount of money for a facelift. The negative review was published on our client’s Google business listing. Our client produced evidence “Natalie Guzman” was not her patient.

The Remedy:

We worked with our client to collect evidence that proved “Natalie Guzman” was a malicious entity and not an actual patient. After bringing this evidence to Google’s attention, they removed the review.

The Explanation:

The review contains two falsehoods. The first is the alleged cost of the procedure – $23,000. The second lie is the identity of the author – “Natalie Guzman.”

To prove the alleged cost of the procedure was inaccurate, we examined our client’s billing practices. They provided us with the average costs of their procedures. It did not approach $23,000.

Next, we examined the profile of the review’s author – “Natalie Guzman.” We discovered Guzman left bad reviews on the profiles of other businesses the same day she targeted our client. And all her review content appeared highly suspicious.

When this evidence was brought to Google’s attention, they took our side – they agreed Guzman’s review content appeared suspicious. The suspect review was soon removed from our client’s business listing.

We’ve included a transcription of our conversation with Google below.

Andrew

3:02PM

Hello! You are now connected to Andrew. Please type your message and hit ‘Enter’ to send.

Thanks for chatting in Google My Business. I’m Andrew, your online specialist, here to help you develop or expand your online business presence! Let’s go ahead and get started. What can I help you with today?

Josh Oldfield

3:04PM

We are confident the review posted by the user Natalie Guzman is a fake review. This person has never been a patient at our practice.

Andrew

3:04PM

Got it, Josh. I’ll investigate this right away.

Josh Oldfield

3:05PM

We have no record of her in our EMR system. No patient has ever been charged the described amount for any facial procedure. To be specific, even our most expensive combination of facial procedures falls short of the amount described: A full facelift and a neck lift is typically $16,190 – much lower than the amount described.

We are willing to provide a screenshot of our billing software, if more evidence is required.

Andrew

3:05PM

That won’t be necessary, Josh. Have you flagged this review already?

Josh Oldfield

3:06PM

Additionally, the author’s delivery seems sketchy. And yes – we have flagged the review.

Andrew

3:06PM

OK – I got it, Josh. I’m going to escalate this review for removal. Please stand by.

Josh Oldfield

3:07PM

Thank you for your help.

Andrew

3:07PM

Josh – I am confirming I’ve escalated the review for removal. I expect I will know more in 24 hours. Can I call you tomorrow?

Josh Oldfield

3:08PM

Yes – tomorrow is good.

The Takeaway:

Contacting Google and declaring a review “fake” may result in a positive outcome for your practice – but you must have evidence. In this example, our communications specialist provided evidence proving the alleged cost of the procedure was inaccurate. He also made a case against the authenticity of the author’s identity. If your practice is navigating a fake review, identify the falsehoods and collect evidence that brings them to light. Or contact us and assign us this responsibility.

We’ll take control and bring Google’s attention to the problem – with solid evidence, removal is likely.