“I need you to write a bad review. I can’t talk, but I will send you the details right now”
My gut told me I should not have answered that call, even though it was incredibly brief. I was making my little ones lunch and I only picked up because I thought it could be an emergency.
Sure enough a moment later and my mobile chimed letting me know some texts had come through. She wanted me to leave a bad review – for a doctor whom I have never even had a consultation with.
Not even ten minutes had passed before my phone rang again. Unfortunately for me, my daughter answered it.
Submitting your rating…
Post A Fraudulent Review
“Have you posted the review yet? Because I can’t see it!” she asked.
She honestly thought that I was going to entertain this nonsense. But why? What gave her the impression that I was capable of doing something so underhanded and cowardly as posting an anonymous review for a business that I had no experience with?!
My First Negative Review Was A Big Deal
I still remember the last negative review I left for someone – admittedly it was also probably my first. It was towards Aldi and I really let fly over some scam I felt they were running… then I stopped seeing them for a year or more. And my dad stopped shopping there too, because, well, he’s my dad. Anyway, eventually I got over it. But it wasn’t like all the times I get upset and write an article on Mouths of Mums. I actually wrote a real live negative review as myself because I wanted them to address it, I emailed it as well as posted it in Aldi’s reviews section of their social media page and I was fortunate enough to have the support of strangers who read and could relate to what I was complaining about.
What I was being asked to do now was completely different, however, and it made me feel uncomfortable that anyone would even ask me to do something as fraudulent and scheming as this.
“What makes you think that I am able to do what you’re asking me to do?” I questioned.
“Because you’re great at writing” she said.
This took it to a whole new level of nonsense. All my life she had torn me apart for my “lack of writing ability”. She made fun of any piece of work that I would put together. And now she was pretending that she thought I wrote well! How ridiculous!
“You hate my writing, my lack of creativity and have always reminded me of how hopeless I am at it” I responded.
“Yes, but you love writing reviews – so just do this!” came her reply.
Unethical In So Many Ways
She wanted me to write a review about a doctor and publish it across a number of sites. The aim was to inform people of his infidelity – which I might add did not involve her in any way.
This doctor had cheated on his wife, then to add fuel to the moral fire he also had an affair whilst with both his wife and his mistress with someone else entirely. Was this truly anyone’s business though?
Admittedly I personally would prefer not to see anyone who didn’t have sound ethics because I wouldn’t feel confident about the person’s judgment with other aspects of life. But again, it’s really no one’s business if you aren’t personally impacted by someone’s actions.
This man had already been suspended for threatening a person’s life, Medicare fraud as well as drug trafficking.
Why Would I Make It Worse?
Did she honestly think that there was anything more that I could possibly say about him in a review that would make him feel any worse than what he may have already been feeling?!
She knew this man on a personal as well as a professional level for many many years and it made me question what she would do to me, in terms of reviews, if I could be reviewed and if she felt angry enough.
This doctor had already felt the wrath of all three of his lovers online as well as in his offices. Who am I to go and add to that when it really has nothing to do with me- or anyone else really.
Are Any Reviews Real?
It made me wonder how much of what we read, when it comes to reviews, are legitimate. How many of the people who criticise a business genuinely even attended the establishment and how many are either just friends of someone who wants revenge taken in the form of a bad review.
Shouldn’t there be some sort of laws around this? Sure there are things like defamation, and they are trying to pass laws for online bullying but shouldn’t fraudulent claims also fall under the umbrella of perhaps bullying…
I mean it would be fraudulent of me to leave a review for a doctor that I was not the patient of!
Is It Worth It?
Could you live with yourself if you left someone a horrendous review and later found out that the person ended up taking their life? Is whatever you have to say really worth that outcome?
There are other ways of dealing with things and there are so many different avenues of taking up grievances. Ones where you will actually get an outcome if you feel that there is any kind of malpractice.
A bad review might be easier, quicker and you may feel that it will have a greater impact in terms of humiliating the other person. But if your complaint is of substance and has merit, why not just follow the proper process in reaching a resolution.
Many people rely on reviews for guidance, many businesses rely on reviews for livelihood. It doesn’t seem fair to anyone to abuse the system. And added to this, you won’t ever get back the time that you wasted providing unnecessary feedback.
Perhaps a way to determine whether or not your review is worth the time spent writing it is whether you are willing to place your name against it, or if you need to create an alias, or as in this instance, try to pressure someone else to do your dirty work for you.
What would you have done in this mum’s situation? Would you have written the review? Tell us in the comments below.