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Fake Reviews Or Genuine?, ACCC Takes Action Against Online Website

The ACCC has announced it’ll be taking Perth-based home improvement company to court over websites it created for the purposes of generating positive sentiment towards their brand.

The regulator alleges that Aveling created review websites that represented they were independent of Aveling, and that the appearance, layout and features gave consumers the overall impression that they were affiliated with an independent third party consumer review website, Product Review, when this was not the case.

The ACCC claims the websites were deliberately used to ensure a favourable overall impression of the company, by obscuring or removing unfavourable reviews.

“We believe the potential for harm from the conduct alleged in this case is significant, as buying or building a home is one of the biggest purchasing decisions for Australians,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“Online reviews are increasingly being relied on by consumers and they should be able to trust that those reviews are independent, unbiased and accurately reflect the range of consumer feedback received.”

Many of the reviews on the Aveling Homes Product Review website are frequently-incomplete and almost-universally positive.

You can see more examples here.

The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions, corrective notices, a compliance program, findings of fact and costs.

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