Ask Nile: When A Company Requests A Negative Review To Be Removed

ask-nile-thumbnailQuestion: What to do when a company contacts me to ask me to remove a negative review?

My answer:

Obviously, any company does not like to see people post reviews about them. Reviews by bloggers can often be far more biting than a review on somewhere like Yelp, Trip Advisor, or another service rating site. The blog articles may be more detailed.

If a company contacts you and makes a request for you to remove a review about their service, it is really up to you. Personally, I would not. I would suggest reviewing their services again, and either doing a follow up article or updating the original. If the services have not improved, just write the follow up including the fact that the company contacted you to request that you remove the review and you decided to conduct another review.

If you believe that the company can force you to remove the review, they cannot. As long as your review is honest and true, you are in the right. If that company tries to pay you to remove the review, I strongly recommend against it. They should be using that money to improve their services, rather than pay people off to remove the review.

Comments

  1. says

    Totally spot on, Nile. A few weeks ago, I reviewed a product, and it wasn’t working. I put in a 12 hour marathon on testing it, but nothing worked. I posted the review and someone alerted the product creator, who I now hold in the highest regard. He never asked me to remove my review, or change it. He said, “I want to make it right.” We worked through all of the problems together for about 5 days, and I willingly updated my review, AND posted a new one. I think it’s important that if we are going to blog, that if a business is willing to take our content and put it to use to make their business better, it’s our responsibility, and our privilege, to be a part of helping them to do so.

    • says

      I am glad you were able to get positive results Dani! A company, any company that cares about their customers would do the same. The follow up review I think will show customers even more how much the company cares about them. It would be nice if more companies were like the one you dealt with and for those that aren’t well then they deserve the bad review.

    • says

      Danielle,
      after I read your comment, I felt great knowing that there is nice people like you who take a great deal of time to truly review products and not just favour it just because :-)

      Taking time to review and test as you did, was appreciated by the owner as well by answering you “I want to make it right” and the work diligently with you to make it right…

      Great feeling and hope we will have more like you and like the owner of the product.. and the world will be better soon.
      _nickc
      nick catricala recently posted..Overcoming Pressure… the how-toMy Profile

  2. says

    I bought a product but it was not up to the mark that company was claiming. I think if a company is using our blog to promote their product then we should also help them in doing so.

  3. says

    I would definitely not, a big NO for me. Negative review for the company it really helps to the customer and this is good also for the company to have a better service from such negative reviews.

  4. says

    Lets face it a review, at the end of the day, is a point of view of the person reviewing the service, a negative review shouldn’t be taken down, it should be left up to show the possible flaws that a business or service may have and then it’s up to them to update their service to sort out the negative points.

    As you say an update article or even an update to the original review is worth doing after they have sorted issues etc out.

    I’ve never taken down a review and never will!
    Karen Woodham recently posted..Twitter Fake Followers, The Ups, The Downs and The Waste Of Space!My Profile

  5. says

    This is a tricky situation because you want to make your readers and reviewers feel appreciated and useful, but a company may have leverage to use against you if you do not remove the negative review. I would say that this is like blackmail and should not be engaged in. We live in a country with free speech; all reviews should stay and be allowed no matter what their content is, unless it incites violence and is vulgar as the law states.

  6. says

    You made an excellent point of telling the company to review their services/product through this point Nile ! As the consumers are the best judges of the services/products of any companies and as they’re paying you the money in lieu of services …i think they should always be given to post their review whether the company like it or not .I think negative reviews should be closely observed by the company ..they can improve their product/services as per the feedback they got.

    Regards,
    Pramod
    Pramod recently posted..7 Best Android Smartphones under 15000 | 275$My Profile

  7. says

    I will say first of all we should analyze that particular reviews are based on genuine things? then if these are based on genuine things there is not need to remove that kinds of review. If these are just in criteria of business jealousy then we should remove them. However your shared points are very important and based on reality.

  8. Anonymous says

    this blogs is very amazing.i think they should always be given to post their review whether the company like it or not .However your shared points are very important and based on reality.

  9. says

    I’m with you Nile,

    If any company ask you to remove any negative review, you should always go for second review and if you find that they’ve been improved.. then you can write good words in 2nd review and inform your audience that in your first review you din’t find them useful but now they’ve been improved.
    Aasma recently posted..Mobile Recharge Software IndiaMy Profile

  10. Anonymous says

    You made an excellent point of telling the company to review their services/product through this point Nile ! As the consumers are the best judges of the services/products of any companies and as they’re paying you the money in lieu of services ,

  11. says

    Seems as as if some companies are trolling the web looking for negative reviews. If you had a bad experience and you write a negative review and the company wants to remove it then I say be a devil and ask for a removal fee. How about that? The reason why I am saying this is that I have heard that some people are using this link or review removal thing to make money. Unethical or what?
    Shalu recently posted..Manuela arrives in ChandigarhMy Profile

    • says

      The thing is that in asking for a removal fee, you end up selling yourself out. The review would still be searchable for months, and if you have visitors that are honestly trying to see if some product or service is trustworthy, you are just as much deceiving them as the company. It is better to give the company one more chance by reviewing them, and then posting a follow up article.

  12. Samual Minor says

    I had a same experience like yours. What I did is I just removed the article review. Before that, I asked the company why they want to remove it or what points they did not like. After looking through my review, I just realized that I kinda tease its product without much basis. I think it’s someone’s, blogger, call when to remove a review.

  13. says

    The same thing happened to me maybe 6 or 7 years ago. I was really young at that time and I got scared so I deleted the review. LOL.

  14. says

    I’ve been in situations where the company has requested removal of a review post because they didn’t like it, and I said no. I advise all the reviewers to include some negative points in the posts even if it’s just to say they didn’t like the packaging. After all, nothing is 100% perfect.
    However in the case of the laptop case that fell apart after one use, I felt the reviewer had to be open about this – computers are costly and if the bags are shoddy then we have to say that. The fast that she couldn’t find a single positive was as equally damning of the product.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..500 mindblowing headlines you can swipe with one clickMy Profile

    • says

      You are absolutely correct… a review can be both positive and negative. I review a lot of WordPress plugins and look at it from all angles. I was lucky that the plugin author saw my detailed review and we worked together for a solution.

  15. Anonymous says

    some companies who know that there services/products is not of the best, they invest in buying reviews. so it’s obvious that many are willing to act immoral just for profits sake.

  16. says

    Thank you for this article, it is deffinitely the best technique if somebody gets skrewed over by a company, is to write a public review about it and I had to do that many times unfortunately. of course, the morality also requires that the customer should complain privately to the company first… but if it doesnt work… then go on and scare them :)

  17. says

    Hey Nile! I cannot believe that anyone would even ask you this! WOW! Takes a lot of nerve I would thing they should tell you how they improved and then ask you to do another one HUH? Just saying.. I agree with you 100% here Thanks for sharing Chery :)
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Celebrate Your Life!My Profile

  18. Samuels Chadwick says

    I am dealing with the same situation here, a company has contacted me to help them out in the removal of negative reviews from some site, I have contacted them and the bitter part is the webmaster of that site is asking money to get it removed. Thats a big shame!

  19. celin smith says

    Agree with your post, if negative review is right, then company have to improve its negative point.

  20. says

    I had this with an Amazon seller. One who had a huge number of 5 star ratings for products and services. They sent me a wrongly labelled product and at first clamed it was not their fault. The bad review got that fixed and the proper product sent at their postal cost. They asked me to re-write the review so I did as you mention. I adde a second saying that after some back and forth they had sorted the issue out. I gave them 1 star first time and 3 stars second. They contacted me and said could I remove the 3 star review as that lowered their average (which was 4+) still further. I ignored them this time.

    • says

      It is good that you stuck to you guns on this. While I understand a company wants a great review, it is not going to happen if they can’t back up their end. On top of that… the review is not theirs… is the reviewer’s thoughts. Who are they to ask it to be removed in the first place?

  21. says

    I think removing a negative review about X compagny is not correct because the reviews are real from preson reflect their opinions about this compagny. So what ever the kind of review nagtive or positiove souldn’t remove it .

  22. says

    yes absolutely you are right why we should remove the review and we only review by the companies quality and good companies will not get scred of reviews because they always provide quality products so there reviews will also be good… thanks for the wonderfull post

  23. says

    This is always a tough situation. I agree with in doing a follow up article or posting an update. I think it’s better to have honest reviews, and if any are negative, it is a chance to show how you have fixed things. Obviously having all positive reviews are ideal, but there will always be a few problems here and there.

  24. says

    A review is the “second view” – of a product, service, what ever. In the same vein you can have a review of the review and so on – that is a review can be updated with the current state of affairs with respect to the product or service.

    It is important to be able to save the history of the reviews, so that one is able to assess how the product or service has fared over a period of time. And that is why a review should not be junked – only reviewed and updated.

    If a company asks for the negative review to be removed, they are in a way acknowledging that they are incapable of improving. A reason enough not to remove the negative review.

    And finally on a lighter note – I invite all to visit our site, give us your business and review our service!
    Sanjeev recently posted..July 4th – American Independence DayMy Profile

  25. says

    Reviews are great to check out things! For sure they should stay up good or not so good. As long as it is well written and appropriate to the product/service we should get to read both sides of the story.. Some people may get great results but in some cases other people who go through the same situation may not have such great results.. I sure use reviews when I am checking something out that I am interested in..
    Holly recently posted..You Can Lengthen Your Health Span Part 9My Profile

  26. says

    Companies should think of poor reviews as constructive criticism. The only way to make things better is to learn, so for them short term bad, long term good surely?

  27. says

    I run a blog on both my professional website and for a hobby. I don’t do reviews on my professional site but I do on my hobby blog. I admit to being brutal when reviewing something I dislike or pointing out what I disliked among what I liked. I’ve never been asked to take down a review but I probably wouldn’t if asked. The exception would be if the offended entity or individual took steps to ameliorate what I disliked. Then I would take down the negative review and post a new one with an explanation of what I disliked, how it was fixed and my new impression. It doesn’t seem fair to accept somebody’s time or whatever fixing a problem but then continue to harm their reputation online with a negative review that no longer reflects my current views or is no longer accurate about the product/service/person. I would hate for somebody to only read the original review without seeing the new review. The only way to prevent that is to eliminate the original review.

  28. rashmi says

    The same thing happened to me maybe 4 years ago. I was really young at that time and I got scared so I deleted the review.

  29. says

    If I got that request from a company, I would not remove the article. However, I would give them the opportunity to respond to my criticism. I would likely post a reasonable response that they had.

  30. says

    I absolutely agree. honestly, I don’t like to write bad reviews but balanced reviews, where I try to explain bad and good aspects of a product. if a company doesn’t like your article, just ask them why, which parts of the article and ask more explanations. In what they say maybe you will find more interesting info for a second article where you will add the good points of the product.
    Jake recently posted..Google Search Engine PlacementMy Profile

  31. says

    I haven’t experienced this yet. When I used to have a review blog, I would tell companies who asked to be reviewed that I only post honest reviews and I cannot guarantee them that it will all be positive, even before we start. That way, we are both on the same page in terms of expectations.
    Cherrie Bautista recently posted..Inspiring Kids to be HealthyMy Profile

    • says

      The customer is not always right in everything. Sometimes they can be wrong because they did not read the directions on using a product, or they did not buy a product, or did not communicate properly about services they needs. Those are merely examples. Yes… sometimes people are paid to review products or services, in being paid to review, the reviewer MUST be honest.

  32. says

    Hi Nile,

    I think reviews, for the most part should stay intact. However, I think they should be dealt with case by case. The fairest approach is giving them a second chance for the first request. A strong healthy company won’t be effected by one bad review, but if they receive many, then the second chance is already over.

    Today’s technology has created a double edged sword situation. Before we had the internet, the only way someone could find out about a company or product was either word of mouth, trusting an ad on television, radio, or print. Or, having tried the product/s themselves. Now we have the luxury of understanding other people’s experiences before purchasing or using services. On one hand, back then, a business could “Get away with it” but on the flip side, today consumers have access to information which helps them make a buying decision. Good reviews or bad reviews can make the difference between success or demise. Regardless, I say make a decision to remove a review based on the particular circumstances of the company and the reviewers.

    Raena Lynn

    Raena Lynn
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  33. says

    Nile,

    You are so right. If someone wrote a negative review about my blog, my services, a video or article I have written, I would certainly not like it and I would love to just make it disappear. But I would not ask the person who wrote it to remove it. Instead, I would seek to respond to the comment to show that I have heard and I plan to improve (unless it was just a negative spam). I would also strive to get more positive reviews to offset the negative one. That contrast can bring more followers than just pure positive comments.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Relationship Healing Question – Ask … What Matters to You?My Profile

  34. says

    The same issue i faced when seopressor contacted me to remove a review from my site, since it is coming on the second place on google and thus giving them a bad dream all the time. People on warrior forums are talking about my review and most of them are appreciating for my bold review. Now i have clear cut idea what to do. Thanks for posting this wonderful article.
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  35. says

    I agree with the sentiment here in most commenters and what you say – that the answer would be no…it also while we are talking about this issue, annoys me that after you have done a good review that was warranted the company or person being reviewed doesn’t come in to reply to comments or let their community know – so they can feel very one way traffic…there has to be a better way ;)
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  36. says

    Nile, that knoledge is great and sharing it will open the eyes of all of us who had not clue as to where the line should not be crossed. If you use a produce and/or serrvice you opinion is just that and you have the right to speak on it.

    To many times companies take advantage for fear and greed methods to make themselves come out on top. Each person has to take a real hard look within to decide what is best for them, to be known as one who stands their ground or one who has a price. Most businesses believe that everyone has a majic number when it comes to getting their way. They have done studies and all of the crazy stuff means nothing when you deal with people of real charactor such as yourself.

    Well done Nile and you have my full attention. Write from you experiences shows more than you can imagine.
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  37. says

    I’m glad to read this post, and all the interesting comments your received, Nile.

    I’ve never done a review article, but after a bunch of “experiences” with different off line vendors lately, I’ve been thinking of adding a category to my blog that reviews products/services I’ve had dealings with.

    I think a reviewer, though, should be perfectly honest in their recounting of the facts. For instance, I’m currently having a very bad experience with Wells Fargo, but not because they’ve done anything “wrong” as much as that they just treat my situation as something no at all important to them. When I write the review, though, I don’t want to misrepresent things. I won’t “pad” the review to make it sound worse than it is. If I did, then I think I would take the responsibility of taking it down or at least re-writing it if they asked me to.

    I also think reviews should be clear that this is just one experience, and it doesn’t mean that everyone in the world should expect the same, whether that’s good or bad.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Lead Magnet Creation | NewslettersMy Profile

  38. says

    I totally agree with you! Don’t remove negative reviews even for money! Be honest with readers of your blog. Honesty and good reputation is something that you can’t buy.

  39. says

    I honestly don’t think readers would trust me if all my blog reviews were positive. That’s not how life is. I do feel guilty if a review has to be negative, so I always try to find some positive points in a product. But you’ve gotta tell the truth. And companies should accept they need to take the rough with the smooth.

  40. says

    There are no doubts that blogger’s words rule the world here on Internet. And this is so common that we all receive requests to remove negative reviews. I personally take a look at their behavior first of all, and then try to contact with them to let me again review their improved services. If things get better, I do a revision of my earlier review to make things better.
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