High (yes this is a pun) and my name is Dawn. I am one of the business owners of Crafted 7. I am going to say it - I have never been a blogger but this is something that needs be discussed, especially if you ever have dismissed a business because you wondered if a business was worth visiting or using because of those little stars.
Let's talk about Google reviews and how they affect Google Business profiles. Especially, small family run businesses like ours. Prior to Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 10:54pm our 4.9 rating has been reduced to 3.1 - we have been the victim of spam/purchased/negative 1-star reviews.
The GOOD: We have some very honest reviews from actual customers who have used our services. We are not beggars, so if we were blessed with a rating/review it is because someone decided to give us a one.
The BAD: Reviews can be bought - good and bad. I have heard of this but never thought of doing it or that we would be a victim to it. Google maps started "badging" those who left reviews or ratings and calling them "Local Guides" and you may think that all Local Guides reviews can be trusted, but they can be FAKE, spam, a false account. I have been told that Google won't admit that this is a problem because all you need to do is offer an edit, a review (about 200 words) and you become offered an opportunity to be listed as a guide and then build your Local Guide profile by rating business profiles. That being said that means if you are someone who is paid to leave reviews you can create multiple accounts and click around and leave a short review. Now it looks like a verifiable and trusted review. NOPE, don't believe the hype. Really look at those ratings when you are trying to determine if you are considering a business. Check when the posts were made are they all in a short time span? What did the business reviews look like thru out the history of the business profile?
THE UGLY: Did you know you can flag a review but if whomever on Google's end that is reviewing that flag does not feel it violates Google's review policy it will remain. All you are left to do is, respond to it fake or not and watch your hard work be destroyed by a stupid little click of a mouse. You know what is worse, in one day we received 28 (twenty-eight) negative 1-star reviews. And Google removed about 3 total that day. Not only were they rating us, but these local guides suggested edits to our profile to change our name, that we were not at the specified location on the map - wherever the drop pin is placed for 92802 (Anaheim, CA), that our location was closed and so forth.
We had to keep reverifying our business name, that we were open, our business hours, respond that we do not have a physical location but provide a service and service an area (as we are a non-store front business and completely compliant with Google My Business' Terms of Service. We received text messages from Google Maps to verify our business was open. We received phone calls from Google Maps two days in a row between 4:30 and 4:50 am to verify this same information. Mind you, we received these same phone call thru out the day and some of those calls would half ring and even attempting to answer they already hung up by the time we picked up. You try to call it back, it's an automated message that it was Google Maps. We had 3 missed half ring phone calls, this resulted in Google suspending and removing our VERIFIED business profile. When attempting to reinstate we have to wait 2 days for their limited support staff to review our case. Now we have been manually reinstated, but are we up fully yet? NOPE. Can we be found when searching for weed/cannabis/marijuana? NOPE. It can take several days for us to be all the way back up on Google search. Let's add in the fact we have been reinstated- we only show 50 reviews most of them are the fake reviews.
Here is a list of Viewable and Missing/Removed reviews:
The Moron Brothers
Jentzen Motooka (Viewable)
Alejandro Jacobo-Ramos (Missing)
Adrian Tan (Viewable)
Jamber Honea (Viewable)
Lord Swine (Viewable)
Swati Smith (Viewable)
A. Sam (Viewable)
Corinne Nelson (Viewable)
Dehaylah Fitur (Viewable)
NEGATIVE and DEFAMATORY 1-Star Reviews beginning 02/27/2022:
sutton briana (Viewable) / this was the beginning of an attack that we missed a call from Google Maps and our profile had been suspended. It took 9 DAYS to get our Profile back up on Google and send in all documentation proving we were an actual licensed business.
Here are our reviews before the take down: