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UK Issues Stern Warning Of Tough Penalties For Those Writing And Hosting Fake Reviews

The United Kingdom is starting its crackdown on fake online reviews and that’s why it’s making sure people are well aware of the consequences surrounding just that.

The recent announcement came with the addition of heavier fines that could entail nearly 10% of the turnover.

For this reason, it’s making sure that all reviews that are provided by the hosting sites pass through a stringent checklist that ensures their genuineness. This includes inhibiting firms from actually providing funds to get those paid reviews written.

The country’s Competition & Markets Authority will be provided with additional powers that ensure all laws are abided by through direct implementation of financial penalties while giving compensation where due. This being called out as a more positive approach to tackling the issue than simply forcing people to resort to the courts.

The UK says the warning also entails all traps relating to subscriptions, where firms make it hard to exit from a particular deal that was initiated at the start in a deceiving manner.

Therefore, consumers must be given clear information about all details upfront when they’re signing any contract. And if they feel the need to terminate a contract for valid reasons, they must be given the opportunity to do so in an organized, timely, and super affordable way.

Firms must be responsible for sending out reminders regarding free trials or start-up offers to come to a close. Let’s not forget how businesses will now be required to send out reminders about contract renewal when the time comes as this can’t continue to occur on an automated basis.

Clearly, consumers are deserving of better treatment and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the majority of organizations out there that try to do the right thing must be rewarded with greater protection from traders that take them for granted.

The UK’s abrupt and stern decision comes at a time when the CMA chose to launch an investigation last year pertaining to both Amazon and Google.

There were all sorts of shoutouts in the media about how misleading entitles were failing at playing integral roles in detecting fake reviews or even identifying suspicious behavior patterns. Similarly, they were failing to act at the right time.

A recent investigation by Which? Which is a consumer group spoke about how misleading reviews were still very much present in the UK and it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see how many groups on Facebook have thousands of members who promote fake reviews.

Some even go as far as offering a complete refund if you provide them with a 5-star review.

The director for Which recently mentioned how happy and proud he was to see strict action being taken at a time when it was most needed. This includes hitting firms directly with fines for constantly going above the law.

While the entire thing is actually a tricky affair to tackle, one thing is for sure. These rip-off tactics are creating a major negative impact and the quicker they’re stopped, the better.

The UK will include the new practices in the Consumer & Competition Bill which will reportedly be unveiled next month by the Queen.


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