December 3, 2009

Local Businesses Conspiracy and Controversy

[originally posted April 23rd 2009 on]

Well, I thought Mollie was paranoid when she said that her competitors wrote fake reviews online about her, but now that I'm managing online promotions for the company I can see some sketchy things are definitely going on.

Someone kept editing the description of our tours on a particular review site page and I did a quick Google search of the name to see if it was a competitor. The name was that of a minor historic figure from New England during pre-revolutionary times with some numbers added onto it. One of the pages that came up was for a tour company in Boston where the guides assume the roles of historic figures. Was I on to something?

When I found the name it was right next to a picture of the new guy in town. This guy used to work in Boston but now he's in Salem and I see him almost every day trolling the streets like a pimp trying to rope in tourists. It was true! Not only was this guy going out of his way to mess with Mollie's page, but I even found places where he wrote reviews for his own tours using the same screen name, AND one of those reviews was copied and pasted word for word and posted on another review site under a different name claiming to be a woman from Pennsylvania! It's all clear as day.

I took screencaps just in case he deletes anything. I don't know what to do with this information... This IS the type of gossipy, catty, BS, the local media *loves* to cover this time of year...

So far I can only prove that he edited our page and wrote fake positive reviews for himself. I still have no proof that he ever wrote - or had anyone else write - any fake reviews about us...

But either way, damning evidence! The guy must not know anything about computers to think he can get away with this kind of thing.

The best part is that the review goes on and on about how awesome the tour guide is. He is refering to himself. To imagine his ego is this big that he describes himself in such a way - just hysterical. Delusions of grandeur.

Here's a comparison of the two reviews from two different review sites with the two different names ...screencaps with all the names and stuff blacked out. One is cut and pasted and circled in red. You can see the other stuff i added is in red as well.

I mean, here is a grown man out there playing petty games on the internet and, when talking about himself says such things as.... well... just see for yourself. (You have to click the picture to see the whole thing. Don't worry, it's just Photobucket)

Fake review comparison CENSORED

[EDIT: A few people were asking so I guess I should clarify that I decided not to actively try to make this info public. I never ended up sending anything to the City Counsel or any news papers, but I figure putting it on my blog and mocking the guy would be fun. I have decided to keep everything secret and word stuff in a way that people can't really tell who he is though - just to be nice. :) ]

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