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Surviving Trolls: How To Respond To Bad Online Reviews

Internet trolls are real. They can even be people who have never experienced or purchased a product/service who decide for their own gain (such as to create a reputation as a reviewer for business purposes or mere mischievousness) to leave a “fake” review on your website, Facebook, Instagram, Google Business or other social media account.

We have had the delightful experience of receiving a bad Google review from someone who has never ordered our product. If this happens to you be transparent as you respond to the review, state that you need more information, such as who the purchaser is, and then if they do not respond you can apply to Google to have the review removed as misleading information.

Here is our template response:


Hi XXX ,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. It saddens me that you have had a negative experience with us and I would like to find out what happened so I can ensure that it doesn’t EVER happen again.

We don’t have a record of a booking made by you (under the name XXX) in the last 12 months. Would you be able to give more detailed feedback on the event date, event organiser and what happened? Feel free to respond on here or email XXXX

– Amy (Business Owner)


Yes, you have to wait for a response. Good news though, if they don’t respond within a reasonable timeframe (we gave ours one month), you can then flag it with Google as inappropriate content. It is considered to be a “fake” review and therefore against their posting policy. They should then take the post down.

Good luck defending your castle! 

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