Signs of a Fake Credit Repair ReviewCreditRepairBEST Finding the best credit repair company for you isn't easy. Credit repair isn't like other products where you can try out a few and see what works best. Plus, just about every credit repair company offers the same types of services. With credit repair services, once you sign up, it will likely take many months and possible many hundreds of dollars before you know for sure if you have made a good decision.
This is why reviews are so popular. Reviews are a tool for gauging the effectiveness of a company's services by looking at what they have been able to do for other people in the past.
The problem with reviews, however, is that they may not be all they appear to be. Knowing how a well-placed positive review can factor into the decision process, some less than honest companies or marketers have been known to post fake reviews promoting their company or defaming their competitors. While this is an illegal practice, known as astroturfing, that recently resulted in a company being fined $300,000, it still happens and is something you should be on the lookout for.
Provided below are six things to look for in a credit repair review that could be a sign that the review is not what it appears to be.
Use of Industry Lingo
Sample Credit Repair Review: "I talked to multiple CROs and Credit Repair Company A was the only one that utilized the FCRA and FDCPA when removing derogatories. They also operate in strict compliance with the state and Federal CROAs."
Why It's Fishy: Unless a person has fairly extensive experience with credit repair, it is unlikely that they are going to know what CRO, FCRA, FDCPA, and CROA are, and while they can guess what derogatories refers to, it is unlikely that they would ever use it in conversation. Odds are, a person leaving a comment like this is employed by the credit repair company being reviewed or at the very least being compensated for their marketing efforts.
This may also apply to a review that refers to the company itself using an acronym. If everywhere on their website the company refers to itself as Righteous Credit Repair but the reviewer uses RCR, there is a decent chance that the person is involved with the company.
Finally, for those who are interested, the acronyms stand for Credit Repair Organization, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Credit Repair Organizations Act.
Extensive Knowledge of the Credit Repair Process
Sample Credit Repair Review: "I can't tell you how satisfied I am with this company. My credit scores were really low with my Fako being in the 500 range. In only three rounds of disputes where they disputed negative items using a specific inaccurate or incomplete data fields, they were able to raise my mid-FICO score by 90 points. Plus, these guys never dispute inquiries with 'Fraud' claims that will stay with you for years to come."
Why It's Fishy: Each and every person in this country has the right to repair their own credit without the help of a credit repair company. What stops most people form doing so is that they don't have the knowledge of the process or the time and desire to acquire it. So, if it sounds like the reviewer is an expert at credit repair, ask yourself - if they know so much about it, why are they paying someone else to repair their credit when they could do it themselves for free?
Extensive Knowledge of the Credit Repair Company
Sample Credit Repair Review: "These guys are definitely the best credit repair company. They have been doing credit repair for 11 years and were in the lending industry for 10 years before that. One of their lawyers used to work for a credit bureau. They are also FCRA certified and are the recommended credit repair company for 2 large real estate companies."
Why It's Fishy: Actual reviewers tend to talk about themselves and their experiences. Companies tend to do the same. So if a review is primarily focused on the company itself, it's a good sign that the company is the one who wrote it.
Additionally, as with other shady reviews, the sample review demonstrates that the author has much more knowledge of the company than a typical consumer would.
Extensive Knowledge of Competing Companies
Sample Credit Repair Review: "Credit Repair Company A doesn't have super detailed contracts like other companies that are highly biased in their favor. They also don't limit the number of items they dispute each month or have fine print in their refund policy. Credit Repair Company A will always answer the phone and help you instead of forcing you to log into an online Dispute Valet website."
Why It's Fishy: Note that this type of review is different from a typical negative review in which a customer expresses dissatisfaction with the service they received. In this type of review, the reviewer itemizes the perceived negative attributes of one or more other companies making it seem like the company being reviewed is the obvious choice for people looking for a credit repair service. Genuine credit repair reviews rarely provide state of the industry observations (likely because the average person is not well versed enough to be able to provide such an analysis) and instead focus on the one or two companies the person has experience dealing with.
Basically, if a credit repair review sounds like a smear campaign against other companies, it probably is.
Inclusion of URL or Phone Number
Sample Credit Repair Review: "I went to www.creditrepairaaa.com and was super impressed. I signed up and it was the best thing I could have done. I highly suggest that you call them at 800-555-1234 today."
Why It's Fishy: Marketers know the value of a clear call to action. It's not just enough for you to see an advertisement, you need to act on it. That's why websites have big orange Sign Up buttons and put the text "Call Us Today" next to a phone number.
Reviewers, on the other hand, aren't concerned with generating traffic to the company. In fact, many reviewers don't know the website address of the credit repair company they used off the top of their head and certainly don't know the phone number.
If you see a review with a phone number ask yourself this; is it more likely that the reviewer is a satisfied customer who before submitting the review took the time to track down the company's phone number before posting the review or is it more likely that the person already knows the number because they are acting on behalf of the company being reviewed?
Multiple Reviews in a Short Time Period
Why It's Fishy: Many reviews sites will include a date when each review was submitted. If it seems like a company's reviews seem to come in waves where many reviews are added within a matter of a few days and then months go by with no new reviews being added, this should be a warning sign.
There are a couple of reasons why this could happen, one good, one bad. It is possible that the company sent an e-mail to clients or otherwise requested that they visit the reviews site and post a review which would result in multiple reviews showing up all at once. Alternatively, someone within the company may have visited the site and posted numerous reviews in an effort to make the company look good. Using some of the other tips in this post, you should be able to tell which scenario actually took place.
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