A host of small businesses across the state who have had enough of fake, misleading and manipulated online reviews have teamed up with a Perth based company which has created a solution to tackle this emerging issue of online fraud which is destroying their livelihoods.
Alan Chapman co-founded Ethicas in an attempt to arrest this alarming and growing trend and says he’s surprised how quickly this has struck a chord with the local business community.
“The more businesses I speak to every day I’m beginning to understand the magnitude of the issue and we’re probably just reaching the tip of the iceberg,” Mr Chapman said.
“In just a few short months we have managed to sign up close to 50 small to medium sized businesses to join our business directory to help fight off the threat of online fraudsters,” He said.
“Ethicas has been set up in an attempt to put an end to the manipulation of online reviews, give honest businesses recognition and hand back the power to consumers.”
“It also provides businesses with the ability to demonstrate they are honest and ethical and can be trusted to deliver on their promises by rewarding them with a badge to place on their website.”
Matt Hollows from Gremlin Pest Control has joined the growing number of reputable business in the Ethicas stable after falling victim to damaging behaviour caused by online review manipulation.
“Enough is enough and it’s time to fight back.”
“Thankfully as an honest and ethical business owner we now have a platform to declare that we are reputable business that can be trusted.”
Mark Lait from Freedom Photography has also had to deal with his fair share of fake reviews.
“When you’re running a small business your reputation is everything so to be able to prove that with the Ethicas Badge is a huge step forward.”
Alan Chapman co-founder of Ethicas says they are providing solutions for businesses in this area:
- Ethicas Badge: Showing the badge is stating loud and clear that you’re honest, you’re ethical and you can prove it.
- World’s First Review Verification Service: As part of being an Ethicas certified business your submitted reviews and testimonials will be verified as being honest and true.
- Ethical Business Directory: This is the only online business directory that potential customers can trust.
- Long Term Value: When the time comes to sell your business, you can also sell your Ethicas Certification as an asset of your business.
Over the past 12 months three businesses in Australia (two based in Western Australia) have been prosecuted and heavily fined for offences relating to the manipulation of online reviews but Mr Chapman fears it is only just the beginning.
“Review manipulation is one of the biggest digital crimes being committed across the world right now, but the fact is that nobody completely understands there can be a solution.”
“The problem is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) can’t cope with the surge in bad business practices online and it can take years before businesses are held to account.”
“We want Ethicas to become the tick of approval for consumers so they know when they buy from a website with the Ethicas badge the business will operate in an ethical manner."
“Consumers need the ability to make informed choices when making purchasing decisions and a simple process to report a business who acts dishonestly.”
“Conversely, honest businesses also need the ability to declare they are running can be trusted which is why online directory is going to prove to be so valuable in the future.”
For more information on the services Ethicas provides head to: www.ethicas.global
About Alan Chapman
Alan is a business owner and entrepreneur who has run several successful businesses over the past 20 years and has a background in advertising, IT and online marketing. He currently helps SME’s avoid the pitfalls and scams in the online marketing world.