[Note: While it’s possible in theory for someone to create a fake account and impersonate someone else online, this appears to be a genuine posting given that it has been left up for two weeks with no reporting or flagging. It would also make no sense for someone to make a fake account to post a positive review in order to attack that person. Furthermore, as shown in this post, Kent Security Services has an average rating of 1.8 out of 5 stars, showing that the company already has a negative reputation online, in addition to the negative news coverage documented here and elsewhere.]
Kent Security Services, based in North Miami, has been busted posting a fake review nakedly. The CEO of the company, Gil Neuman, violated Google’s TOS by giving his own company a review. It is considered a conflict of interest and is dubbed “astroturfing.” In New York and elsewhere, it is also considered false advertising and is punishable if done repeatedly. Of course, given that the CEO of Kent Security used his own name, the violation was done out of ignorance, but regardless reviewing one’s own company is widely regarded as unethical.
Here is the evidence:
Notice the CEO’s review is surrounded by very negative reviews: out of five possible stars, the company averages 1.8 with a total of 30 reviews. The most likely reason for this desperate move by the CEO is concern about negative reviews by former employees. Instead of nakedly posting a fake review, Mr. Neuman would have been better off trying to figure out why there is so much hostility from employees and former employees towards the company, and thus work on preventing such reviews in the first place. Posting a fake review so nakedly only exposes the company to ridicule and makes the situation worse.
Here is Google’s rule against posting reviews for one’s own company (“astroturfing”):
Here are other reviews of Kent Security, including my own which mentions the newsworthy “Wall of Shame” scandal covered by the Miami New Times and Fox 4 of Cape Coral, that has sent shockwaves throughout South Florida:
Notably, the company recently settled a complaint to the Labor Board from a former employee in Naples and has been issued another hearing notice from the same agency based on a complaint that appears to originate from Marco Island.
Again, instead of resorting to posting fake reviews, the company may want to look within on why it’s getting so many complaints from people.