Why Google Reviews May Give a False Impression about Collection Agencies

Online reviews

It’s standard for people and businesses to research companies they’re considering by checking Google reviews. According to Inc.com, a full 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from their own friends. That’s great for hair salons, restaurants, and the orthodontist, but the debt collection industry doesn’t benefit in the same way — and it’s not really the fault of the collectors. Here’s why Google reviews often give a false impression about collection agencies.

The Nature of Online Reviews

Whether you’re leaving a review about an exchange with a collection agency on Google, Yelp, Facebook or any other third-party platform, that agency must adhere to industry regulations. These regulations mandate that debt collectors cannot be deceptive in their communication with consumers and must provide appropriate disclosures. A collection agency is unable to reveal the existence of a debt to any third party. That means responding to any kind of Google review — positive or negative — presents a compliance liability.

What’s more, many of the reviews left for a collection agency are from consumers who aren’t pleased about being turned over to collections in the first place. While there are many reasons that might impact a patient or customer’s ability to pay, it’s the job of the collection agency to recover that debt on behalf of its client. When you work with an experienced firm like Business and Professional Collection Services here in Reno, you can expect the utmost in professionalism and compliance in every engagement between our collectors and your customers or patients. Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t leave an unhappy review about their experience with us!

Review Statistics

A 2018 ReviewTrackers survey found that people are 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one, and a full 53% of people surveyed expect companies to respond to bad reviews within a week. While we would like to respond directly to all online reviews we’ve received, regulations restrict us from being able to do so. Essentially, that means anyone is free to leave an insulting, misleading, or downright deceptive review online about a debt collection agency, and the only potential resource is having it flagged on the platform itself. To stay compliant, the collection agency cannot respond publicly.

It’s worth remembering as you research collection agencies to collect on money owed to your business. And if you happen to be a consumer or client who had a positive experience with a collection agency, take a minute to leave a positive review — they can’t respond, but they’ll enjoy the feedback all the same!

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