Did you receive an email like this?

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Subject:
To the Marketing Director at _,    I  came across a negative review online about your company, and I was hoping to speak with you directly about this. If you’d like to see it for yourself, here is a link to your Google Places page -> http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=286036024285766715     I’ve also included a link to a video, which quickly explains how my Inc. 500 Company can help you with this right away -> see how it works! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ_kLd1YwjU    Why positive reviews matter:  *       90% of people trust the reviews they read online  *       80% of people will reverse a purchase after reading a negative review  *       78% of people research a product/service online before purchasing it    According to a Harvard study, a rating boost of 3 stars will increase sales by 20%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/yelp-review-revenue_n_992096.html     Feel free to contact me directly with your questions. Looking forward to working together!    Kind Regards,     Dennis Kirwan  Director, National Reviews  Direct Line: (818) 676-9555

Message body:
To the Marketing Director at __________,

 I  came across a negative review online about your company, and I was hoping to speak with you directly about this. If you’d like to see it for yourself, here is a link to your Google Places page -> http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=286036024285766715

 I’ve also included a link to a video, which quickly explains how my Inc. 500 Company can help you with this right away -> see how it works! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ_kLd1YwjU

 Why positive reviews matter:
 *       90% of people trust the reviews they read online
 *       80% of people will reverse a purchase after reading a negative review
 *       78% of people research a product/service online before purchasing it

 According to a Harvard study, a rating boost of 3 stars will increase sales by 20%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/yelp-review-revenue_n_992096.html

 Feel free to contact me directly with your questions. Looking forward to working together!

 Kind Regards,

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I checked out the “negative post” for my client, it was made by this user: Shadow http://maps.google.com/maps/user?uid=216556694641240257143&hl=en-US&gl=US&ved=0CE0QhQo&ei=e3mtT4uuEYS8owS67-XuAw&ptab=1

First of all there are dozens of 1 star ratings, all on the same subject and in the same area. Could this be done purposely? Could a company, say NationalReviewsus.com spend a day posting negative ratings as “Shadow” in a specific industry/area, then email or contact the victims with promises on how they can magically remove or change the rating? It would be so easy if it was their own rating.

Lesson here is to not read into the customer reviews too much, they are subject to flaws and manipulation. Also be wary about who cold calls or emails you with promises.