Email List Google Plus
 

Football FridayTracking EbolaCrime StoppersTONIGHT AT 7: Election Predictions Town HallTrick-or-Treat SchedulePhoto GalleriesKnow Your Candidates

Forecast

Halloween: Rain Develops, Cold, Windy & Nasty!High: 46     Winds: NW 10-20 mphTonight: Rain Could Change Over to Snow Overnight. Ground is still too warm for accumulation to stick around.Low: 30      Winds: N 15-20 G35Saturday: ...
More...
Washington Times
Advertise with us!

Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Family 411: Can You Trust Online Reviews?

DAYTON -- When you go out to a restaurant or hire someone to help at your house, do you get online and read reviews?  Eighty percent of Americans say they trust those online posts, but should you?

The Steinhaus Restaurant was a lifelong dream for Karen Koeppe and her husband. 

"We really went all out and put our life into what we consider the best we can offer our guests," Karen Koeppe said.

One of those guests, Vicki Winterling, said this about her dinner: "We had a wonderful experience." Winterling and her sister visited for the authentic German food, despite some negative reviews on Yelp.  She logs on to the site a lot to check restaurant reviews, but says, "Nine times out of 10 I will go to what interests me and try it for myself."

But not everyone's like Vicki. A Harvard Business study of Yelp shows restaurants which increased their rankings on the review site by just one star raised their revenues by up to 9 percent.

But if they don't have the stars, Brandon Mullins of Socially Buzzing says, that can cost them $12,000, $20,000, $30,000 a year in revenue.   Mullins helps companies manage their online marketing.  He says when Yelp started trying to get Steinhaus to buy advertising, 27 of their four- and five-star reviews got filtered.

Yelp only displays 4 of 37 online reviews for the Steinhaus - you have go through an added step to open filtered reviews.

Yelp says on its site, "We only recommend about three-quarters of the reviews we get," and, "We try not to highlight reviews written by users we don't know much about." 

Sheila Gray reached out to Yelp.  The PR department wouldn't allow us to record an interview, but sent this statement: "There has never been any amount of money a business owner can pay Yelp to manipulate their reviews."

Got work at your home?  Maybe you've searched Angie's List for a tree trimmer or roof repair company, but a recent review by Consumer Reports says the site lets businesses "buy their way to the top of search results." 

That tree trimmer with a B-minus rating or above can get ahead of the competition, and get increased exposure, by buying advertising.

Angie's List founder Angie Hicks says advertising is reserved just for highly-rated companies. She says they're required to offer discounts with the ads because that's what members want. The consumer is in the driver's seat. They're in control of what reviews the companies receive, they're in control of which companies are eligible to advertise, they're even in control of how they want to see the list presented, says Hicks.

Here's another reason to question what you read online. This fall the New York Attorney General settled with 19 companies creating fake reviews for companies willing to pay for positive posts. Those posts ended up on several online review sites.
 
Marketing expert Dr. Serdar Durmusoglu says there will always be companies that are going to do that. So what's a consumer to do?  Dr. Durmusoglu says look for the sites that show every review.  Ask how many of them are 5, 4, 3, 2, 1?

And look at how businesses are handling the feedback. The good companies are the ones responding to customer reviews, Dr. Durmusoglu said. 
 
After her first year business, Karen Koeppe hopes restaurant patrons learn as much as she has about online reviews. "I want to open consumers' eyes," she says.

By the way, every online review site makes money from advertising.  Angie Hicks says her site does not filter reviews, and it undergoes an independent audit every year.

Even she says looking at online reviews is only one part of making good decisions about how and with whom to spend your money.

We checked with the Federal Trade Commission for complaints about several online review sites. You can see those here: http://www.abc22now.com/shared/news/features/files/FTC_FOIA_20131202_174241.pdf

 
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Tracking Ebola

    Tracking Ebola



  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Miami Valley Crime Stoppers

    Miami Valley Crime Stoppers

    If you have information about a crime that has occurred, call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867 (STOP) 800-637-5735, 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Know Your Candidates

    Know Your Candidates

    Learn about the candidates running for office near you!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Border Crisis

    Border Crisis

    Get the latest developments on the border control issue!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Chefs Corner

    Chefs Corner

    We often invite local chefs into our studio kitchen to demonstrate their cooking techniques and recipes.  Watch those video segments on this page.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Pay It Forward

    Pay It Forward

    River Valley Credit Union, FOX45, and ABC22 recognize the good deeds of people and organizations who make the Miami Valley a better place.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform

    The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.

  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Secrets Of A Thief

    Secrets Of A Thief

    We expose the "Secrets Of A Thief". Sponsored by Shiver Security.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Cool Schools

    Cool Schools

    Our children are the way of the future and it all starts with our schools. Join us as our Hilary Zalla goes inside schools around the Miami Valley to find out what cool things students and teachers are ...
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Town Hall

    Town Hall

    Join in as our expert panel discusses jobs in Ohio
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - No Text Zone

    No Text Zone

    Texting While Driving Kills Thousands of People Each Year. Many More are Seriously Injured. You Can Help Make Our Roads a NO TEXT ZONE.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Washington Times

    Washington Times

    Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - On Time Traffic

    On Time Traffic

    Get the latest traffic information and updates here!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - School Closings

    School Closings

    Get the list of all closings and delays for schools and businesses within the area, and sign up for text alerts!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Save Local TV

    Save Local TV

    Find out how you can save local TV right here!

  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Raw News

    Raw News

    Watch raw, unedited and uncensored news stories right here!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Pump Patrol

    Pump Patrol

    Find the lowest gas prices, check out local and national price trends, report low prices and get fuel saving tips!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Political Pulse

    Political Pulse

    Armstrong Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America's public debates.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - News Links

    News Links

    These links were chosen by the newsroom for their newsworthy content. These sites enhance the news stories that aired on the newscast on the dates cited.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Menard's Around the House

    Menard's Around the House

    Menards Around the House how-to videos give you tips for those much needed home improvements!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - On the Move

    On the Move

    Get the latest news and more on your mobile phone!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Good Morning

    Good Morning

    It's Fun, it's fresh, the way mornings should be!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Top Stories

    Top Stories

    Get up to the minute information from across Ohio in our Top Stories section!
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Your Voice. Your Future.

    Your Voice. Your Future.

    As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: News - Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.

more »

Business News

US consumer sentiment index reaches 7-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY-"INTERSTELLAR"

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's expected to be one of the top movies of the year.

Get This

JETS-REX-BUMGARNER

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Michael Vick?

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: APPLE'S CEO COMES OUT AS GAY

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple's Tim Cook says it wasn't an easy choice to come out as gay.

Tonight on ABC 22

6:00 pm ..... ABC 22 News at Six
6:30 pm ..... ABC World News
7:00 pm ..... Family Feud
7:30 pm ..... Family Feud
8:00 pm ..... Last Man Standing
8:30 pm ..... Cristela
9:00 pm ..... Shark Tank
10:00 pm ... 20/20
11:00 pm ... ABC 22 News at Eleven
11:15 pm ... Football Friday
11:30 pm ... Jimmy Kimmel Live
12:30 am ... Nightline
Complete Schedule»