Crackdown on fake website reviews

Up to a third of user reviews on consumer websites are said to be fake. However, a landmark fraud ruling in the European courts has signalled a fight back to regulate the honesty of reviews.

Partner Hannah Jones said, “Rooting out fake reviews is important because they can undermine trust in the rapidly expanding online market for good and services”.

Whilst deliberately misleading consumers through unfair or misleading marketing can, and has, led to fines and the closure of websites and rogue companies, a court in Italy has, for the first time, jailed someone for fraud in connection with paid-for user reviews.  

The owner of a marketing company, Promo Salento, had been selling fake reviews on the Trip Advisor website to hundreds of hospitality businesses across Italy in order to raise their profile on the website. £100 for ten positive reviews and £240 for thirty positive reviews! The reviewer had contacted thousands of suppliers in Italy; some of whom took him up on his offer and some of whom contacted Trip Advisor to let them know about the scam. The reviewer was fined €8,000 and sentenced to nine months in jail.

If you would like assistance in relation to a criminal matter, call Hannah on 02392 820 747 for further information.

Change in Law for Rental Property

A new Act will come into force on 20th March 2019 which states that any property let by a landlord as a home must be fit for living in. This includes private renting, social housing and houses of multiple occupancy (HMO).

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New service for identifying charitable bequests

Senior Probate Executive, Alanna White, comments on a new system alerting charities to when they have been left money in wills is to be established by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) following a decision to end its current arrangement.

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Do you need to insure your car if you don’t drive it?

Partner, Hannah Jones, considers the implications of a recent ruling from the European court of Justice, which was asked “Do you need to insure a car that is kept secured off-road and which you have no intention of using?”

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Uber drivers entitled to workplace protections

The ‘gig’ economy is characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs. It is either a positive working environment that offers a great deal of flexibility. 

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Reviews

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