Bachcare charged with misleading consumers

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 4:46PM
Consumer NZ says it is hard to tell if reviews are genuine or not. (Photo / Getty)

Consumer NZ says there's no way to tell whether the review you're reading is real, or fake.

Property management and booking company Bachcare is facing two charges under the Fair Trading Act for allegedly misleading consumers by manipulating the online reviews posted by its customers.

The Commerce Commission alleges Bachcare removed negative comments from some reviews before publishing them on its website.

It further alleges Bachcare did not publish any reviews to which consumers had given a star rating of less than 3.5 out of 5.

In doing so, the commission alleges Bachcare engaged in conduct that was liable to mislead consumers by creating artificially positive impressions about certain properties.

Jessica Wilson, head of research at Consumer NZ, told Heather du Plessis-Allan there are some warning signs, but no foolproof method.

"If you're looking at the site ands the reviews have a lot of formulaic and repeated language, that's one sign to be wary of. A lot of glowing reviews at the same time is another red flag."

Bachcare currently manages about 2000 properties across the country, with more than 150,000 customers per year.

The charges followed a Commerce Commission investigation and relate to conduct between June 1, 2017, and September 28 last year.

The case will be called in the Auckland District Court on August 13.


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