AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Internet reviews land Peachtree City firm in hot water

A new cop has been patrolling the Internet and a Peachtree City business is the first alleged culprit nabbed.

AmeriFreight - a company that arranges to ship people's cars - was accused by the Federal Trade Commission of getting customers to write glowing online reviews by compensating them for their kind words. The case marks the first time the FTC has charged a company with misrepresenting online reviews by not disclosing it gave cash discounts to customers to post them.

The company and its owner didn't admit to anything. But in a proposed settlement, it agreed to clearly and prominently disclose if it has provided any incentive to anyone providing an endorsement.

Now, about those restaurant reviews, plumber endorsements, sweepstakes contests...



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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.