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How to publish reviews in accordance with the Omnibus Directive? The legal end of fake customer reviews.

Casper Cooper
24/11/2023 | 4 min read
How to publish reviews in accordance with the Omnibus Directive? The legal end of fake customer reviews.

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    The Omnibus Directive of the European Union is set to come into force in January 2023 and is causing a lot of confusion.

     

    The directive expands the protection of consumer interests and requires companies to disclose how they verify the authenticity of customer reviews about the company, product, or service, and many of them are unsure how to do it.

     

    This is especially important because the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has the power to conduct inspections by requesting access to consumer opinions and verifying the way they are posted or commissioned by the entrepreneur (e.g., on a website).

     

    Fortunately, all you need to do is install the Rating Captain application, which is already compliant with the requirements of the Omnibus directive (read about it here). But let's get into the details.

     

    How to publish reviews in accordance with the Omnibus directive?

     

    The entrepreneur will have to verify the credibility of the individuals posting reviews - whether they actually used the product or purchased it.

     

    One of the simplest and most reliable ways to verify customer reviews is to provide them with an individual link (read more about it here), as recommended by the President of UOKiK.

     

    "It seems that the simplest and most reliable verification tool could be to provide buyers with an individual link where they can leave an appropriate review about the product."

     

     

     

    This way, only individuals who actually purchased a product or service from the entrepreneur can leave a review. This ensures that the reviews posted by consumers are authentic.

     

    How to verify consumer reviews? Compliance with UOKiK and the Omnibus Directive

     

    Referring to European resources, specifically to motif 47 of the Omnibus Directive, we can additionally read

     

    "“If such processes or procedures have been established (for verifying reviews - ed.), entrepreneurs should provide information on the method of conducting inspections and clearly inform consumers about how reviews are processed, for example, whether all reviews are posted, both positive and negative, whether these reviews are sponsored or influenced by contractual relationships with the entrepreneur.

     

    The Omnibus Directive counteracts unfair market practices. Inaccurate consumer reviews about products will no longer be presented as verified - both positive and negative ones.

     

    The Rating Captain application can help with this (Rating Captain), which is already compliant with the Omnibus directive and allows for sending a dedicated link to each consumer to request a review about the entrepreneur, company, or product.

     

     

     

    Omnibus Directive and verification of product reviews

     

    The best way to comply with the Omnibus directive is to clearly and honestly inform customers about how you verify reviews. How you display consumer recommendations on your website or online store.

     

    Next to the widget displaying reviews on the website, you must include a note describing the reasonable and proportionate steps taken when verifying reviews, how the average rating is calculated. Additionally, it is important to provide information about their source - users who have used or purchased the product.

     

    If you use the services of an external company to verify reviews, remember to mention to your customers how the reviews are processed.

     

    Honest entrepreneur - consumer reviews and recommendations

     

    You can also consider offering incentives to customers to leave reviews, such as a discount on their next purchase, which will significantly increase the number of obtained reviews.

     

    The law imposes an obligation on entrepreneurs to provide information. By maintaining transparency and providing incentives, you can encourage customers to leave reviews while ensuring that they are authentic. Both sides win.

     

    This will help you avoid any penalties from the European Union when the Omnibus Directive comes into force.

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