The company that pays people to change bad reviews
If your mother told you "if you've got nothing nice to say, don't say it", you'll be delighted to know she was wrong. Because the new rule is "if you've nothing nice to say, write about it in a blog and become stinking rich, mwah ha ha ha ha*".
US company Cash4Gold are no doubt enjoying outrageous turnover at the moment, as people pawn their family valuables so they can afford to eat, while gold enjoys its highest price in three months. This one-two blow of good fortune (for them, at least) has executives exploding into the curtains with excitement, and they'll pay serious cash to keep it that way.
A blogger at Cockeyed.com saw an ad for Cash4Gold, so his friend gathered up some scrap gold and had it valued at just under $200. Cash4Gold offered him $60. When he complained, the value magically leapt to $178.
The blogger detailed the questionable incident online, which wouldn't be such a big deal if his post wasn't second in Google whenever somebody searched for Cash4Gold. According to cockeyed.com, a SEO person from Trendy Online Marketing Solutions got in touch on behalf of Cash4Gold and asked whether he would “de-optimise” the post so it wouldn't rank so high on Google. The second email upped the stakes further:
I work with Cash4Gold on the reputation management. They would really like to make it worth your while to take it down or make it more positive. Is it worth a few thousand to take it down? If not, maybe a donation to your favorite charity is more to your liking?
A few thousand? For slagging off a company? Where do we sign? To hell with with being nice to people. You've got a PC and a chip on your shoulder the size of Belgium. The kids are hungry, for crying out loud. Get to it.
*maniacal laugh entirely optional