Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Did a Judge Just Void Your Right to Post Anonymous Reviews?

anonymousIf you’ve ever posted a negative review online–especially on Yelp–then news from the Washington Times might give you cause for alarm.

A Virginia court has just ordered Yelp to hand over the names of seven reviewers who left anonymous, negative reviews on the Yelp profile of a company called Hadeed Carpet Cleaning. The owner claims that the reviews cannot be matched to any existing customers and therefore must be fictitious. On those tenuous grounds, a judge in Alexandria agreed with him.

Of course,  Yelp’s legal team is pitching a conniption:

“Hadeed really did nothing to justify the need for the identity of the Does in this case,” said Mr. Levy, who works at the D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen. “It’s going to make it more difficult for the marketplace of ideas to get valuable information about companies.”

Are Lenders Finally Ready to Embrace a Reputation Score?

iStock_000004978052XSmallFor many years, I’ve shared the idea that banks and other financial institutions will soon use a social media score alongside the traditional credit scoring used by Experian and Equifax. Each time I talk about it, I expect someone to jump on the idea and build a scoring system that takes into account someone’s online reputation and social media activities.

At this point, it’s about as likely as us actually seeing “the year of the mobile.”

According to the WSJ, a lack of any central social score has not stopped fringe lenders from doing their own sleuthing.

Don’t Let Delta Get a Free Pass on a Good Reputation

Delta FaresWe live in an interesting time where computers make things ‘easier’ but they can also complicate a business very quickly.

The latest ‘victim’ of a computer glitch is Delta Airlines who had a roughly two hour period on December 26th where savvy travelers were getting some serious bargains. The New York Times reported:

Some lucky fliers capitalized on a computer error Thursday to buy inexpensive flights on Delta Air Lines.

From about 10 a.m. to noon Eastern, certain Delta fares on the airline’s website and other booking sites were showing up incorrectly, offering some savvy bargain hunters incredible deals.

A round-trip flight between Cincinnati and Minneapolis for February was being sold for just $25.05 and a round trip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City for $48.41. The correct price for both of those fares is more than $400.

Target Update: It’s Bad ……. Real Bad

target_logo_2702We reported the other day about the potential damage to Target’s reputation if the data breach that, at the time, was relatively unquantified got big.

Well, guess what? It’s real big. So big that post is serving more as a public service announcement by pointing you to an article on Mashable which examines the depth of the issue and the concern shoppers should have.

“We’re asking everyone who shopped at a Target location since Black Friday to monitor their credit card accounts and contact their banking establishments to see if there is any suspicious activity,” Molly Snyder, a Target spokesperson, told Mashable. “Anyone with a Target Red Card or a card from another bank should remain vigilant and keep checking their accounts for fraudulent activity.”

Worst Case Scenario: Target Experiences Data Theft During Holiday Season

target_logo_2702It is being reported that Target has been hacked exposing credit card numbers of shoppers starting on Black Friday. If there has ever been a reputation bruiser for a retailer, this is it.

KrebsonSecurity reports

Nationwide retail giant Target is investigating a data breach potentially involving millions of customer credit and debit card records, multiple reliable sources tell KrebsOnSecurity. The sources said the breach appears to have begun on or around Black Friday 2013 — by far the busiest shopping day the year.

According to sources at two different top 10 credit card issuers, the breach extends to nearly all Target locations nationwide, and involves the theft of data stored on the magnetic stripe of cards used at the stores.

“Vast majority of users” Can Now Use Healthcare.gov

We are now turning another page in one of the most laughable website rollouts of this relatively young Internet era.

There is no need to run through the timeline of this historic face plant of a website introduction that is Healthcare.gov. Enough has been said already by far too many.

But in the spirit of being up-to-date, the line about the site’s new found functionality is one that could only be produced by bureaucrats and those who play politics for a living rather than a calling. (Easy there folks, this includes pols on both sides of the aisle so don’t get your knickers in a twist).

The update and current state of affairs on Healthcare.gov was announced yesterday in a report from the Department of Health and Human Services (PDF). It reads, as reported by cnet

The Obama administration announced Sunday it had met its deadline for improving HealthCare.gov after myriad technical issues plagued the launch of the government-run online health insurance marketplace.

After hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades, the site is now running “smoothly for the vast majority of users,” according to a report released Sunday by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Could there be a looser definition of just how many people this might now work for? I suppose yes but this one is certainly loose enough and something that can be talked around easily as we move forward. Maybe this is more of a lesson in PR spin than anything else? At any rate, it’s all very ‘Washington-esque’, don’t you think?

We are putting this post under our “Reputation Channel”. Our question is can the US government ever have a good reputation regarding its online ‘prowess’ after this mess? Why did they hire the wrong company initially and have to send even more to call in private sector specialists to make the site right? Your thoughts?

Healthcare.gov

Can An Awesome Product Overcome Reputation Issues?

Amazon-LogoHere at Marketing Pilgrim, we are especially sensitive to stories about corporate reputations. Our founder Andy Beal and his Trackur product specialize in helping companies keep track (get it?) of what is being said in the online space.

In most cases, when there is some concern or issue around a product or service, many are quick to jump on the reputation crushing bandwagon to express their concerns, be they real or imagined. People like to be part of a group especially when they can get some sense of making a difference, no matter how artificial it is. But how far will they go to bring a brand down if it is something they really like?