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BREAKING NEWS: Testimonials may not be real.

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This post should come as no real surprise to anyone but it adds a bit of a confirmation to what we’ve all considered true anyway.

That’s right.

Those testimonials you’ve read on various websites might not be real at all! Instead, it’s possible that someone was paid to fabricate them in order to convince you to make a purchase.

Today’s post comes from an anonymous reader who was commissioned to write fake testimonials for a debt consolidation company. He/she writes…

I currently work for a ghostwriting service. Though under confidentiality, I felt the need to tell you this, because people need to know. I have been commissioned to write fake testimonials for a debt consolidation website.

Yes, you read that right.

I’ve even been given examples to go off of, and similar websites with referral testimonials to use as foundations for the ones they want me to write. I feel this is important for obvious reasons. While we all knew in the back of our minds that most testimonials were fake on these websites, now I have absolute proof that they are. The fact that someone out there is in a similar position – getting paid to write fake testimonials for a website that offers services that cannot truly be verified to actually work – literally sickens me. Debt consolidation in itself is a gamble, but to lure people in like this is nothing short of despicable.

I wish I could copy and paste the entire assignment so that you would know I’m not lying, but that would get me fired, and God knows I need the money. I enjoy working from home, and I enjoy ghostwriting, but this is the first time I’ve ever been assigned something like this. I actually never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever come across something so amoral. Normally I write articles or blog posts, but this…this takes the cake.

I responded to the email asking if she/he was still going to do the work despite having a moral objections and received this response…

I actually talked to my boss, and she allowed me to switch assignments with someone. I’m glad too, because I couldn’t stand the thought of lying to people like that. Oh, and another thing – the website the testimonials are supposed to be written for? It doesn’t even exist. I just pasted the URL into my browser a couple of hours ago, and got an error page saying that there was no such domain.

Again, I’m not really surprised by the whole ordeal. Most websites write in the footer that the testimonials aren’t real and that the stories have been fabricated and the pictures are just stock photography.

I never really base any decision off of a testimonial. You’ll never read a testimonial that says “The product/program was OK. Given the choice, I probably wouldn’t purchase it again.” No! You only get to read about how great said product or program is. They’re designed to sell. It’s just a pity that fake testimonials exist. Instead, I try my best to stick to user reviews, but even those can be skewed too. Is nothing sacred in this online world?

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3 Comments

  1. I forgot to say that i earn a bit of money by doing ptc and there are diet ads I have run across who every time I view them have the same woman on there doing her testimonial and says she is from a different town in my area every time., One day she is from my home town the next day she is from another town next door! Amazing! How stupid do these people think we are? It is mainly the Acai berry thing.

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  2. This doesn’ t surprise me either.What does surprise me is that there is someone out there that has morals enough to refuse to go along! I applaud you!

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  3. Always suspected it. Made sure the ones on my site were 100% genuine (though I changed the name of one person at their insistence). Then I did some business development for a firm who built their reputation on integrity. All fifty of the testimonials on their site were fictitious. I knew this before I’d started because I knew they hadn’t launched a single product or service yet. What the hell is wrong with people?

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