Ripoff Report itself seems to be the real ripoff


Long ago I discovered the site Search Google for many common company names, and you'll often get a Ripoff Report page high in the list of results. At first I thought that it was simply a site that offered consumers a voice and had gained traction because of that. It seems, however, that there's much more to the story.

Yes, consumers are allowed and encouraged to post their complaints on the site. Yet the most obvious problem is that there are complaints and reports that are clearly false. Damaging false reports obviously make the site less credible, although the owner of the site, Ed Magedson, is committed to not removing any posted compliants. (Unless companies pay him.)

An in-depth story in the Phoenix New Times last year gives some interesting insights about Magedson and the website. The short version is this: Magedson lets anything be posted on the site without any real limits or rules. Companies and individuals are (usually) allowed to post rebuttals if they like. If a company objects to something posted about it on the site, Magedson offers the opportunity to participate in his "corporate advocacy program."