Businesses often post reviews of their goods and services on their website, or on external review platforms. Consumers use online reviews to decide whether or not to purchase goods or engage the business for their services.

As a business owner, you are obliged to make sure that the reviews of your business do not mislead the consumers to win them over. Not only that, but if you know that a review is fake, and you do not remove the review, you are in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

This article sets out when a review is considered misleading and provides businesses with tips on how to avoid breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

When is a Review Misleading?

Reviews are meant to be information about goods or services that are written by an impartial party. Consumers rely on reviews when making decisions about whether to enter into a legal relationship with a business for their goods or services.

A review may be misleading if the consumer thinks that the review is impartial but, in fact, the business wrote it. The business is not going to report bad experiences about itself and loses this impartiality. Similarly, a review written by a competitor business is not impartial.

If you pay someone to write a review, but they have never used your goods or services, then the review is likely to be misleading. If someone has used your goods or services, but the review is exaggerated because they are receiving some sort of benefit, their review is not reliable and is misleading.

Close Up: Citymove Pty Ltd

In 2011, Citymove had to pay a $6,600 for publishing false testimonials on its Moving Review website. The reviews were found to be misleading because they appeared to have been written by CItymove customers, but in reality, were not.  

How to Avoid Breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

If your family and friends are writing reviews about your business, make sure that their personal connection to you is clear. It is the perceived impartiality that can make a review misleading. If it is obvious that the review is written by a friend of the business, consumers are likely to read the review with a grain of salt.

Don’t write reviews if you haven’t actually experienced the goods or the services that you are reviewing. It is also important to make sure the reviews are genuine and convey your actual opinion.

You should not offer financial or non-financial benefits to people in exchange for writing a review for your business if they have not used your goods or services, or if they do not genuinely believe the review they are writing.


In short, don’t try to be sneaky with your online reviews. Manipulating the reviews to make your business look better is misleading and unlawful. Be transparent about who is providing the review so that consumers know where the opinion is coming from.

Questions? Get in touch on 1300 544 755.

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Dhanu Eliezer
Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy