Lifestyle Lift, a nationwide plastic surgery company, has recently settled a case brought by the New York State Attorney General’s Office after the company was caught posting fake positive customer reviews on the Internet for its facelift procedure.
The company required their employees to write rave reviews of the product as if they were consumers who had purchased and used the product. These reviews were posted on various web sites that review plastic surgery products. The company also created several websites of their own that they marketed as independent review sites; however, all of the reviews on these sites were written by Lifestyle Lift employees as well.
The attorney general’s office uncovered one company email which instructed employees to “devote the day to doing more postings on the Web as a satisfied client.”
Lifestyle Lift will be required to pay $300,000 in penalties to the State of New York. They have also been forced to cease writing fraudulent reviews as if they were satisfied customers. In the future, all reviews published by employees must be labeled as such.
The actions of Lifestyle Lift are deplorable. It seems that the penalty is not strong enough for the egregious violation of public trust committed by the plastic surgery corporation. Millions of consumers across the country rely on reviews from web sites such as Amazon, Yelp, and Epinions when researching products. The fine levied against Lifestyle Lift seems to be more of a slap on the wrist than a real punishment for consciously defrauding our country’s plastic surgery patients.
These criminal actions underscore the importance of the need to consult an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon whenever you are considering a cosmetic treatment. It is sad that we cannot trust many companies to deal truthfully with us. By discussing your plastic surgery goals with a surgeon who has achieved board certification, you can be confident that you are speaking with someone who is being held to the highest levels of ethical and professional standards.