Guess How Many Yelp Stars Equifax Has
By now you’ve no doubt heard about the massive data security breach at Equifax that has put half the adult population of the United States in harm’s way. But what can Equifax’s online customer reviews tell us about this catastrophe? Can reviews predict terrible events like this one? And how much have Equifax’s customer reviews been affected by news of the security breach? All good questions! You’re so smart. Let’s get some answers….
First of all, let’s get the obvious question out of the way: What kinds of reviews does Equifax have right now? Answer: Horrible.
On Yelp in Atlanta, where Equifax’s headquarters are located, we see a 1-star rating based on 81 reviews.
On Google, we see the same basic trend, although they manage to squeeze out an extra half a star.
But what about before the security breach? Did Equifax have great reviews that got crushed by the angry mob only after the breach occurred? Or did Equifax always have terrible reviews?
Answer: Consumers have hated Equifax for a long time.
If you check out the Equifax Yelp reviews in Atlanta, you’ll find a surge of recent reviews starting in September of 2017…presumably a reaction to the security breach. However, if you scroll through the 81 reviews making up their 1-star rating, you’ll find the majority came well before the security breach was made public.
In other words, consumer reviews might have been useful in predicting “bad things” for Equifax’s future.
Since we’re all about helping local businesses manage online reviews, the most important question we’ve asked is, “How might Equifax have done a better job?” so that we (and local businesses) can learn from Equifax’s mistakes.
Well…it turns out Equifax was completely negligent in managing their online reviews. The main Equifax Yelp page in Atlanta is “unclaimed!” (Utterly shocking for a $3.1 billion company. Not one of their 9,000+ employees ever thought to claim their Yelp page. Perhaps a lack of concern about what customers think?) It also turns out that Equifax has a duplicate Yelp page. that, although it has only 4 reviews, also ranks Equifax as a 1-star company.
And Equifax’s Google reviews tell the same story. Lots of negative reviews after the breach, but also long before the breach.
One can’t help but wonder if Equifax cared more about its customers, would they have cared more about the crystal clear signal their customers were sending via Yelp and Google reviews? And would they have cared enough to be a little more careful with their customers’ sensitive data…avoiding the breach altogether? Crazy idea, but maybe…just maybe…there’s a correlation between caring about customers, caring about review sites, doing the right thing by customers, and not giving away the social security numbers of half the adult population of the United States. Words to live by.