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Denver lash salon owner says she's the victim of fake reviews

Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 02, 2018

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DENVER -- The owner of Denver's Lash Blvd says she is the victim of fake reviews.  

"I can't sleep. Every night, I'm just thinking how can we make this stop," said owner Karen Martiz. "We have been blasted with over 100 reviews in the last two weeks with one-star reviews."

Martinez said the negative reviews are devastating her once-thriving last salon that she worked for five years to open on W. 38th Ave.

"It's so important for reviews for businesses, for small businesses -- it's like the first thing we go and look at," she said. "These chairs would usually be full of customers."

"Since this has happened, I've noticed that my books are about half full from what they were," said Lash Blvd Aesthetician Cat Taylor.

At the center of her fake review war, Martiz said, is Gobysavvy and its owner Ryan O'Connor. She said she hired the company to run their email marketing and broke the contract a month early.

"This upset him a lot," said Martiz. "The reason why we ended the contract is because we weren't getting the results, which is a very valid reason."

Ever since then, Martiz said O'Connor has been retaliating online by paying people to post the fake reviews.

"They never received a service from us. They don't even live in Denver," she said.

And her proof isn't fake.

Martiz showed Denver7 an email exchange with one of the paid reviewers who told Martiz everything -- even sharing the PayPal payment, from a fake account, but a very familiar email address -- Ryan O'Connor with GobySavvy.

"Everything that has taken me five years can be destroyed by one person who is angry," she said.

Martiz said Yelp has been helpful removing the fake reviews but said that despite her proof, Google won't do anything.

"Google makes businesses either be successful or get destroyed," she said.

Denver7 called the number listed for GobySavvy online and it was disconnected. We also sent an email to Ryan O'Connor and have not received a response. We did obtain a copy of O'Connor's response to the salon owner's attorney following a cease and desist letter.

In the email, O'Connor begins by saying he never hired anyone to post reviews, but goes on to say: "I was contacted by a few women who claimed they were unsatisfied customers, and I ended up donating a nominal fee to their group (I believe it was $1 or $2)."