It is a modern business nightmare. You put all this effort and money into your business, and suddenly you find your hard-earned reputation is attacked by some anonymous person online.
We have had this problem. We were selected in the newsagency industry to do the trials of the new Australian government social security cards. Out of the blue, a whole lot of people suddenly attacked us clearly who were not clients of ours for what we are sure is political purposes. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do here, this was my experience when I complained to google and yahoo on one of our competitors.
So what do you do if a negative review appears that you consider false and damaging to your business reputation of the business?
Well my advice is
1) Is assume that they could be real and answer their complaint and state *nicely* that you do not know that person and you have doubts about the review and that you are more ready than ready to address and fix the problem.
2) Ask Google to delete it which they probably will not.
There is a third alternative go to court.
Generally, I think it is a long shot as you need to get the actual identity of the reviewer and then you can sue them to get them to take it down and for damages. This I am sure will take a long time, be very expensive and by the time it gets to court who will care about a matter years old anyway.
However this is what one dentist in Northcote in Melbourne did, he took Google to the Federal court to get the name of the anonymous negative reviewer and won (maybe?)
Google the court ruled has to give him the name of that person but it remains to be seen if Google will or can do this. Today with public WiFi, it may be impossible. Even if he gets what google thinks is the name, it may be impossible to sue the person. A case in Holland, I read about the courts let a person off as although he admited it was his account, what he claimed is that he did not do it and that someone else must have hacked into his account.
I do believe that this matter needs to be addressed by Australian Law.