When can a Business Sue a Customer for Leaving a Bad Review?
Online reviews assume a crucial part in the development and income of any business. As indicated by a yearly Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal.com, around 88% of consumers read reviews to decide the quality of a business.
While a decent review can assist with helping your image reputation, a negative review can likewise hurt your business. Assuming you or your business has supported reputational harm because of a terrible review, you might be qualified to make a legitimate move against the reviewer and seek remuneration for you.
Allow me to make sense of in more basic language:
A business can sue assuming that a web-based review is untruthful, hostile, derogatory, slander, deliberately slows down business expectancy, abuses security freedoms, or breaks an agreement.
A claim is generally not typically the favored game-plan while managing negative reviews.
By and large, online reviewers are shielded as long as their views are truthful. Truth be told, in the US, most states have regulations that make it unlawful for organizations to interfere with or control online reviews.
Contingent upon the nature of products or services got from a business, consumers are allowed to leave online reviews. Regularly the review will depict the consumer’s insight, in this manner assisting potential consumers with pursuing informed purchasing choices.
Sue your Customers for Leaving Bad Reviews
Be that as it may, assuming the explanation is bogus or disparaging, a business can seek after lawful activity against the reviewer for posting deliberately deceptive or negative reviews.
In 2015, Footprints Floors, a flooring company in Colorado, sued a couple for a negative review posted on Yelp. The organization asserted that the review was bogus, and it cost them 167 undertakings and $625,000 in income. The couple in the long run piled up $65,000 in legitimate charges, including a settlement installment of $15,000 to the organization. This and a lot more examples have started legal precedents for organizations to sue their clients for terrible reviews.
The main justification behind claims over online reviews is that the review is false. Online commentators ought to painstakingly pick their language while composing reviews.
- While composing a review on the web, think about the accompanying:
- What did you truly encounter?
- What is your perspective?
- What ideas would you be able to make to work on the experience?
- Who is truly answerable for this experience?
- Are there any significant subtleties that you’ve forgotten about?
- Would you be able to back up your perspectives in general and claims with verification?
Take a full breath before hitting the “post review” button
While composing an online review, recall that the words you use can undoubtedly be misjudged, misconstrued, or taken inappropriately. Remember that as long as your review depends on realities and your perspective, it very well may be less helpless against a claim or other legitimate activity.
Bad review vs. Defamation
Criticism can be depicted as a bogus assertion introduced as a reality that winds up making injury or harming the standing of an individual, business, or entity. For example, if an assertion is bogus, and a business loses clients because of the misleading assertion, it very well might be viewed as slander. Criticism can be libel or slander, and it very well may be awful for any business.
Then again, an awful review is a negative review that mirrors the unfortunate direct insight of a client with an organization’s product or services. Negative reviews may either be a decent regrettable review or an awful bad audit. For example, a legitimate and fair-minded review of an item makes sense of the issue with the item after utilizing it.
What documents do you need to prove Defamation?
To demonstrate maligning, the offended party should show the accompanying key components:
- The litigant offered a bogus expression professing to be genuine
- The respondent imparted or distributed the misleading assertion to an outsider
- The assertion was unprivileged or non-secret
- The slanderous assertion brought about mischief, injury, or different misfortunes to the stigmatized party (offended party).
To sue for a negative review, you will demonstrate that the assertion qualifies as maligning. This expects that the assertion fulfills the accompanying components:
- It was a misleading assertion
- It was distributed to an outsider (somebody other than the individual who brought the case)
- It was made as an assertion of reality, as opposed to an assessment
- It harmed the reputation of the criticized party.
- It was anything but a privileged or confidential review
The accompanying harms might be recuperated in a maligning claim:
- Genuine or compensatory harms for the real lost profit brought about by the bogus assertion or maligning
- Non-monetary harms to fill in as pay for the organization’s damaged reputation
- Alleviating harm to diminish the misfortune endured by the organization
- Correctional harms to additionally rebuff the reviewer.
Case Study – Occupants sued for leaving one-star reviews
A Washington couple is being sued for $112,000 and $28,000 each week for posting one-star reviews following an experience with a roofing organization. The organization was employed by its landowner to fix a cracked rooftop.
The couple professes to have had an awful involvement in the organization after a call with an “impolite” assistant. They each left one-star reviews on the web. The proprietor of the organization called them asking that they bring down the reviews.
The couple would not eliminate the reviews, guaranteeing that they were honest and hence ought to stay up. They were then presented with a lawsuit filed on behalf of the roofing organization for maligning and deliberate impedance with business anticipation.
There are two fundamental elements neutralizing the couple for this situation:
- Their property manager recruited the roofing organization, so they are not real clients.
- As indicated by the roofing organization, they are not qualified for the data they mentioned (a task report and timetable) in light of the above point.
- When inquired as to whether the couple reserved a privilege to post their negative reviews, the roofing organization’s lawyer told Seattle’s KING-TV news:
“It depends on why they did that. Assuming they were doing it only to offer their viewpoint, that is the very thing different consumers have done before. I don’t disapprove of that. ERS centers don’t dislike that. In any case, when you go too far and you utilize this gathering to hurt a family-possessed business and hurt them and their workers and their business, you’ve crossed the line. They deliberately hurt ERS by posting one-star reviews to get a report they weren’t qualified for.”
The rooftop was at last fixed by another organization. Last we looked, the case is pending a court preliminary.
Buyers have a strong voice, and that power can disable a brand’s reputation in a matter of seconds. Organizations have for some time known about this, and their reaction has been to attempt to stifle awful reviews: conveying orders to shut everything down, suing raucous reviewers, or erasing negative posts.
However, that procedure just works for such a long time, as organizations will ultimately get themselves the subject of one more cursing review. There are simply such a large number of individuals on the web that will take on companies for not living up to assumptions (if those assumptions are practical).
Need assistance managing negative reviews? Get in touch with Sage Titans today.