Bad Reviews! Is Venting Really Worth It? Maybe Not!

OK so you like an online company a lot;

What do you do?

Go write a review.

But what if you don’t like a company? Can you write a really terrible review? Sounds

It May Be Tempting but Maybe You Shouldn’t!

Up until recently, consumers have been able to write whatever they want about a product or service; not caring what the consequences are to businesses.

And businesses?…well…they just have to hope for the best.

But that won’t be the case any longer, especially not after seeing the verdict in the recent New York judgment in favor of a local New York Flooring business, and against the consumer who wrote a scalding review.

A recent lawsuit fined a New York woman with AU $1430 for leaving a very negative complaint on Yelp, a popular review site. The unhappy customer, wrote such a terrible review, that the court believed it to go beyond “Freedom of Speech” and verge onto libel.

It was just one long sentence, but in it, she accused the flooring company of being a scammer, a robber, a con artist and more.

Is This Allowed?

Well, consumers have been able to post their opinions on just about any service or product. But businesses are now standing up and fighting back. These bad reviews negatively affect businesses. And now there may soon be a way to fight back.

At least the flooring company under the brunt of a poor review thought so, and they brought suit against Ms. Fannelli… a consumer who wrote a scathing review against their service, and they won. Apparently, there is a fine line between a poor service review, freedom of speech and libel.

The presiding judge suggested Ms. Fanelli had crossed the line and the review was not just an opinion. Terms like “Scam” “con artist” and “rob” imply criminal wrong doing rather than someone who doesn’t live up to the terms of a commercial contract.

What Does This Mean?

For you as businesses this may mean new legislation that protects your business against terrible, scathing reviews which can affect your business in a negative way.

How to Avoid the Negative Effects of a Bad Review

The solution is to be proactive. Don’t wait for a negative review to happen, instead work on Search Engine Optimization, positive content, reviews and information that offers good exposure for your business, and puts your service in a positive light.

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