Can a enterprise proprietor sue a buyer for leaving a damaging assessment? – Enterprise Law Blogs Posted by Casey B. Inexperienced
It is easy to provide an online review for a company these days. The consumer simply shares his experience on social media platforms. While many consumers use these platforms to post positive reviews about companies, unhappy or dissatisfied customers will share their negative experiences as well. These reviews can be very helpful to other potential customers as they help them to throw away unprofessional businesses. However, bad reviews can ruin a company’s reputation. If a review is not true, the business owner can potentially sue the customer for defamation. An experienced business lawyer can review the details of the case and determine if the business owner has grounds to file a lawsuit.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 82 percent of adults say they read online reviews at least intermittently. Customers have the right to post their opinion online about whether or not they were satisfied with their experience with companies. However, if the comments are factually inaccurate or untrue, there may be grounds for a defamation lawsuit.
What’s the best way to respond to a negative review?
Even if a negative comment qualifies as defamation and the business owner ultimately pursues a defamation lawsuit, the following effective strategies business owners can use to deal with negative reviews are:
Please remove the negative comment. The business owner can contact the website owner and request that the factually inaccurate and defamatory comments be removed. However, it is important to note that the website owner is not required by law to remove the negative review.
Post a constructive response. One of the best ways to address a negative review is to post a thoughtful and friendly response. Respond to the specific issues raised in the review and inform the customer that proactive steps are being taken to correct the problem and ensure it does not recur.
Generate positive reviews online. When products and services are consistently strong, customers are more likely to leave positive reviews. Businesses should always strive to offer their customers excellent goods and services.
There is a right and a wrong way to respond to a negative review. Here are examples of what not to do if a customer leaves a negative online review:
React too quickly. After reading a negative comment, it can be tempting to respond right away. However, if the reaction is negative and done in the heat of the moment, it can make the situation worse. Take some time to calm yourself down before answering, and put together a response that is measured and professional.
Ignore the comment. Although difficult to read, business owners shouldn’t ignore or ignore negative comments as they are critical or derogatory. See if there is any truth behind the comments. This may be an opportunity to make some changes or improvements in the future.
Retaliation against the reviewer. This can create problems for a business owner in the future, especially if they are planning to bring a defamation lawsuit.
Strategic lawsuit against public participation
A Strategic Public Participation Lawsuit (SLAPP) is a civil action or counterclaim that a business owner can bring against an individual or organization that has posted a negative online rating. Often times, filers do this to protect a business interest as well as their professional reputation.
Before filing a SLAPP lawsuit, however, it is important for business owners to understand that Pennsylvania has anti-SLAPP laws in place that prevent individuals or businesses from censoring critics with threats of lawsuit. To better understand the legal options after a negative business review, it is helpful to speak to a business lawyer.
Philadelphia corporate lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green PC assist business owners with defamation lawsuits
If a customer left a negative review on your business and the comments were unfair or untrue, the lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green PC in Philadelphia can help you find compensation for the loss of customers and income caused by false information caused. Call us for an initial consultation at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.