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Woman Sued for $750,000 for a Negative Review

You can't simply throw such things out there without proof

   
11:41 am on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



The review suggested that the workman had actually damaged her home rather than repairing it, as she had hoped.

What's more, he'd also invoiced her for work not completed (or even started). All according to the review.


Alas the review gets worse. The lady goes on to complain that items of jewelry had gone missing from her house and that the workman had stolen them. If that isn't enough, she then goes on to accuse him of trespassing on her property.

So all in all not a great review, and understandably, Christopher Dietz, the workman in question, didn't take to it that kindly.

He claims that his overall Yelp score was pretty good until the review by Perez. After that however, his standing suffered, and he believes he has lost $300,000 worth of business.


[technorati.com...]

- Lalit Kumar
11:53 am on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



This has been on mmy mind for quite some time now. I am very surprised that we do not have much more of this. These public reviews on the web make me very nervous and unless I had something good to say, I would not post it at all. Basically bad reviews can ruin your business , so to post something really negative against a business. You must be extremely upset or unhappy to take that risk...
12:43 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Nothing wrong with the truth!
1:02 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If it IS the truth, and that's not at all clear.

It's an extremely serious matter to accuse someone of criminal behaviour.

It's not clear from the article ... did she report the alleged thievery to the police?
1:10 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Sounds like she wasn't pleased with the work, so she took to destroying his career completely. 750k is a lot of money though, and would set a precedent for negative reviews in general.
2:16 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If it IS the truth, and that's not at all clear.
I think you misssed my point. I was answering the post above mine.
2:18 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If what she wrote eas false then I think this is good. People should be made more accountable for the reviews they write and they should pay the penalty for writing false reviews.

Many businesses have been damaged by false TripAdvisor reviews.
3:18 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Public reviews can be problematic. Nevertheless, the review site should make it clear, or clearer, that the reviews are the reviewers responsibility, that the reviewers IP is recorded, and that the reviewer is legally liable for the reviews they post, including any litigation.
12:11 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



There is a difference between fact and opinion. And there is such a thing as a false fact. ("The things you do know that ain't so.")

"the food was lousy" = opinion, rarely actionable
"there were lice in my salad" = statement of fact, either true or not true, probably actionable if not true

"rarely" and "probably" = depends on jurisdiction, as does burden of proof.
10:18 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Flied lice or boiled lice?
10:55 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm ok with objective reviews, but people are often driven by emotion when they write a review of a bad experience.
In this instance, the case is yet to be held, and the evidence will need to be presented to the courts for them to decide.

It is a lot of money, but the loss of earnings might be the true impact of the bad reviews.

Not long ago there was a TV show investigating the effects of bad reviews on Tripadvisor. Agreed, bad reviews can destroy a business, and if they are false, there's no excuse, imho.
Looking at one of the reviewers on the TV show, they went out of their way to find things that were wrong. In fact, some of the observations were downright ludicrous. I find that rather sad, and not a true reflection.

In other instances, some of the businesses appeared to be mediocre, but that doesn't justify a bad review, imho.

I have taken to going out of my way of writing positive, objective reviews, and rarely write bad reviews. If I have a bad experience, i'll tell the business, face-to-face, and it's up to them to fix it. It doesn't happen often, thankfully. If it's something like a hotel, or a restaurant, the easiest way to deal with that is to not go back.

If a business gets lots of emotionally-charged bad reviews I tend to ignore those. If there are objective bad reviews i'll take more notice.
11:13 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Flied lice or boiled lice?

In Kivalliq, the word for rice-- which of course doesn't grow there-- translates as "stuff that resembles lice". Most people probably do not appreciate this fully :)

I originally wrote "a roach* in my salad" but changed it to "lice" to echo the word "lousy".

If a business gets lots of emotionally-charged bad reviews I tend to ignore those. If there are objective bad reviews I'll take more notice.

And you can tell the difference. "I hated it!" versus "There were insects that I had not ordered." Loss of income is awfully hard to prove, though.


* I now see that the word censors would have stomped heavily on the longer form of the word, drawing attention to something that would otherwise passed unnoticed. I guess I could have said cucarachas.
11:25 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Loss of income is awfully hard to prove, though.


Previous earnings are a good indication, and it could be expected to continue in the same region. But, yes, it is harder to prove.
2:38 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It is difficult to take legal action when the individual /company making the defamatory statement is in another country or is protected by the forum owner.
9:41 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Just host your websites abroad...
10:08 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member




Nothing wrong with the truth!


If you have proof. Else even the truth can be libel.
8:44 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If you have proof. Else even the truth can be libel.
I think you may have missed my point too. The truth is the truth. It cannot be libel. It can only be wronglyruled to be libel.
10:43 pm on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Or it can be wrongly called the truth, as in "I know so-and-so keyed my car" or "We know who did it" where "know" means "want or need to believe". Which is why "who has the burden of proof? " becomes such an important question.
2:08 am on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



You can't simply throw such things out there without proof

Sure you can, so long as you link to a source to divert negative feedback. If the source has it all wrong it's not your fault, tabloids do it all the time. If someone wants to sue they will sue even if they know you've told the truth. They will always "vigorously" defend themselves, even when guilty.
3:49 pm on Jan 15, 2013 (gmt 0)



I think generally reviews are a good thing and most people use them correctly. We went to a hotel where people had complained but the hotel had then posted a reply saying it had taken the comments on board and fixed them. And they had - we enjoyed our stay there. And I wrote a good review when we came back.
Obviously there are people who spoil this by using reviews instead of getting legal advice or going to the small claims court.
3:53 pm on Jan 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Use a proxy and a temporary Email address and you will be safe.

People using their own email and not hiding their steps are just stupid...
4:50 pm on Jan 15, 2013 (gmt 0)



Just last year one of my clients competitors gave my client a false review on a service they didn't even do. That same day the suspected culprit received 5 "5 star" reviews using the same "writing style" as our review. We posted a negative review on their site stating that they provided a false review for my clients company and suddenly the "false review" disappeared from my clients Google page and my client received a phone call asking for him to remove his feedback on the company.
6:15 am on Jan 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



welcome to WebmasterWorld, Razmatazed!
 

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