When you leave a review you could be sued!
There’s these sites out there, maybe you’ve heard of them, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, Google Plus, and a few other ones. That when you leave a review you do so to help another visitor, fan, friend, follower, audience, another shopper. You give them your opinion of the experience that you had on these review sites.
But what happens when you leave a review, a negative review and you get slapped with a lawsuit?
Don’t think it doesn’t.
I was just reading a gentleman’s review of The Purple Mattress. He asks a few questions. Was it safe? What chemicals were on it? He got slapped with a cease and desist order for leaving his review. Now, these review sites were created to help people learn about your products and services, but the growing trend is now businesses want to protect their reputation. Some of their reputation is, excuse my language, piss poor. So in order to protect what little reputation they have, they go about suing the very people that are leaving reviews. Is that a wise decision? Probably not, because the negative publicity alone is going to finish destroying what little credibility they have left.
But yet they do it.
They want to control what people are seeing or reviewing or listening from others, how the experience that they get from their products and services. So in this case of this Purple Mattress, the gentleman posted his questions on the review site, and a few days later received a stack of papers that would take a legal scholar weeks to go through. It was a cease and desist, it was violating this and violating that. It’s a scare tactic, a bully tactic. That’s what they’re using. They want to control the feedback that people are putting out there.
If you put a five star, “Hey, you know, your service was great.” They love that. Maybe you were following my lawnmower escapade, where I got the lawnmower back after two weeks and it still is crappy, it doesn’t work. It consumes more gas than it did before, it sounds awful. I could give these guys a negative review. I could really hurt their reputation. The problem is they’re not on social media. I know, surprise, right? It’s a backwater, redneck operation that doesn’t care about people’s opinion of them because they know that they’re the only ones around.
But in the case of big business, especially manufacturing firms, especially hotel chains, they have clout behind them, they have money behind them. They want to control where their positive reviews are showing up. They want to squash the negative comments that people are giving. Is it legal? Probably not. I think it goes against our first amendment rights. But the scare tactic alone will prevent people from thinking twice about putting another negative review out there.
Now, I’d like to hear from some of you that are reading this, have you ever put a negative comment on a product that you bought or a service that you received? I’d like to know. You don’t have to give names. You just say, “Yeah, I did.” What was the outcome? Did the company respond with their story? Did they come back and say, “Yeah, we’re sorry, blah, blah, blah.” And make it right? Or did they ignore you? Or did they point the finger back at you? I’d like to know. You know, because as the trend keeps going, I think some of these review sites are going to go away, they’re going to be scared. They’re getting sued already.
It’s having a backlash on who ranks who and where. I think that’s the whole thing about Facebook reviews. I’ve written about this before, people are giving blank reviews, which means they just click on a value of a star, one, two, three, four, five. People give one star blank reviews. A blank review is when you leave absolutely no comment. Because if it’s a negative comment you can ask Facebook or Google Plus or any of these places to flag it, and they’ll remove it. You know, if it’s a legitimate review okay, but if you’re not a customer it needs to go. But if it’s a blank review it can’t be flagged, it can’t be removed. It’s just a slap in the face and there’s nothing you can do about it. More and more people are realizing that although they want their voices heard, are finding out big businesses pay a lot to keep them silent.
Anyway, I’d like to hear from you.
If you’ve left a negative comment I want to know. Tell me about it. Tell me your situation.