, pub-2049694213563730, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Can A Negative Online Review Lead To Legal Action? - myownplace
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Can A Negative Online Review Lead To Legal Action?


Raw, wounded and old, but tough. That's our roof decking after removing the old asphalt and prior to installation of our new metal roof. But actually, that wood is how we feel these days. Our roof project is finally behind us and it was a stressful, negative and expensive experience. We were victims of bait and switch, an expensive add-on, and shoddy work practices. The contractor was a liar and a bully with threats of liens and lawsuits. Now we're being subjected to possible legal action because I posted a negative online review about the contractor. Of course when we were notified by email that a referral for court action had been initiated, I pulled down the review. So, perhaps nothing will happen except some other unsuspecting customer will actually hire this company. But I can't worry about that, I can't save the world. I'm thankful I won't ever have to get a roof again, but there will be future projects and you can be sure we'll be a lot more cautious about whom we hire.

The thing we didn't realize is that companies actually sue people for libel or defamation when negative reviews are posted online. Then the review is removed - either by the poster or the website administrator. So, of course it looks like the company only has good reviews and this is great for them. Actually, the company we hired did not have any reviews on the website we used to find them. Today they have twenty reviews. I suspect nineteen of them are fake and posted by the contractor himself because they say his full name and what a great guy he is. The one real looking review gives a 4 ranking, but the words and experience outlined in the review suggest a dissatisfied customer.

So, what can we do? It is possible to properly post a negative review that will be legal. It is important that all information in your review is true, and you are able to prove it is the truth. If you say they failed both in process inspections and can provide links to the city inspector website where it states they failed, then this is not defamation. If you asked for references and they did not provide any, then this is the truth. If you state they agreed to perform a service, but did not - and you have documentation in an email, then it is the truth. Just be sure you do not make any false statements in your review, and they have no justification for pursuing legal action. But it doesn't mean they won't send you a cease and desist letter, or file a referral with the clerk of court for a hearing with a judge. Anyone can sue anyone for anything, and the best thing to do is not get involved.

Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing. Our plan is to fly low. Move on to the next project a little wiser and a lot more skeptical.

And don't ask how we like the new roof.

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