Skip to comments.Guy buys router on Amazon, router is crap, posts negative review, gets sued.
Posted on 05/06/2014 11:38:22 PM PDT by Dallas59
This isn't me...some guy bought a router that was crap on Amazon and posted a negative review on Amazon about the router. A few days later he receives a letter from a company representing the manufacturer threatening to sue him and others for damages related to any negative reviews.
Photos of the threatening letter
Apparently he bought it a few months back and posted the review afterwards and is now just getting the letter.
Now that he got the letter, the company MIGHT work with him once he takes down the letter. A win-win for all.
I don’t know what was actually said in the review, but I can’t see how the company could prevail in a lawsuit over a bad review of a product. Did he really say anything that libeled or slandered the seller?
Oh what fun. Of course I gave him a “helpful” vote.
I’ve been reviewing at Amazon since 1999. But of course I do not use my real name. Only at FR does anyone know I’m really Veto!
Did they have a paralegal or some guy fresh from a law school over a bowling alley write that? How melodramatic.
Scroll down to the reviews.
It sounds scumbaggish, but it should serve as a lesson: Be careful what you post on the internet.
Happened to me once, I (politely) told them to put a sock in it. That was the end of that. It’s an empty threat.
I recently bought a new router on Amazon. There were so many negative reviews on each product it felt like a pick-your-poison sort of purchase.
Fortunately, the one I got is working fine.
That's not a win for the consumers that get a crap router because they did not have the benefit of the review.
If the guy was up to it he could have some fun driving up the company's legal costs.
I read the letter from the attorney to him, and the review was quoted. It looks like he made expressed some ideas as statements of fact, rather than opinions. For example, he said the router was the exact same one as another router, just relabeled. Unless he can prove that, it could be a problem for him.
You can say anything you want in a review as long as you present it as your opinion and not as a statement of fact. He could have said that it appeared to HIM that the router was the same as the other one, for example. By saying it that way, he is expressing his opinion, but not saying it is a factual certainty.
Along about twelve years ago....an Air Force unit in Germany needed a new Cisco router. After a brief review....over the internet (instead of the traditional sales quote game that almost everyone did), they found this small company-minority owned-women owned company selling their dream router for a price that was around twenty-percent under the normal pricing. So they bought it.
It arrives...six months later....issues. They call up Cisco, give them the serial, and there’s a pause. This serial equals a router sold to someone in the states and is currently operational. A long discussion goes underway, and finally....they agree to have a Cisco rep in Germany look at it. The guy identifies around five major issues with pieces and parts, and that the serial is bogus. It’s a remanufactured Cisco router, fixed, remarketed, and resold by a garage business. Almost every part in the remake was from China...so it was believed to be some group or gang episode.
After this episode....everyone got focused on ‘must-buy-via-Cisco-vendor-only’, which really drove pricing beyond the norm. Cisco also got real aggressive about going after bad-mouthing problems because of this fake marketing gimmick.
That’s all our legal system is anymore.
Thanks guys. Serves me right for not reading it all. I agree with CA Conservative. You do have to be careful what you say in a review is your opinion, not fact. You also can’t bad mouth a company or individual. Even implying the seller is a lying cheating scumbag can get you in trouble.
I’ve purchased a few items from Amazon and so far have had good experiences. However, buying from Amazon is always a risk. I try to go with sellers who have received good marks from other customers. I also don’t buy anything marked as “used.” I did have to return a phone charger recently, but the seller and Amazon were very good about issuing a credit in a timely manner. It always helps to deal with others in a courteous and cooperative manner. Bad mouthing gets you nowhere and just invites trouble.
By suing a customer over a bad review, this company has only solidified a bad reputation for its products and it’s customer service. Apparently, the company has the time and money to threaten consumers, but none to
offer a refund. This sort of story will only dig a deeper trench for the company when it is amped up on the internets.
If you actually bother to read the letter, you will see that the review is a textbook definition of libel—assuming the lawyer isn’t lying (which is never something to overlook when dealing with lawyers).
The reviewer made multiple statements of fact that are most likely false. He posted them online where the entire online world could see them. It is also likely that he did this with the intention of harming the company that produced the router.
If I were the reviewer, I would be seeking legal counsel immediately, and taking the review down. This letter is most likely just a bit of saber rattling, because suing people that likely can’t afford the court fees, much less actual damages, isn’t a financially sound nor business savvy decision. But you never know.
I read them. He made some pretty concise claims that could be easily refuted if they aren’t true. I’d say he’d be better off just taking it all down.
Why should he take the letter down? How is that a “win”?
Millions of consumers will lose.
Look at WHEN the 1 star reviews were posted. Most are likely in sympathy for the guy being sued.
No. Self censorship based on fear is not a "lesson". Don't blame the victim here.
Too bad. Its the REVIEW section. He can say anything he wants about the damn product. If the company doesn't like it, don't sell on Amazon or anywhere else.
Overall the product received 4 out of 5 stars. And the seller’s record is outstanding.
I’d tell them to go for it and we’ll see them in Discovery.
Apparently, there are shady firms out there which can be retained to “repair” or mitigate reputation damage done by negative online reviews posted by unhappy customers. I hear them advertising on Washington, DC talk radio WMAL all the time. My guess is that this letter, which is likely an empty threat, originated at such an outfit.
FREEP a review! Could be a new trend on FR!
I was personally threatened with a lawsuit by the lawyer of a service provider I hired, and reviewed negatively on Yelp. I was very careful about my factual allegations and opinions.
I didn’t feel like a fight, so essentially removed the review.
I'm not a lawyer, so what follows is only my opinion.
When you make statements that the router you purchased is really another re-branded router and statements that directly imply the company itself is engaging in a false information campaign by posting positive reviews of their own product --- yes, he committed libel.
If he had simply kept his review to his dissatisfaction of the performance of the product and any experience with that company's customer service he'd be covered by freedom of speech.
BTW, this isn't the first time a company has gone after someone for posting a negative review of a product (that review being filled with libelous statements anyway..)
If this guy a got a letter for his review, some of these reviewers will be headed to the gallows..
Only if he sticks to the facts about the product itself. NOT when he implies the company "re-branded" another router or that the company itself engaged in posting positive reviews of their own product to pump up sales.
Saying the router performed like crap, didn't have enough coverage or lacked in some technical feature it was purported to have -- that's not libel. That's opinion covered by the first amendment.
"Now, THAT'S a router!"
IMHO a public review should be confined to the performance of the product. If he had issues with the seller, he should have written to the seller or Amazon privately, not in a public forum.
Counselor, I don’t think this consumer needs an attorney at all. Just the fact that he has been harassed by the manufacturer’s legal counsel and that we are seeing the first signs of his push back via the internet should be a warning to the company to tread lightly.
This thing could go really really wrong for the company with this story becoming a cause celebre (going viral in today’s parlance). The negative publicity would be disastrous.
Those reviews are hysterical. So funny!
Re reviews - there are currently some lawsuits going on about yelp reviews. Apparently yelp sends reps around to small businesses trying to sell them ads. If they don’t buy they publish negative reviews.
I wrote a review for my dentist but then couldn’t find it in the list of reviews. Yelp has ‘recommended’ reviews which come up on the screen and are very visible. It also has ‘not recommended’ reviews which it buries.
I spoke with the manager of the dental practice. He said they refused to pay for the yelp ‘subscriptions’ and all of a sudden a bunch of very negative reviews showed up on their site.
What do you want for a $50? A rubber biscut?
Reviews online are becoming as good as polls.
If it don't bounce back....
You go hungry! Bow. Bow. Bow.
Read the review in the letter at the link. The guy stepped over the line.
The company’s demand letter was a fitting response to a defamatory statement (or 2), without regard to their product being ‘rebranded’.
Maybe, but I doubt it. Like I said, this is probably just saber rattling on the company’s part, but if you look at his comments, I seriously doubt many will come to his defense.
The guy got pissed and spouted off like a d-bag. He most likely committed libel, and not just technically in a way that only a lawyer would understand.
I recently purchased a chicken coop thru ebay. Quite the POS. Instructions were basically useless. Finally got it so it would hold some bantams. It’s almost ingenious how I hold it together. I wrote a rather scathing review. Maybe their attorney can stop in and secure the roof for me.
I was sued for libel once even though I told the truth. And two times the plaintiff and his attorney failed to appear for a legally scheduled video deposition. After the second time his attorney tried saying the plaintiff was afraid I would physically harm him so they wanted me out of the room. That was BS, of course, as the defendant I had every right to be there. They eventually realized their only course of action was to comply with the order to appear for the deposition and chose instead to drop the case. Unlike the man in the case with the router, my attorney and I had amassed significant evidence and witnesses to prove my comments were true beyond any doubt. This guy, however, not so.
Hey everyone, it’s Veto Corlemany
Good one! I never once thought of Vito Corleone, but why should I, I’m a grrrrrl.
Oooohhhhhh, those last three r’s kinda did something to me.
I gotta go shower...
Truly happy you are going to shower. I was too polite to say anything but..