Skip to comments.Yelp Reviewer Gets SLAPPed With 750K Lawsuit And Order To Alter Comments
Posted on 12/08/2012 4:32:58 PM PST by Jeff Winston
A woman is facing a $750,000 defamation lawsuit and has been ordered to alter a negative Yelp review of a home contractor after police found that her claims didnt add up.
Dietz Development is claiming that Jane Perezs scathing review has cost them new customers and, on Wednesday, a judge ordered a preliminary injunction for her to edit the post. Yelp and legal critics are worried that Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)-related lawsuits could chill free speech, but business owners say that legal intervention is necessary in an age when online reviews can make or break a company. As the Internet gives the average citizen a greater voice, courts appear to be willing to hold their exercise of free speech to higher standards... (continued at link)
(Excerpt) Read more at techcrunch.com ...
That's a far cry from establishing that her claims (which were that the company, Dietz Development, had done shoddy work and billed her for work that they didn't do, and that her jewelry was missing after they were there are false claims.
Dietz Development has sued the reviewer for $750,000. I don't know the reviewer's financial situation, but if she's like most ordinary Americans that sounds to me like an attempt to completely destroy her financially.
She accused them, seemingly falsely, of a crime. Her purpose was to destroy the company, based on false premises. They should own her.
The article does not give out any info; therefore, I can’t make heads or tails of it.
"All relevant statements made by the Defendant were true."
So are you saying that the construction company should be able to destroy this woman, her finances and her future, for the rest of her life, just because she posted a true and honest review of her customer experience with this company?
Because that appears to be what you are saying.
The reviews were terrible and did not match my experience. After more investigation I found that the more a business paid Yelp the better the reviews got.
I don't use Yelp at all since then.
>>So far, they don’t seem to have enhanced their reputation any by suing a customer for (presumably) all she’s worth. <<
If someone comes after your livelihood, the gloves are off. After I destroyed them financially, I would get the title on their home and sew the soil with salt. Then I would come after them criminally.
There would not be a corner of the world they would be safe from my wrath.
Probably the best way to handle this is to not give any review, unless you can give a god review.
For the consumer, the fact that some business might only have a few good reviews, or no reviews at all, will be a signal that it may not be a good business to deal with.
Just as, when an employer calls in regards to a potential hire,and doesn’t get much out of that previous employer, other than a confirmation of previous employment is an employers way of saying the former employee is a bad employee.
Being sued is far better than being shot or tarred and feathered.
Defamation has consequences
suing one of your customers.
That’s what I thought.
The judge believed the police investigation of Perez’s claim about her ‘missing jewelry’ that didn’t ‘add up.’
“Just as,when an employer calls in regards to a potential hire,and doesnt get much out of that previous employer,other than a confirmation of previous employment is an employers way of saying the former employee is a bad employee.”
The only thing a former employer is ALLOWED to say is “so and so worked here from x date to y date”.
That law was put in place to prevent/diminish blackballing.
There is nothing illegal about praising an ex-employee, if that employee is praise-worthy, you just cannot say anything bad about an employee.
If an employer has nothing good to say, it is a signal unto itself that there’s probably a reason why an employer will just confirm employment and nothing more. It may have been put there to protect employees, but smart employers know how to use these regulations
Good. It is about freakin’ time.
Companies are constantly faced with “false” statements from unhappy consumers. Sometimes it is a real complaint valid through legal means.
Most anonymous reviews are rants and are not presenting all the facts.
And even if the company refutes the ‘claim,’ the review is often never deleted.
I haven’t like the Dietz family since they bought that haunted house.
Thanks Jeff Winston.
One bad review on Yelp destroys a company?
If a company breaks because of inaccurate reviews, then that company does not deserve to remain in business. How weak does it have to be? No competitive advantage and think that it deserves to remain open? It is surviving out there in the free market, including surviving vengeful consumers.
My wife went to a doctor specifically to get a prescription renewed, which they said they could do, until they learned exactly what it was. “Sorry, we don’t fill prescriptions of that type. That will be $150 for the visit, though, please.” We’re torn between writing a negative review of this sort for this doctor, and risking retaliation, vs. just eating the $150 cost.
There are a few here who seem to think that if you truthfully make your negative experience public, then the company is justified in attempting to take everything you’ve worked your entire life for.
It would’ve been a much better idea to work things out otherwise.
Here’s the result, so far, of suing the reviewer:
They started with one bad review. Now they have an entire boatload of them.
One bad review may be mitigated by getting good reviews from other customers.
10 or 20 bad reviews: Not so easy.
Are the 10 to 20 bad reviews from actual customers or phantom customers posted by Yelp employees?
A lot of controlled substances require certain criteria be met in order for them to be refilled.
Based on your post your wife waited until in the office to let them know what it was for. Why didn’t she fully ask before even making the $150.00 appointment?
Blame the doctor ....but your likely culprit is the government regulation surrounding the type of ‘script.
My understanding is that she told the receptionist what the scrip was for, and that person said yes, and made the appointment, but then the doctor said no.
However, it appears that at least one former customer has stepped forward among them to say they also had a bad experience:
"Let me be short and sweet. I just deleted my highly negative review of this company, for fear of becoming embroiled in the ongoing lawsuit. My prior review (which got 2 votes for being useful - and two for being funny :-) - in the first 10 minutes online, suggesting a lot of interest in this story) offered sufficient detail to easily identify me and the property in question to the developer. Suffice it here to say, STEER CLEAR
The bottom line is: This company had a negative review to deal with, so they sued the reviewer. Now they have at least 14 negative reviews to deal with, as a result of their own actions.