Author: Cheng Zhao |

Can you be sued for
a bad review?

Can you be sued
for a bad
review?

5 min read

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sue for a bad review

Experiencing bad service or receiving poor-quality products is not uncommon, and individuals often ponder how to address such situations. Some customers remain silent due to fear of potential legal repercussions, but the majority are willing to take necessary steps to uphold their rights.

The initial action entails reaching out to the customer support team, a step that often resolves most disputes. However, if a mutually agreeable solution isn’t reached, leaving a negative review becomes a feasible recourse. It’s crucial to be prepared for potential consequences, including the prospect of facing legal action due to negative online comments.

Many businesses can either claim or ignore their online profiles for free, while some platforms, like Trustpilot, offer premium options. This premium status grants companies the ability to report reviews, leading to their removal from the profile and mitigating any impact on the overall rating. This can potentially contribute to the appearance of companies maintaining perfect 5.0-star ratings, which can appear implausible.

But are reviewers protected?

The Special Customer Review Fairness Act, enacted by the government, aims to safeguard customers’ ability to provide honest and unbiased feedback without fear of retribution. According to this law, businesses cannot sue customers for their reviews. In case they attempt to do so, customers can refer to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website or approach the state’s attorney general to uphold the CRFA. This way, customers can freely leave unbiased and accurate feedback, with the added protection of professional legal assistance.

It’s important to be well-informed about the intricacies of this topic. Reviewers still need to assert their right to share reviews and feedback, even though this right is theoretically protected by law. While the law does offer protection, the process of defending this right can be lengthy.

In the context of leaving reviews about service quality, the potential cost of an inaccurate review should not be underestimated. Ensuring online safety, buyers need to comprehend key terms, including defamation and slander.

Defamation, a false statement causing harm to a person or company’s reputation, can lead to lawsuits if a customer claims a company is a scam without grounds. However, proving defamation requires evidence of the harm caused, false statements, publication by a third party, and a degree of fault.

Anti-SLAPP laws, present in 29 US states, can provide protection for customers sued for fake reviews. These laws penalize plaintiffs who lose cases and can offer relief to customers in such situations.

When reviewing, adhering to honesty, objectivity, and factual accuracy is essential. Providing truthful and unbiased opinions, free from personal perspectives, ensures protection from potential legal issues.