An injunction against a woman who left negative reviews about her home contractor on Yelp and Angie’s List was lifted by a Virginia court.
The previous ruling had effectively censored Jane Perez’s Yelp review, saying that her review of a contractor was false and libelous. A judge had ruled that she had to rewrite her posts to remove a reference to jewelry missing from her home, and to re-characterize the post.
The Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed an appeal on Ms. Perez’s behalf. The court determined that “the preliminary injunction was not justified and the respondents have an adequate remedy at law.” The previous injunction was immediately lifted.
The legal precedent is clear. You cannot control what type of content is posted online about your business. Whether it is a restaurant, law firm, or contractor, sometimes as a business owner you will encounter negative reviews. A peer recommendation on Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc, could do wonders for your business. It also poses a liability for your company.
Here are some standard practices on how to handle negative reviews.
If you do receive a negative review, don’t act immediately. Take a moment, read it several times, and make sure you are calm before you respond. Do not delete, or attempt to influence or halt the posting of negative reviews. If it threatens to be a negative encounter, take it offline. Message the reviewer with your private contact info so you can discuss the project further.
Do not engage with the reviewer in an antagonistic public conversation on the internet- it will only make your online reputation appear even worse. Thank the customer for their feedback and send them a private message addressing their concerns. You may be able to turn a negative review into a positive experience. At the least, you will have addressed the issue, and removed the threat of further negative reviews from that particular consumer. Above all, actively monitoring your online presence can help you spot any negative reviews before they harmfully affect your online reputation.
At the Rubin Group, we have helped restaurants, law firms, contractors, and many other industries across the U.S. We understand the unique risks and liabilities your industry faces. We take the time to help you find the insurance coverage that fits your business and your budget. Contact us today for more information. (877) 806-7239
Source: Washington Times