Filing a Bad Review Lawsuit is a Bad Idea. Here’s why.
Slapping a whiner with a bad review lawsuit might occur to some entrepreneurs as a convergence of catharsis and common sense; when a feckless failure of a customer posts a negative review, your business income gets torched. You want to deal with bad reviews with a flamethrower. I’m a business owner. I get it. You want that weasel to shit their pants after getting that lawyer letter or lawsuit. You want them to suffer with some of the mental anguish you feel through lost revenue. Showing up at their front door with a baseball bat and a crowd of clapping, cheering fellow business owners is certainly tempting. Get in their face as their worst nightmare? Stupid. But tempting.
Any kind of legal action on a negative review seldom to never works but almost always backfires. Whether it’s a threatening legal letter or an outright bad review lawsuit, you end up looking like the big bad business owner and the complaining customer is the little innocent victim. If the target of your legal ire does nothing else, they’ll tell everybody they know – neighbors and coworkers, friends and family – you name it – how shitty your business is and what kind of asshole you are. The negative word of mouth of one pissed off customer outweighs the good things ten customers might say about you. Why? Your legal action sent that clown on a mission to tell every living soul they know to never give you any business. That’s to think nothing of how much money you could end up wasting on even a lawyer’s letter.
Let’s talk about the losing proposition of you suing a reviewer by asking some cash questions…
- How much cash do you want to pay for a stern letter on a lawyer’s letterhead? $300-$1000 is the median range. What if your nemesis calls your bluff? Are you prepared to spend a lot more money to follow through or will they laugh at you for failing?
- Want to deliver “shock and awe” with a full-blown lawsuit right out of the gate? $5000 might get the ball rolling. Have plenty of money put aside for ongoing legal fees.
- Are you prepared to pay them? You might lose your case and be forced to pay your target’s legal fees AND yours.
- I saved the best question for last – does suing them make any economic sense? Do they have any money you can get if you win? If you are awarded a judgement how likely are you of collecting?
Trying to to remove bad online reviews with legal action is a fool’s errand. And as the old saying goes; a fool and his money are soon parted. Dollars and cents aside, legal action for bad reviews makes no sense.Why?
A really juicy bad review lawsuit could end up on the local news and if it does you are really fucked. A bad review will seem like a wet dream compared to a news crew at your front door – or the customer’s front door – with the camera rolling to tell their viewers all about your strong-arm tactics on the evening news at 6 and 11 and probably the morning news the next day too. If you think I’m exaggerating look at this and this. See what I mean about a negative review lawsuit or any legal action being a bad idea? Even if you win, you lose.
A really juicy bad review lawsuit could end up on the local news and if it does you are really fucked.
We said it before and we’ll say it again; don’t deal with bad reviews head on. All you do is make the problem worse. As a Las Vegas public relations firm we deal with problems the Las Vegas way; we 86 them. Everybody knows what the term 86 means but no one is clear on the origins. I like the Las Vegas origins story; people causing problems are dragged 8 miles out in the middle of the desert then buried 6 feet under. That problem will never be found again. We don’t literally bury people but we’ll solve your problem by burying bad reviews for you.
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