Boesen & Snow recently helped a client after a competitor posted a false, negative review online. Our client, a physician with her own practice, worked hard to establish a stellar reputation among her clients and was the recipient of multiple professional and community awards. She was shocked to discover that more than one person gave her small business one-star reviews. Even more disturbing, the reviews claimed staff violated privacy laws and made disparaging remarks about employees.
After verifying the content of the reviews were false, our client contacted us to see what could be done. An investigation revealed that the negative reviews were posted by employees of two of our client’s competitors. We were able to quickly serve the competitors with cease-and-desist letters demanding the offending post be taken down. Withing 24-hours, the competitors acknowledged receipt of the letters and took down the posts; thus, restoring our client’s near-perfect Google Review rating.
Reviews that damage the reputation of a business or person with false information are considered defamatory. Small businesses, often lacking the resources for advertising campaigns, rely on word of mouth and Google reviews to generate business. As such, these defamatory statements can be particularly harmful to a small business.
Practitioners and business owners should not be afraid to challenge online, defamatory reviews. Extensive litigation is not always necessary. As in this case, perpetrators of these fake reviews often remove them when confronted rather than risk litigation or a public dispute. There are also numerous remedies that do not involve litigation. If you or your business have been defamed online, contact Boesen & Snow to find out how we can help protect and restore your reputation.
Authored by Randall Nice