Lose Millions of Dollars For Negative Online Reviews?


What is the first thing you do when researching a company? For us, we check yelp reviews first, and then we ask family and friends. Now, that online reviews are becoming critical for business they are starting to change they way customers review their business. According to CBS Boston, last month a couple left a one star review on doggie daycare because they were not satisfied with their services. Couple of days later they received a letter that they were being sued by the business for that one star review on yelp.

Do you think it’s right for business to sue customers for negative online reviews?

Yelp and Tripadvisor are now warning visitors on their site about the potential problem that is lawsuits for bad online reviews on business pages. Companies who are using the “non-disparagement” clause are being labeled with bright red messages on yelp and tripadvisor for potential customers to view when searching. What customers do not know when signing any document is that the gag clause that is usually buried in the fine print that in most times it’s overlooked by being in a hurry or not reading the document.

Pages with online reviews like Yelp were made for customers to express their opinions on business they chose to spend their money with. For example, Online Advantages page has couple of online reviews expressing positive feedback on services provided. What we do is read what they had to say, which in this case is positive and continue doing that to later receive more positive reviews and potential customers. On the other hand, if a business receives negative online reviews the owner has to read and reply with sympathy massage expressing change with service or products. Not doing anything can send the wrong message to potential customers by showcasing your business is not willing to change, thus taking their business elsewhere. Any kind of online reviews is a benchmark to know where your business stands compare to the competition.

Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts and activist of Consumer Review Fairness Act wants more than just a simple online warning. Kennedy says, “Companies shouldn’t be able to shut that down just because they took issue with a review.” The Consumer Review Fairness Act will ban future gag clause and clear any clauses already signed, as well as protect customers from retaliation after any negative online reviews. The new law is catching traction because it would allow the federal government authority to take action against business trying to avoid negative online reviews from unsatisfied customers.