We work with helping businesses handle and improve reputations, especially negative reviews, every day. Sometimes those reviews are posted by someone out for revenge, in spite, or from a competitor who wants to take the competition down.
Recently a construction company in Fairfax, VA was so upset about a negative review a woman customer left on Yelp, they sued her, AND WON.
It seems she didn't want to pay her bill, and instead threatened to post the negative reviews unless the company forgave the debt and stopped harassing her.
"Attorneys say legal actions over online reviews are on the rise. Such cases have pitted free speech rights versus the increasing importance of online reviews for a range of businesses and professionals.
Some reviewers, First Amendment groups and consumer advocates see the lawsuits as attempts to muzzle important consumer information, while businesses say they often have little choice but to sue since false reviews can have a major impact on bottom lines."
Although the company originally won their lawsuit against their former customer, the verdict was appealed and overturned.
The moral of this story is - learn how to respond to negative reviews and monitor what reviews you find about your company daily. Respond correctly and quickly and you can avoid much of the difficulty ignoring such issues results in.