Are online review websites there to protect consumers? 

Some people believe and even stubbornly insist that review websites are there to ‎educate consumers and to enhance our ability to make the right choice in choosing a reputable ‎supplier, a builder, an estate agent or a holiday provider and they are dead wrong. ‎

The truth is that the vast majority of those who operate review websites have clever systems that ‎are aimed to benefit them financially from encouraging visitors to their website to write negative ‎reviews. They often do this by wiping the floor with the reputation of good, honest and well ‎established businesses across the UK.‎

It is only a matter of time before most of us find ourselves at the mercy of operators of review ‎websites who will be crowning themselves as representatives of the people, the judges and the ‎jury in our very public summary trial. Mystery visitors will tell the world that their “dream” holiday ‎has turned into one big, fat disappointment. (Maybe even a nightmare). ‎

Those business owners who have already suffered from defamatory bad reviews on the internet ‎and who saw with their own eyes their good reputation being publically tarnished on the internet ‎have also realised that at one point the telephone simply stop ringing. ‎ They have written letters upon letters to the operators of the review websites to ask/beg that they ‎remove defamatory reviews or at least tell them us who wrote the reviews but they would agree to ‎neither.


Are operators of review websites liable for defamation posted by anonymous users?‎

The simple answer is YES. The vast majority of them are liable to defamation. Their liability to you ‎as someone who suffered defamation starts at least from the moment you notify them of the ‎defamation. If they then choose to keep the defamatory review on their website, (normally on the ‎strength of reassurances by the reviewer) their liability for defamation is almost equal that of the ‎person who wrote the defamatory review. A big risk to take if you ask.‎

The website operator says that we can respond to defamatory reviews and put the record straight. ‎Is it a good idea to respond to defamation on a review website?

Each time that you respond to a defamatory review, you make the review more visible on search ‎results. Very often, the review either contains too many inaccuracies or you have no recollection of ‎the incident complained of. So responding to a defamatory review on a review website is unlikely ‎to make things better.

You don't have to respond if you don't want to and this does not change the ‎liability of the website operator towards you.

So how come so many operators of review websites simply get away with publishing defamation?‎

They don't. Many remove the defamation after they receive proper communications from expert ‎lawyers who point out to them their vulnerable legal position.

Often they have to agree to the ‎removal of all the defamatory posts from their website and then to a fair process as a way to move ‎forward. ‎

The question is: when it comes to YOUR business, will you let profiteering website ‎operators get away with it?

Or will you do something about it?‎

In less than one hour, we can ask you and your marketing/sales directors a few key questions, examine online ‎reviews about your company and provide a very, very revealing analysis of all the options that are ‎open to you to have reviews removed from the internet, advice you on how to strategies your ‎dealings with online reviews and tips on how to make your telephone ringing back again.

Business owner after business owner tells us “I had no idea I could remove those darned ‎reviews”.‎




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