From time to time clients ask us to sue their customers for posting bad consumer reviews on web sites like “Pissed Consumer”. There are several ways to counter a bad consumer review. A law suit is not the best one of them.
Bad reviews may be taken down by an author. So, satisfying a disgruntled customer can erase the bad publicity. Satisfying customers, even when they are wrong, can be good business.
Another way to counter a bad review is to ask your satisfied customers to post good reviews about their experiences with your business.
Apart from the expense and a low chance of winning and collecting damages from a complaining consumer, the federal government is now siding with some consumers.
In one such instance, to bar consumer complaints about it, a retailer made buyers agree in writing not to complain about its product. But, a buyer complained anyway. When the business sued the consumer, the Federal Trade Commission jumped in and filed a federal lawsuit against the retailer. The FTC maintains that the business forbidding an expression of honest consumer opinion violates the public interest.
However, when a consumer is lying, instead of just complaining, the stakes can be high for a reputable business, especially in a competitive environment. Even then, though, the economics of suing demands an unflinching and skeptical cost-benefit study.
Suits against the websites, themselves, for carrying false consumer claims and refusing to take them down are not favored by the courts, but a few have proven beneficial.