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Fined For Posting a Negative Review Online

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posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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Mamatus
Personally I HATE sites like Yelp and Ripoff report. Any jerk with a beef can go online and damage someones business. They can do so whether or not they are right or wrong, whether or not they make up lies or not is immaterial to those sites.

Great example, My business had five stars on Yelp for years. I sold some Groupons (oops) that had a weight limit attached. People showed up 30, 40 and fifty pounds over the weight limits and got mad at us for not honoring the coupon anyway. We are now 3.5 stars despite dozens of five stars reviews. EVERY single negative review came from a coupon user...... We even had people threaten us with bad reviews online if we did not make an exception to the limits of the coupon.



And this is why ripoff.com and sites like them help everyone. People on the other side of the coin can respond as you have done here, you can do there. I don't go by stars and I never have. I read the reviews and make an educated balanced decision. There are lame complaints and then there are some very valid complaints. Most people who are researching will read the reviews. I read reviews of anything I am going to order online, or major purchases I am going to make. Just today, I read up on the Dremel for pet nail groomer. There was a bad review - the unit didn't work after one day. That was it. IMO, the consumer failed and I discounted the review. Why? Because the item has a great guarantee and return policy which the consumer didn't indicate if they used it or not. If they had used the guarantee policy and their satisfaction was still a zero, I would have taken the review into account. All the other reviews were great and I read many many of them. I decided I would make the purchase.

In your case, it's obvious there was a single issue, the consumers wanted you to make an exception because they didn't pay attention to the coupon or wanted you to make exceptions. As a consumer, I 'm on your side and would ignore the idiots who wanted special treatment. So there. Here's a few stars for you. ************




posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Mythos13
 


We had some equipment stolen and vandalized by a 43 year old loser. We got him on camera and the police refused to do anything but "talk to him" as a $700.00 loss was not worth the D.A.'s time....

He still lives with his parents and in a community I have deep ties with. When I told daddy that I wanted my money or I was going to post video of his kid on the local forum I got threatened with online attacks against my business on site like Ripoff and Yelp. More proof though that one can lie, slander and post total garbage on these sites.

I really should just call a lawyer and pay him to sue Yelp......



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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Mamatus
Personally I HATE sites like Yelp and Ripoff report. Any jerk with a beef can go online and damage someones business. They can do so whether or not they are right or wrong, whether or not they make up lies or not is immaterial to those sites.

Great example, My business had five stars on Yelp for years. I sold some Groupons (oops) that had a weight limit attached. People showed up 30, 40 and fifty pounds over the weight limits and got mad at us for not honoring the coupon anyway. We are now 3.5 stars despite dozens of five stars reviews. EVERY single negative review came from a coupon user...... We even had people threaten us with bad reviews online if we did not make an exception to the limits of the coupon.

Another buddy in my industry, same thing went from five to one star....

Screw these sites. Yelp is the worst because for $300.00 a month you can advertise with Yelp and get a "personal" account manager. This personal account manager has the ability to make you look quite good if you advertise with them. To boot it all they put most of the five star reviews on the "filtered results" in an attempt to get you to advertise. I spoke at length with Yelp. Nothing more than internet blackmail. I won't be blackmailed so I have to live with lower ratings. Somehow this "blackmail" is legal. Personally I hope the owners of Yelp get slowly crushed under a falling bridge somewhere. After all they are crushing others so it would be fitting.

Hmmm..... Maybe I should start putting a fine for a negative review into my booking conditions............
edit on 13-11-2013 by Mamatus because: Gwammer and speeeeling

edit on 13-11-2013 by Mamatus because: (no reason given)






1- Sounds like that situation sucks for you... but doing something shady like the company in the OP is not the solution. The fact that you're even considering such a terrible, dishonest business practice (unless that was purely a joke) makes me question whether maybe those people were right to leave negative reviews, after all. Good businesses do not have to threaten their customers into not leaving bad reviews. lol


2- Those sites are somewhat prone to abuse. And ripoffreports, specifically, has been accused of being a kind of extortion scam. Reason being, once a report goes on the site, they refuse to remove it, for any reason, even at the request of the author / customer.... UNLESS the business in question is willing to pay them an "arbitration fee." Where they have someone try to act as a middle-man between the customer and the business to resolve the issue, after which they'll erase the report. I forget how much this fee is, but it's very much not cheap... maybe a couple grand.


However, I insist that websites which give consumers a voice against bad business practices are, generally, a very good thing and a necessity in the market. Consumers don't have many ways they can fight back, in most cases. Businesses can do bad work, or not provide the services or products promised, and what can a customer really do? They can tell the truth about their experience, where others will read it, thus informing their own decisions. Businesses should not be able to provide crap service, no service, or be rude with absolutely zero repercussion.


3- Pro Tip: If this has become an issue for you, there are "Reputation Management" agencies and specialists out there who may be able to help you with this kind of thing. Some are much better than others. The service may NOT be cheap, if they know what they're doing (prices in this industry can vary a bit.) But some of these people can absolutely improve your google rank, push bad reviews lower down the page, and sometimes even get you more good reviews to balance out the bad ones, and sometimes (though more rarely) get your bad reviews removed from some review sites.

Methods sometimes vary about as much as the prices and efficacy. But perhaps worth considering...



edit on 13-11-2013 by iwilliam because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:15 PM
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GreyGoo

Mamatus
reply to post by schadenfreude
 


I would make more money by paying the $300.00 in "advertising" money as I am pretty sure some people live and die by review sites. However if I caved in to blackmail I would not be a man. My ethics don't change because of money though and I make a really fine living despite losing some cash to a poor review by some overweight opportunistic jerk. Can I give up some cash to follow my heart and do the right thing? You bet!



Finlay somebody living on the same planet as me, I've been searching for you for many years now. I come to tell you that there is more, not much of us but we started building "The Ark" 8 months before I left to come find you and I have been getting regular reports by carrier pigeon that the "The Ark" is nearly the size of a small town now and the population is growing. Don't give up hope brother as I never gave up hope in finding you, you must help me find the rest, we have been receiving broken transmissions a couple of hundred miles north west of this point for a while now, come brother let us go there is not much time.


Would you like to start your own thread concerning this? (Not being offensive at ALL) b/c this is either very interesting...or very crazy. I'm curious as to exactly which one it is.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by StoutBroux
 


They should have proof of a package being signed for at the address of the people. If the company doesn't have that, they don't have a leg to stand on.

All you have to do is write very THOROUGH letters to all three credit bureaus when something like this happens. By law creditors that place items on credit bureaus have to provide you with proof of statements etc to validate the debt. In the case of an item that supposedly shipped, there would need to be a fed-ex receipt or UPS receipt that it was signed for at the address. If UPS or FED-EX simply left the parcel on the doorstep that doesn't count as a receipt(that's why most companies only do that at request, which places you in seat of liability).

Once that is done, make sure to include the information in the letters that the creditor is failing to uphold their end of the law by providing copies of statements/proof. What usually happens at this point is the creditors lie when the credit bureaus send them letters, and state they have validated the debt. At that point you need to send another three letters to each bureau explaining how they have NOT validated the debt and how by law the credit bureau needs to remove the items. Then go on to quote the part of the govt Act that best fits your scenario.

Usually that will do it. Also if you send the letters after Thanksgiving the credit bureaus are usually swamped anyway with the holidays and will remove the items simply because they hit the 30 day mark. So my advice to anyone with items on their credit is to send those letters during the holidays, chances are they'll get removed without a fight.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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Mamatus
reply to post by Mythos13
 



He still lives with his parents and in a community I have deep ties with. When I told daddy that I wanted my money or I was going to post video of his kid on the local forum I got threatened with online attacks against my business on site like Ripoff and Yelp. More proof though that one can lie, slander and post total garbage on these sites.




I'm not entirely sure...but this almost sounds like extortion. How can you have a principles & yet at the same time be willing to do something like this?

Or am I wrong and this doesn't count as extortion?

/genuinely curious, not try to be combative.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by Mamatus
 


Not only that, Yelp suppresses good reviews. Someone wrote a very negative review about my dog groomer (single old lady business) that was featured on Yelp and hurt the business. After using maybe half a dozen groomers this woman was the best I had encountered, so I wrote a very positive review. Yelp decided my review was somehow biased and suppressed it in favor of the bad review. As I understand it this is done by software alone. There's no way to appeal it. Yelp amounts to a "b***h" site. If they just left the reviews alone and let them fall where they may, well, people have different opinions and I understand that. But they interfere with the process to such an extent to make the site useless.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by schadenfreude
 


I would respond with:
"Please humbly sod off, I never agreed to any TOS and you never shipped me my product, if anything the contract was voided by your inept company.

~regaurds"



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


That's why I like Amazon's system. Even though it's not perfect it at least doesn't place precedence over any other review rating. I do wish they would limit review accounts to I.P. addresses or something.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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"The fact that you're even considering such a terrible, dishonest business practice (unless that was purely a joke) makes me question whether maybe those people were right to leave negative reviews, after all. Good businesses do not have to threaten their customers into not leaving bad reviews". lol

It was a joke. Although I am starting to think that it may be a very good idea to start a new review site. One for business owners to review clients! We will call it Clelp.... Business owners can go there, enter a clients name and decide if they even want their business.

A lot of people use sites like Yelp to blackmail businesses. We sold a bunch of coupons with limitations and people use Yelp to try to force us to give them Filet Mingon when they bought hamburger.

It is absolute crap.

edit on 13-11-2013 by Mamatus because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by Mamatus
 


You wouldn't be able to do that legally in most places because you would be releasing confidential information related to a purchase. That would just open you up to a lawsuit.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by schadenfreude
 


I think its a hollow threat, libel is only libel if the claim isnt true.
And until it goes through a court, any fines are imaginary.
A private company cannot issue fines. Courts can, but companies...no.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by schadenfreude
 


This is clear extortion. When kleargear did not deliver they did so in hopes that the terms would be violated so they could then fine the unhappy customer. Kleargear should be in court soon! Everyone file a complaint with the FBI.

Crooks have no right to break the law even if they have a disclaimer.


edit on 13-11-2013 by Donkey_Dean because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:05 PM
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schadenfreude

Mamatus
reply to post by Mythos13
 



He still lives with his parents and in a community I have deep ties with. When I told daddy that I wanted my money or I was going to post video of his kid on the local forum I got threatened with online attacks against my business on site like Ripoff and Yelp. More proof though that one can lie, slander and post total garbage on these sites.




I'm not entirely sure...but this almost sounds like extortion. How can you have a principles & yet at the same time be willing to do something like this?

Or am I wrong and this doesn't count as extortion?

/genuinely curious, not try to be combative.


When someone steals from me all bets are off. The 43 year old kids Daddy wanted me to leave it alone and refused to make his idiot (tweaker) child pay restitution. WTF! This world is changing a lot. when I was a kid that would get you beaten down or jailed or both.

I have a complex set of ethics. You can't steal from a thief. Before owning a successful business I would have caught the guy outside his house in a nice dark place and made him pay with his kneecaps.

There is no defense for a thief.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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So why do they call it a comment section if only those who are satisfied can comment.

The company can pay people to put good comments on the site to drown out this comment. A lot of online comments are paid for. There is no sure way to know what comment is real when shopping online. Negative comments can be created by competitors also.

How can a person pull their comment anyway. If it is the truth, than they shouldn't be able to be fined. Oh yeah, this is America, the country that prizes deception.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:18 PM
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schadenfreude

But Jen says she was not always so defiant. After receiving the threat she says she was terrified. She contacted Ripoffreport.com to ask that the post be removed but Ripoffreport.com won't let her without paying $2000 she says.


that's interesting, because they claim that they NEVER remove a report from their database.


iwilliam
3- Pro Tip: If this has become an issue for you, there are "Reputation Management" agencies and specialists out there who may be able to help you with this kind of thing. Some are much better than others. The service may NOT be cheap, if they know what they're doing (prices in this industry can vary a bit.) But some of these people can absolutely improve your google rank, push bad reviews lower down the page, and sometimes even get you more good reviews to balance out the bad ones, and sometimes (though more rarely) get your bad reviews removed from some review sites.


like this one?
tnij.org...

while i agree that sites publishing only customer reports (so one side of a coin) are more evil than it seems, there are so many 'reviewers for hire' and fraudulent businesses that they've asked for this. fair solution would be a 3rd party website, where customers may write their reviews and then a company involved may reply to said review, all under 3rd party control, perhaps some non-profit customer organization. as it is now, you can trust noone.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by DaMod
 


For this particular instance the person did not make the review on the Kleargear website. They made it on ripoff.com. That is why Kleargear could not remove it.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by Donkey_Dean
 


Extortion was in response to mamatus' post, not the article in the OP, which is why I quoted him before I asked the question.

Some confusion there.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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Mamatus
Personally I HATE sites like Yelp and Ripoff report. Any jerk with a beef can go online and damage someones business.


And god forbid anyone with a beef should be able to do that!!



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


God forbid someone tries to get something they don't pay for by using BLACKMAIL. Your comment is #e.




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