Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Troubles with Negative Online Reviews

Since school started, I've neglected this baby.  I don't even want to open up my BlogLovin because the amount of unread posts is probably equal to my credit card debts (okkkay, just a bit exaggerated!).

Today, I came across an article from CBC: Negative online reviews led to threats of legal action from targeted business. It's a short read/video so I highly recommend this article, especially since most bloggers like to review products/businesses.

I was a slight victim of this. Since ranting on about my previous college (and these rants are true, by the way) on Twitter, the next day the school's campus director sat me down and warned me to delete the tweets or the school can pursue a lawsuit against me.

Was I scared? Yes, a bit.
Was I frustrated? Yes.
Angry? Yes!

I understand that negative review (assuming we're all honest reviewers and not a bunch of jackasses), can lead to potential business losses but I also believe that if you're going to operate a business, you should be aware of potential unsatisfied customers. No business on this planet has a consumer base that is 100% happy, trust me. There will always be haters.

My family owns a restaurant, and I've seen some reviews on it. Some are nice, some are nasty. I respect each reviewer's opinion and I don't go hunting down and threatening them for defaming the restaurant. Honestly, if I was like that, I wouldn't even own a business.

It's hard to prove if a review is honest or not, but if I can provide proof of how shitty your business is, then you can't have a lawsuit against me because at that point, it's just a freedom of speech. In fact, I'm not even targeting the owner, I'm targeting the business, which itself is its own identity (and probably doesn't have feelings).

I'm currently battling my previous college and I know they might threaten my with a lawsuit. At this point, I am not scared anymore because I know I'm telling the truth with evidence to support my claim. So yes, I will be writing another negative review.

Honestly, I don't believe businesses should do this. If we can't leave an honest review, what's the point of reviewing your business in the first place? We're not actually rating now, are we?

If you're a business owner, you need tough skin, simple as that. If you chose to sue someone over a negative review online, that shows a lot about your company, to be honest, enough that I wouldn't consider you, and enough that your faith in your company isn't as strong if you're afraid of one review.

Basically, businesses that can't handle negative reviews and decide to bite back with a lawsuit, are simply bullies.

I need to get back to my assignments, but what's your intake on companies threatening reviewers with negative reviews? Do you believe they have a right to do so? Would you consider your next negative review?

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