Customer Posting Negative Reviews Even After Issues Resolved

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Customer Posting Negative Reviews Even After Issues Resolved

Due to an accident that our catering delivery driver was in just short of
arriving at the clients location, we were unable to fulfill the order. The
customer has received a full refund, but has begun to post negative reviews
online stating that we are fraudulent and even going to the point of harassing
potential clients that may ask a publicly visible question about our services. We
provided all legal documents to prove our existence, but she is just not taking
that as proof whatsoever. Advice would be great. Thank you.

Asked on May 1, 2019 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If they make an untrue statement of fact, such as that you refused to refund her money when you in fact did refund, that would be defamation and you could sue her for monetary compensation and/or a court order that she cease doing this. But opinions are not defamation, even if harmful. So the question is, whether her statements are opinions or not. A statement that someone is fraudulent or committed fraud is generally a factual statement, since it is a statement that someone lied about something important (committed fraud): if you can prove you did not lie, then you can prove that her statement is an untrue fact and therefore defamation. So while we cannot say 100% based on the simple statement that she claims you are "fraudulent" (since we have not seen the fuller context of what she said or wrote), based on what you write, you may have a defamation case against her, and could sue her--oir at least threaten to sue her to (hopefully) get her to desist.


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