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Accused of Defamation/False accusations following Website Review


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Hi, I hope you can help me. I posted a negative review on a website of a removal company. That company is now threatening me with defamation and false accusations unless I remove the review. I instructed the website to do this via email (I have no other means of contact) and copied in the removal company contact. It states, however, on the website that it can take up to 7 business days to remove the review and, after 6 business days, the review is still there. Note I am not able to remove or edit the review myself. I explained to the removal company that I cannot remove the review and that it can take up to 7 business days to have the review removed however they said yesterday, 6 business days after requesting the review to be removed, that they will issue court proceedings.

 

 

I noted that there are other reviews on the website for that particular company that I would consider to be similar in nature and have been there for several months.

 

 

My questions are:

 

 

1. Can the removal company issue court proceedings to me despite no longer living in the UK?

2. What exactly is the process for issuing court proceedings? Does someone have to physically give me something to do this rather than online?

3. Is there anything else I can do if the review is still not removed after 7 business days?

 

 

Any help would be appreciated!

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The first thing to ask yourself, is whether your review is factual and truthful? If it is, then it is not defamatory.

 

It would be quite complicated for the company to issue proceedings out of the jurisdiction. You should understand that there are lots of companies who receive negative reviews on the Internet and go to great lengths to have them removed – but always short of litigation.

 

Litigation is often threatened but very rarely followed up

 

Maybe you can give us a link to the review.

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Incidentally, you may find that this company is doing the rounds at the moment and trying to clean up the Internet.

 

You may find that over the next few days or weeks lots of negative reviews will be removed either by the authors or by website hosts who are worried about their own liability.

 

You should now start scouring the Internet and make sure that you get screenshots of every negative review which has ever been posted about this company. One of the things that would help you if by chance they started an action – very unlikely – would be for you to be able to show that any damage suffered by the company was not caused purely by you but that in fact your comments were simply one of many other similar comments from other ordinary people.

 

It would also be of help to you to be able to show that other people had independently formed the same view of this company and so therefore what you are saying is likely to be true.

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Thanks BankFodder - tried to send a PM but it says your mailbox is full. I'd rather not share the review now before the 7 days is up. The part of the review referring to defamation, according to the removalist's representative, is that I said that some of the removalists were teenagers. I will certainly take your advice and take screenshots now as I consider some of the reviews to be far harsher than mine.

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Okay. I've read the review.

 

It seems to me that all the most serious points can be verified by photographs, correspondence, claims paperwork and so forth.

 

Do you have all the relevant paper and correspondence stored away? Are you able to show that what you have said about the fundamental elements of their service this correct?

 

The using of teenagers as employees seems to me to be completely incidental to the main problem that your goods suffered damage and then you had difficulties communicating and difficulties processing your claim.

 

I can imagine that maybe the only thing that you can't substantiate this fact that some of the workers were teenagers.

 

Is your comment that they were teenagers based on real assessment of them? Or were you simply sniping and saying that they had teenage attitudes?

 

I think that you are panicking unnecessarily.

 

Please have a look at the most recent legislation on this subject – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/26/contents/enacted

you will see that apart from anything else, your comments must cause serious harm.

 

I think that you should be little bit more robust in respect of the threats.

 

Read the legislation. As long as you are satisfied that the most important elements – the lack of professionalism, the lack of care, the damage and the reluctance to process your insurance claim can be substantiated – and I suppose that must be the case, then whether or not they employed teenagers seems to be completely trivial and can scarcely be imagined to cause them or likely to cause them serious financial harm.

 

Maybe you would like to email me a copy of their letter to you.

 

Frankly I think that you have nothing to worry about and I think that this is simply an exercise in censoring the Internet

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Okay. I've read the review.

 

It seems to me that all the most serious points can be verified by photographs, correspondence, claims paperwork and so forth.

 

Do you have all the relevant paper and correspondence stored away? Are you able to show that what you have said about the fundamental elements of their service this correct?

 

The using of teenagers as employees seems to me to be completely incidental to the main problem that your goods suffered damage and then you had difficulties communicating and difficulties processing your claim.

 

I can imagine that maybe the only thing that you can't substantiate this fact that some of the workers were teenagers.

 

Is your comment that they were teenagers based on real assessment of them? Or were you simply sniping and saying that they had teenage attitudes?

 

I think that you are panicking unnecessarily.

 

Please have a look at the most recent legislation on this subject – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/26/contents/enacted

you will see that apart from anything else, your comments must cause serious harm.

 

I think that you should be little bit more robust in respect of the threats.

 

Read the legislation. As long as you are satisfied that the most important elements – the lack of professionalism, the lack of care, the damage and the reluctance to process your insurance claim can be substantiated – and I suppose that must be the case, then whether or not they employed teenagers seems to be completely trivial and can scarcely be imagined to cause them or likely to cause them serious financial harm.

 

Maybe you would like to email me a copy of their letter to you.

 

Frankly I think that you have nothing to worry about and I think that this is simply an exercise in censoring the Internet

 

They probably threaten everyone who adds a negative review. Saying that some of their staff were teenagers could be seen as a compliment I.e youthful in appearance and energetic.

 

You should never have asked for the review to be removed and could have simply submitted a correction for anything which you now believe to be mistaken on.

 

Nothing is going to happen.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks BankFodder and definitely appreciate your frank reply! There is no letter to me just emails sent to me which I have placed in a document and forwarded. I have all the photographic evidence to support the damage claims and all the emails are stored and phone records demonstrating the delays I incurred. A couple of the men certainly looked like teenagers. The insurance claim was finally paid so the claim was deemed valid by an insurance company so I believe I have all the necessary evidence to support my review.

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It is very difficult to follow the exact chain of correspondence in the form you have sent it to me.

 

I think it will be much more helpful if you can simply send me the individual emails.

 

However, I notice that you are being told that your post is costing them thousands of pounds per day.

 

I don't believe it. Also, there is no reference by them – an unfortunate by you that yours is just one of quite a few other negative posts about them.

 

It is certainly true that they are getting quite a lot of good reviews and that the poor reviews are in the minority, however the kind of matters that you are complaining about must be fully documented I am sure.

 

Quite frankly in the exchange that I have seen, it is difficult to discern exactly what they are complaining about and the whole exchange seems to be a bit of a mess – although maybe that's because of the way that you have sent it to me.

 

I would be writing to them and telling them that if they want to continue the exchange, that you want them to layout exactly which words or phrases in your view they object to and where they consider that they are untrue and to say so.

 

Also, I would tell them that you doubt very much that they are suffering the losses they claim and the in any event they are unable to attribute any alleged losses to a single review made by you when in fact there are many other negative reviews about them on the Internet.

 

Tell them that you want evidence of this and that they would have to provide it to a court anyway.

 

I would tell them that you won't be entering into any further correspondence unless they let you have the information you have asked for and in the form that you have stipulated.

 

I noticed by the way the quite a lot of their argument is based on the fact that as the matter has now been settled by payment of the insurance claim, there is simply no need to have the review up any more.

 

This is not a basis for removing negative reviews and the fact that an insurance claim has been paid out so that the matter has been settled financially, does not undermine the truth of what you are saying – and if anything it suggests that what you are saying is correct.

 

I do not see anywhere in the exchange that you have provided to me anything which disputes the fact that the damage that you are claiming did occur.

 

It seems to me that what you are saying is either true or substantially true. It seems to be pretty factual. It also seems to me that where you have expressed opinion, that this is your honest opinion. It also seems to me highly unlikely that they have been caused any serious damage by your review – particularly when taken in the tech talent he of all the reviews.

 

As I have said, I think that this is simply an attempt by them to clean up the Internet. Many companies do this and actually, they get away with it as well.

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Thanks all, especially BankFodder. The emails were pasted from a Hotmail account to a word document so the formatting gets a bit messy. I won't forward the separate emails as you've pretty much summed up everything there. I haven't replied to his last 2 emails and wasn't planning to without advice and only if he continues sending me emails. Thanks again.

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I think that you should respond a final time as I have suggested. I think that you need to show them that it has gone far enough and that you are calling their bluff.

Frankly I would also add to my reviews that you had been subject to this pressure - but that may not be to your taste

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  • 2 months later...
Hi, I would be interested in knowing which removal company you had issue with. I just had issue with one and won in court against them. I'm ready to bet that it's the same one.

 

I've not heard anything from the removalist for a while and, to be honest, I'd just rather forget about the whole thing. Feel free to name the company (maybe send a PM, I couldn't send one as I don't have enough posts) and I can confirm.

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Hi Paul,

 

Not the same company but I imagine it's quite common for shoddy removal companies to play the same game in the hope of scaring off people. You've only got to read some of the horror stories on removalreviews.co.uk to see the problems people face. Congratulations to you though!

Best Regards

Brottare

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Question: I thought that to sue for defamation the high court had to be used and a lot of money invested. Is this still the case?

I understand that if the company can prove a loss as direct consequence of the defamation then the could claim in county court, but surely this is not the case

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