Reviewers Get Sued? Figure Out How To Dodge That One!

Hey, I was putting together a piece on an article that inspired me to write up a sort of how-to not get in trouble writing reviews.  There are right ways and there are wrong ways.  In my past, I've done a few reviews that had me stammering when I was called on the carpet about.  To be honest, you have to create a good, well written experience to get anyone's attention.  If you're upset and write upset, it don't look no good to no one.  It becomes gibberish with missing and misspelled words.

And Gibberish is the best way to have folks stop reading your tirade.

But the trick to getting tirades read, are to write them from a logical corner of your mind.  One where you've calmed down a bit and you are able to express in detailed, fact-backed words, what your experience was.

Below, is the starter of an article addressing this, and continue it over on my primary website, where I've put it.  I had a bit of a moment trying to figure out where to put it, so I split it up this way. 

So... Let me get this beast rolling along and the link only takes you to my other site... it looks a wee bit different, but that's all.

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The other day I came across an interesting article on the Business Insider that talked about how businesses are suing customers that are putting up bad reviews on Yelp, one of a few review websites.

I shook my head at first since that seems almost counter-productive than the negative reviews they're trying to squash.  Two examples of lawsuits were focused on negative descriptors that seemed to come from an emotionally based spot in the mind/heart, or how a contractor stole jewelry from a customer.

I personally knew of a business that was looking to smite a review because of how a review was worded inaccurately.

There's a growing concern that lawsuits like these could create a trend and start a wave of worries, one being the right to free speech.  But on the other side of the coin, if reviewers win the lawsuits, this could be bad for businesses, if they can't defend against false accusations.

And therein lies the issue, as far as I can see it... false accusations and poor, fact-less based statements.


Suggestions For Writing Reviews...

(If something like this worries you.)

Many moons ago I was called "on the carpet" by an organization when, in one of my very early reviews, I used what I deem to be emotionally based wording in my caustic tirade of the organization.  In fact I got carried away a bit and did veer from the truth by adding emotionally-based suppositions.  And that's not cool.  (As I have learned.)

Sure, in one place I lived at at the intersection of the 101 and Lawrence (in Sunnyvale), the place had vehicles broken into every single week.  Sure, one eatery establishment in Menlo Park has staff that screws up most custom menu orders.  Sure, one MP mechanic suggested a $2500 job when I got the problem fixed for $90. And sure, that free car wash cost my $4.  And of late, yes, that $50 cell phone, with the accompanying free cell phone, ended up costing me $300.

But you have to be careful how or what you write and reflect the facts only, as you have encountered them.

If you're going to write a review, well, here's how I suggest doing it, or, as I proceed.

First, always report the absolute truth of the event. 

In the scenario of the apartment building I had lived in, I saw the aftermath of broken into cars.  Each week I saw a new car just in my section of the parking structure end up with shattered windows and contents removed.

Emotionally, I wanted to convey what other people told me. Things like the cars being stolen or units being broken into.  And this seemed reasonable, since the complex has a local PD rep show up to talk to us about such things.

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