Online reviews

Apparently an Australian man, The Fat Aussie Bastard is being sued to defamation because of a Youtube video he released, slating a hotel he stayed at.

A NOOSA businessman with a love for posting his opinions online has become embroiled in a legal battle which he believes will affect the future of free speech in Australia.
Computer repair shop owner Peter Finn is being sued for defamation after last month posting a YouTube video criticising a Brisbane hotel, where he says he and friends received poor service.

To be sued for defamation, it needs to be shown that what you have said is incorrect. He states,

“If you have bad service at a venue or bad service from a mechanic or whatever, there is no law stopping you from putting up a bad review.
“Provided you don’t tell lies, you can basically do a review and they cannot have you up for slander.”

So as long as he hasn't lied, he doesn't have a problem.

Personally I take any online review with a pinch of salt. I was looking on Google the other day for a shop I had been to previously. When I was there, the service was professional, knowledgeable and helpful. That is why I wanted to go back. While I was looking for the address I found that Google has the option to review businesses on it's maps. There were three reviews for this shop, all of them scathing. "They broke this, lost that, no refund, no contact" etc etc.

This was far from the service I had had so I chose to ignore it. Potential new customers might read that and choose to shop elsewhere.

The problem is, with any customer environment, where a customer has good service and they are pleased, they will walk away happy but not really bother talking about it to others. Occasionally someone will ask them, "Have you been to suchaplace?" and they will tell about it.

On the other hand, if they have a bad experience they will tell as many people as possible. They will be texting their mates as soon as they get home and telling them not to go there. Some will even write to the local paper and some will seek out online reviews to say their piece.

I used to work in a very popular pub/restaurant. We would easily clear ten grand in food on a good weekend, we were very busy and our customers came again and again because they were so happy about the food and the service.

One day the landlord was walking out with his dog and it barked at a woman coming in. She started screaming like a little girl. He just said sorry and carried on. Unfortunately, as he was coming back in, she was leaving and the exact same thing happened. This time she started giving him loads of grief about his Yorkshire Terrier being a dangerous dog.

Two hours later she phoned the pub and demanded two hundred pounds in compensation or she was going to complain to the pub company head office. Our landlord just said "Get lost you chancer" and we never heard from her again.

The brewery had the option to comment on their website about pubs you had visited. Out of thousands of customers, this woman was the only one who ever wrote a review of our pub on the site, and it wasn't good.

If you read an online review, just remember, this is one pissed off person who is holding a grudge. Take no notice and find out for yourself.

H/T to Angry People in Local Newspapers for the story link.


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