A Chicago business has filed a lawsuit against a husband and wife for writing a negative review on online review site Yelp.
According to reports, shades and blinds company Zwick Window Shade Co in North Park, Chicago is suing the review-writing couple for libel and seeking $50,000 in damages.
The allegedly libelous review – which is still on the company’s Yelp page – was written by Yelp user Katie M, who wrote, “We waited over 4 months for blinds that were supposed to take 3-6 weeks. My husband and I like to support small, family-run business when doing home improvement projects. While the people at Zwick were friendly during the ordering process, they were not very communicative with us about the delay (I had to call repeatedly to ask when the blinds would arrive). We did finally get them, and they are good quality.” Katie M rated the company two-stars in her review.
Filed in Cook County Circuit Court, Zwick Window Shade Co’s lawsuit claims that the negative review makes “misrepresentations about the alleged non-delivery of the blinds,” and is thus essentially false.
Zwick is one of the latest companies to take legal action after receiving a negative review on Yelp. In 2012, housing contractor Dietz Development LLC sued Jane Perez of Virginia for a critical Yelp review. More recently, Jeremy Wages, a realtor in Flower Mound, Texas, filed suit in a Texas court against Yelp user Lin L for defamation and asked Yelp to reveal the identity of the reviewer.
Zwick Window Shade’s lawsuit hasn’t helped the company’s online reputation management efforts. In fact, it has resulted in more negative reviews appearing on its Yelp page, written by users who did not like the fact that the local business decided to take legal action.
“Zwick Window Shade receives 1 star for suing their customers,” wrote Mike S.
Added Jeff H: “A company that sues their customers for a negative review because the company did not deliver the product the customer purchased in a timely manner will certainly not get my business.”
“I have never done business with this company, nor do I know anyone who has done business with them,” shared Xuan W. “Furthermore, based on the article I read about this merchant suing a couple for sharing their negative experience with this merchant, I hope I never encounter anyone who would do business with such people. Rather than reaching out to an unsatisfied customer in order make things right, this merchant appears to have thought it better to lash out. Some might consider that bullying.”
Got a bad review? Think twice before taking legal action and filing a lawsuit. For tips, check out our recent post: “9 Effective Tips for Responding to Online Critics.”