Sued for a bad Trustpilot review???

Soldato
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This popped on on my newsfeed and think it will set a dangerous precedent :eek:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55981600

A man who left a negative review of a legal firm on the TrustPilot website has been ordered to pay £25,000 ($34,000) in libel damages.

Philip James Waymouth engaged London law firm Summerfield Browne online to provide advice but was unsatisfied with the service he received.

He then left a review accusing the firm of being "another scam solicitor", according to court documents.

The firm took legal action, stating that this was untrue and defamatory.

The number of business enquiries it received had dropped since the publication of the review, Summerfield Browne said.

Mr Waymouth had not engaged with Summerfield Browne's complaints procedure before leaving the review, the High Court in London heard.

He did not attend the online hearing or send a legal representative.

He previously said he had offered to remove the review in exchange for a refund of the £200 fee (plus VAT) he had paid but claimed the firm had not responded.


Does this now mean if I leave a slightly ambiguous Steam review they can sue me :confused:
 
Soldato
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Does this now mean if I leave a slightly ambiguous Steam review they can sue me :confused:
No. He was sued for making an untrue statement (or libel). If you did the same in your review of Steam, they could try to sue you, if you truthfully reviewed and said you didn't like their service they couldn't sue you.
 
Caporegime
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Does this now mean if I leave a slightly ambiguous Steam review they can sue me :confused:

No, in the example used above it isn't a slightly ambiguous review that he left. A review like that if unfounded can be extremely damaging.

This looks like another case of play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
 
Man of Honour
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Stick to the facts in a review and you won't have a problem, start throwing around emotional accusations that you can't back up and you'll run into problems. Especially if it's a law firm you've decided to rub up the wrong way :o
 
Soldato
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Does this now mean if I leave a slightly ambiguous Steam review they can sue me :confused:
nope because a slightly ambiguous review is somewhat different to calling them
"another scam solicitor"

He previously said he had offered to remove the review in exchange for a refund of the £200 fee (plus VAT) he had paid but claimed the firm had not responded.
i smell a chancer!
 
Man of Honour
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Be interesting to see how the balance of PR works out - a lot of people will have never heard of the company before but sometimes this kind of negative PR isn't good (see Gillette) especially if handled badly.
 
Soldato
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Be interesting to see how the balance of PR works out - a lot of people will have never heard of the company before but sometimes this kind of negative PR isn't good (see Gillette) especially if handled badly.

It already has. 20 more reviews have been added since I started this :D
 
Soldato
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Shocking that actions can have consequences...

If you are going to commit libel, perhaps a law firm is a poor choice of target.
 
Soldato
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A bit torn on this. To those saying he deserves it, what's to say that his opinion that they are scammy isn't genuinely felt? And if it is, he's entitled to say it isn't he?
 
Associate
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OCUK are closely watching developments and reviewing all the negative comments around recent GPU launches...
 
Associate
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A bit torn on this. To those saying he deserves it, what's to say that his opinion that they are scammy isn't genuinely felt? And if it is, he's entitled to say it isn't he?

Because it needs to be proven as factually true, not just that he believed it to be true.
 
Soldato
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A bit torn on this. To those saying he deserves it, what's to say that his opinion that they are scammy isn't genuinely felt? And if it is, he's entitled to say it isn't he?

It's the wording though. Whether the service he received was good or not, it's highly unlikely that it's a scam, and that's the issue here. Sadly people throw around the word scam too easily these days to describe anything sub-par.


It's a tricky one as the judge seems to be suggesting he didn't articulate why he was leaving a bad review but

In the review, Mr Waymouth alleged: "I paid upfront for a legal assessment of my case.

"But what I got was just the information I sent them, reworded and sent back to me."

That seems to describe things fairly accurately. I suppose the issue here is what it was he actually asked for vs what he received, but it's something we're unlikely to know the details of.
 
Soldato
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Because it needs to be proven as factually true, not just that he believed it to be true.
So if you have a bad meal in a restaurant, and leave a bad review, the restaurant owner should be able to sue you for libel unless you can 'prove as factually true' that you had a meal you didn't enjoy?
 
Soldato
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A bit torn on this. To those saying he deserves it, what's to say that his opinion that they are scammy isn't genuinely felt? And if it is, he's entitled to say it isn't he?

No, you can't just make any statement you want and claim that it's your opinion when challenged on it.

In defamation law, the defence of personal opinion only applies where an honest person could have held the same opinion given the same facts. He paid the solicitor to do some work and they did some work for him. He maybe wasn't happy with the standard of the work but no honest person would consider it a "scam".
 
Soldato
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So if you have a bad meal in a restaurant, and leave a bad review, the restaurant owner should be able to sue you for libel unless you can 'prove as factually true' that you had a meal you didn't enjoy?

No, but i presume if you had a steak and left a review stating that the steak was horrible and probably dog meat.

Then you're making a statement that is untrue and you would be opening yourself up for libel.
 
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