11 Dec 2017

Businesses are being advised on how best to deal with malicious online reviews that have little in common with the actual customer experience on which they are supposedly based.

Many self-appointed critics use the veil of anonymity afforded by the internet to condemn a meal, accommodation or goods purchased, when the level of criticism is simply not justified. 

Lawrence Morley, solicitor at DMH Stallard said:

“The benefits of the internet and social media are extraordinary.  These digital mediums are transformative, not least in how businesses are able to engage as easily with people from down the road or around the world.

“However, with this power to communicate globally comes a level of threat not seen before.  Companies can now be targeted intentionally by ‘trolls’ with the sole aim of harming a business.”

Restaurants and hotels are prime examples of businesses at the mercy of their latest online reviewer, with potential customers often making one of the well-known review forums their first port of call.

Lawrence added:

“Companies need to work out how to deal with legitimate grievances and those that are manifestly unfair or blatantly untrue.

“It is true that a false claim online could be considered libellous.  The key is striking a balance between engaging positively with reviewers who have legitimate complaints and standing your ground when you feel badly treated.

“It is equally true that a public facing business with no bad reviews at all can look suspicious in its itself.”

For further information please contact:

Further reading

Commercial landlords face extended restrictions

Blog, Legal Updates
Landlords take another hit as tenants’ protection mandated to last two years; Lawrence Morley takes a look
Read more Read

New Homes Quality Code – consultation under way

Blog, Legal Updates
Now is the time for housing developers to contribute to the discussion about new quality code
Read more Read

Is changing terms of employment about to become more difficult?

Employers beware. It may become more difficult to change terms of employment through the process of dismissal and re-engagement or “fire and rehire”.
Read more Read

Is the menopause really a business issue?

Abigail Maino explores the extent to which employers should be supporting employees who may be struggling with symptoms of the menopause
Read more Read
  • Brighton Office

    1 Jubilee Street


    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Gatwick Office

    Griffin House

    135 High Street


    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford Office

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road



    GU3 1LR

  • Horsham Office

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax


    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London Office

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane


    EC4A 3BF

  • Get in touch