Hotel Files $75K Suit Against Anonymous Reviewer

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Because the negative publicity the hotel is getting after filing this lawsuit is so much better than the "damage" from that single online review. :rolleyes:

Less than a month after an anonymous TripAdvisor.com user posted a very unflattering review of a Lincoln City hotel, the hotel has filed a $74,500 defamation lawsuit in an attempt to stop the reviewer from posting again and driving away business.
 

MavericK

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What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?
 

TwistedAegis

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What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?

I don't disagree, and still think it's dumb, but this review was full of personal attacks and sounded bogus. But, probably would have been better handled just contacting Tripadvisor. The negative personal attack ads are pretty easy to spot.
 

Hazard

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While I think it's silly to go after anonymous reviewers, I also think many reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and similar are made by ill-informed or generally dumb people. Amateur reviews can hurt good businesses.
 

Koolthulu

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What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?

Well according to the article, Oregon seems fine with businesses suing reviewers.

What I want to know is how they can claim the person didn't stay at the inn when they don't even know who the person is. Maybe the place was closed at the time or something. Still seems odd.

And while I think negative reviews should be protected from litigation, the quoted parts (if true) seem more like personal attacks instead of a review of the inn itself.
 

sfsuphysics

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in an attempt to stop the reviewer from posting again and driving away business.
The Hotel obviously doesn't know how the internet works, the person posted a review, usually it ends there. They don't continue to post reviews about a place.
 

m heisty

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The hotel has grounds for a libel suit if the review is false and defamatory. However that will be a trick to approve.
 

Trekari

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The people rolling their eyes, including Steve, clearly do not bother to read or educate themselves on the facts before presuming to know everything.

Libel is illegal, as is defamation.

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/22/h...-suit-against-anonymous-tripadvisor-reviewer/

The lawsuit says the "reviewer" never stayed at the hotel and made a "review" full of specific lies that can in fact be disproven.

That's an illegal act, and deserving of a lawsuit.

Keep up the good ASSumptions with the front page comments though, Steve.
 

overclock

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The hotel should have just had the review removed and moved on. One stupid review won't hurt anyways. Last summer we were looking at reviews for a hotel in NYC. One review said that they were gassed while they slept and half their stuff was stolen. We didn't stay there but not because of that review. Other reviews said other negative stuff that was far more believable.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Freedom of Speech? In America? You must be new here.

Freedom of Speech is applied in a pretty different way. It's about keeping the government from stopping you from disagreeing with the government about what the government does to govern. That's not really at all related to a private company suing someone for making up lies in a review that damages the business.
 

Trimlock

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I have a strong feeling the hotel will win this one and it sounds like they should too.
 

Dekoth-E-

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The people rolling their eyes, including Steve, clearly do not bother to read or educate themselves on the facts before presuming to know everything.

Libel is illegal, as is defamation.

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/22/h...-suit-against-anonymous-tripadvisor-reviewer/

The lawsuit says the "reviewer" never stayed at the hotel and made a "review" full of specific lies that can in fact be disproven.

That's an illegal act, and deserving of a lawsuit.

Keep up the good ASSumptions with the front page comments though, Steve.

They also said in the same article that they don't actually know the real name of the person. So they can't actually know if the person stayed or did not stay based on that. So right now they are claiming just as much potential bullshit as the reviewer.
 

bigdogchris

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What a brilliant way to help your reputation; frivolous lawsuits. :rolleyes:

Who are these morons?
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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It's not frivolous if your business can't afford to continue operating and your employees lose their jobs. :( I think it might be a good idea to have some empathy for people who are working hard to support the families and may not be able to keep doing so because a hotel closes over things that might not be true in a review that impacts the number of guests staying there.
 

Dekoth-E-

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It's not frivolous if your business can't afford to continue operating and your employees lose their jobs. :( I think it might be a good idea to have some empathy for people who are working hard to support the families and may not be able to keep doing so because a hotel closes over things that might not be true in a review that impacts the number of guests staying there.

One extreme shitty review isn't going to make or break a business. Anyone who thinks that anyone actually takes most reviews with more than a grain of salt is living in a time warp. If anything most people will look at one really ugly review and just assume the person is overly mad and blowing shit out of proportion and move on.

However the negative publicity that something like this generates is Far far greater and this in fact Does have the chance of impacting their bottom line. I actually travel quite a bit and this is the kind of thing that will absolutely stop me from sending my business somewhere. I don't condone this kind of behavior as a response to negative reviews. Want to know how to do it right? You address the review directly and show that you are taking active measures to address the valid complaints and dismiss the invalid ones. What you don't do is turn a stupid online review into a media shitstorm.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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One extreme shitty review isn't going to make or break a business. Anyone who thinks that anyone actually takes most reviews with more than a grain of salt is living in a time warp. If anything most people will look at one really ugly review and just assume the person is overly mad and blowing shit out of proportion and move on.

However the negative publicity that something like this generates is Far far greater and this in fact Does have the chance of impacting their bottom line. I actually travel quite a bit and this is the kind of thing that will absolutely stop me from sending my business somewhere. I don't condone this kind of behavior as a response to negative reviews. Want to know how to do it right? You address the review directly and show that you are taking active measures to address the valid complaints and dismiss the invalid ones. What you don't do is turn a stupid online review into a media shitstorm.

Actually, it looks like it might ruin a company for that one business Amazon banned recently for trying to protect itself from a malicious reviewer.
 

SGA76

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Actually, it looks like it might ruin a company for that one business Amazon banned recently for trying to protect itself from a malicious reviewer.

BUT...
Said company willingly breached the Amazon TOS in order to keep their review ratings high. If they had a problem with the review they should have contacted Amazon to deal with the issue, no go behind Amazon's backs and threaten to sue someone who had actually purchased the product without considering possible repercussions first.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Actually, it looks like it might ruin a company for that one business Amazon banned recently for trying to protect itself from a malicious reviewer.

Nope, no one even knew about that shit concerning the amazon thing before they got stupid and did what this hotel is trying. I ordered cables from them all the time, I've seen plenty of negative reviews and ignored them. However when they went after the guy in a lawsuit, That is what sunk them, not the review. I'm sorry for the people but I have little sympathy to the company as a whole. They brought this shit on themselves and I'll never buy a thing from them again.

Once again, the malicious reviewer had little to no real impact until the company turned it into a media circus.
 

SGA76

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Keep in mind, most one star reviews read:
"Product was (either) DOA or stopped working in the first few days, returned for Brand X I usually buy anyways and it WORKED. Never buying from Brand Y again."
The reviews I look for are the 4 star ones that say:
"Problem with Brand Y, I contacted support and got help within 24 hours, they paid shipping and replaced item X which now works fine. Support was easy and pleasant to deal with and either A.spoke English or B.had a good command of the English language. More than willing to give them my business again."
5 star reviews are a dime a dozen by people who are just happy it worked, I want to know I'm buying from somewhere that stands behind their product.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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BUT...
Said company willingly breached the Amazon TOS in order to keep their review ratings high. If they had a problem with the review they should have contacted Amazon to deal with the issue, no go behind Amazon's backs and threaten to sue someone who had actually purchased the product without considering possible repercussions first.

Nope, no one even knew about that shit concerning the amazon thing before they got stupid and did what this hotel is trying. I ordered cables from them all the time, I've seen plenty of negative reviews and ignored them. However when they went after the guy in a lawsuit, That is what sunk them, not the review. I'm sorry for the people but I have little sympathy to the company as a whole. They brought this shit on themselves and I'll never buy a thing from them again.

Once again, the malicious reviewer had little to no real impact until the company turned it into a media circus.

Okay, you both have good points. The cable people were pretty underhanded and they should have tried to work with Amazon first, but it doesn't justify what the malicious reviewer did in the first place or make it unreasonable for a company to take action to protect itself. I think there should be some sort of balance. People writing negative reviews should be able to express their experiences with a product or service freely, but a company is equally entitled to defend itself from an attack with made up stuff in it.

Companies have been able to do that for years with print published media or televised stuff. That shouldn't change just because the medium is now a digital one and the negative information originates from a malicious individual instead of a malicious publisher.
 

Hornet

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The people rolling their eyes, including Steve, clearly do not bother to read or educate themselves on the facts before presuming to know everything.

Libel is illegal, as is defamation.

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/22/h...-suit-against-anonymous-tripadvisor-reviewer/

The lawsuit says the "reviewer" never stayed at the hotel and made a "review" full of specific lies that can in fact be disproven.

That's an illegal act, and deserving of a lawsuit.

Keep up the good ASSumptions with the front page comments though, Steve.

Steve never claimed it's illegal. It's just a dumb move because now they draw tons of negative attention to themself, none of which would happened if they had just ignore it. Bringing out the lawyers against reviewers is always going to draw negative attention.
 

viscountalpha

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This is about as much LOSE/LOSE as you can get. Good luck having people who want to leave reviews or accuracy of poor reviews that actually realistic.

No one wins in this scenario if this is allowed to continue.
 

Jsalpha2

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Q: If the anonymous person is found guilty and fined, who will pay?
A: Once the identity of the reviewer is found, his or her name will be listed as the defendant.
Q: But can they do that? The last I heard even the government could not prove that someone else had not used your wireless network.

Q: If I give a bad review at Amazon or Newegg will I be sued?

Q: Can I file a frivolous lawsuit against an anonymous person and get rich?

Q: Why would worms be in a can anyway?

The suit was filed by Portland attorney Jeffrey Frasier. No comment.
 
S

shade91

Guest
What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?

1) Reviewers tend to commit libel and defame a business in a negative way when their thoughts of hate for the business begin translating to written word on the internet. While the recent Amazon reviewer of Mediabridge was correct in that their products were junk, he committed libel with his wording by making defaming statements about Mediabridge that he couldn't prove. That is libel.

2) Businesses, which usually have far more financial resources than your typical reviewer, can push people around who don't have the thousands required to defend yourself in civil courts. The only way around this is to anonymize your reviews as much as possible. The only way a business can then track you down is through subpoenaing both the review site and your ISP to track you down. The ISP and review site would tell the reviewed business to piss off without an order from a judge, who would likely never grant it in a civil case where criminal action never occurred.
 

ZenDragon

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Well, there is precedence with this type of case now, it should get thrown out pretty quick.
 

Ducman69

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What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?
Even if its a bogus review, I don't care, I won't support businesses thinking they can sue people for online reviews.

If there's unquestionable abuse, just contact the website hosting the review and be done with it.

We need some kind of blanket protection for regular reviewers even if they want to ran on a review they are pissy about, without them thinking that they will need to consult a lawyer first. An online review from a regular schmuck should just be considered an independent opinion.

The only time the law should get involved is when you have reviewers being PAID to leave reviews (which the businesses themselves usually do, either to make themselves look better, abuse a competitor to make them look worse, or both).
 

Dan_D

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What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?

Oh lord. I'd get run out of the business if companies get to do this.
 
D

Deleted whining member 223597

Guest
The hotel had other bad reviews, they aren't trying to just get rid of bad reviews. RTFA is once again too [H]ard for people at [H].
 

Ur_Mom

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Saw it was Lincoln City, and I got scared. I left a review (not a great review, either) of a hotel there last a few weeks ago. I'm glad it was a different hotel than the one I stayed at. And I wasn't that harsh in my review, either.

The personal attacks were a bit much. I think that the site should get rid of those reviews that do that. Calling someone out by name and saying what they did was way too far. Those should be removed, no doubt about it. It actually sounds like some 16 year old girl gossip BS rather than a review from some adult.
 

jimmyb

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Well, there is precedence with this type of case now, it should get thrown out pretty quick.

There are literally hundreds of years of legal precedent of people being sued successfully under defamation laws... really makes you think.
 

kbrickley

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Q: If the anonymous person is found guilty and fined, who will pay?
A: Once the identity of the reviewer is found, his or her name will be listed as the defendant.
Q: But can they do that? The last I heard even the government could not prove that someone else had not used your wireless network.

Q: If I give a bad review at Amazon or Newegg will I be sued?

Q: Can I file a frivolous lawsuit against an anonymous person and get rich?

Q: Why would worms be in a can anyway?

The suit was filed by Portland attorney Jeffrey Frasier. No comment.

This is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal one ... the bar for criminal lawsuits is very high (rightfully so) in order to limit government power and abuse ... the bar for civil lawsuits is much lower (since those don't usually involve the government)

For example a criminal case requires clear evidence of guilt and if the jury feels that the evidence is not in favor of conviction they can acquit the defendant ... a civil case is usually just a majority of the evidence ... this is why OJ Simpson was acquitted in his criminal trial but lost the later civil lawsuit brought by the family ... different bar of proof ... also, criminal trials exclude lots of evidence like Hearsay and such where these are sometime permitted in civil cases
 

NeghVar

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Nope, no one even knew about that shit concerning the amazon thing before they got stupid and did what this hotel is trying. I ordered cables from them all the time, I've seen plenty of negative reviews and ignored them. However when they went after the guy in a lawsuit, That is what sunk them, not the review. I'm sorry for the people but I have little sympathy to the company as a whole. They brought this shit on themselves and I'll never buy a thing from them again.

Once again, the malicious reviewer had little to no real impact until the company turned it into a media circus.

Hit the nail on the head :D
 

teh_chem

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
1,474
Always speak in terms of your opinion, never state anything as fact, and don't lie. You can talk as much shit about a business as you want, just don't dip into the realms of libel, defamation, or false statements.
 

doho7744

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Messages
194
The hotel should sue this pos. The review did not say the beds were lumpy and the room and a stink about it. The reviewer said the maids were high or drunk, the owner smokes weed, and the check in girl, Jen, was doing phone sex. The second two are libelous. The reviewer specifically identified people and claimed things they could not prove.
 

BBA

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What's with this new trend of businesses thinking they can sue people for negative reviews? Aren't they pretty much getting thrown out of court?

It is funny because they sure aren't offering to pay anyone for positive reviews.
 
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