Obedience School Sues Yelper For $65K Over Negative Review

HardOCP News

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You'd think all the negative feedback this story is going to generate would be way worse than a single Yelp review.

A few months ago, a Virginia woman began taking her dog to obedience class, and when the training wasn’t what she expected, she requested a pro-rated refund and wrote a negative review of the school on Yelp. Now she’s facing a $65,000 defamation lawsuit.
 

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
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So she got a refund but still published a negative review. I like how dog owners are all psychotic freaks.
 

the_jackel

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Wouldn't you want to warn others of your bad experience? This seems like the type of thing a normal person should do.
 

ccmfreak2

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So she got a refund but still published a negative review. I like how dog owners are all psychotic freaks.

Wonderful how you didn't even read the article. There was no refund - that was the point of the negative review.

These claims have been denied in court time and time again. Counter-sue him out of business!
 

darkpark

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So she got a refund but still published a negative review. I like how dog owners are all psychotic freaks.

You must not have read the article, because she did NOT receive a refund.

From the article: “In a nutshell, the services delivered were not as advertised and the owner refused a refund,” she wrote in her Yelp review, which has since been removed from the site.

This is definately bullcrap. What is the point of Yelp if a business complains about a negative review and they immediately take it down. Nevertheless, I think the Streisand effect will bring this business to justice.
 

AssMan

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Wonderful how you didn't even read the article. There was no refund - that was the point of the negative review.

These claims have been denied in court time and time again. Counter-sue him out of business!

Refund or not what is the point of reviews if you can only say positive things.
 

Ur_Mom

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If all the reviews are positive, why have reviews? Take the negative reviews, learn from them. Approach those that left them and offer to fix the problem. Have them amend and add to (leave the negative, but add a post-follow up review) the review to show that it was resolved.

I'd rather have a bad experience followed by someone making it up and making things right afterwards than lies for good reviews.

Suing the reviewer? Now, they are really killing their business. If that's how they treat customers, fuck them. If they don't want to fix the problem, it's going to remain a problem. If they sue those that bring it up, then they are screwed. No one wants to be in that situation, so they'll just avoid it all together.
 

HAF72

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Hope people will see this story that goes to that school and not go anymore....
 

ViperGrendal

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Just remember it's not slander if it's the truth. It's the same thing as if you picket a business from across the street. As long as you stick to the facts there's nothing they can do but negotiate with you to get you to go away. Unless some uninformed or crooked police officer removes you.

Now, if you're outside a Chinese restaurant with a sign saying they cook kittens just because your meal was cold... ;)
 

Ducman69

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I hope you guys realize that this is the business model of virtually ALL such online review sites.

They charge businesses to help "monitor" and "manage" their online reviews, and so if you pay them then you get all your negative reviews deleted.

This is how the Better Business Bureau has operated for ages now.
 

Fun

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Lol, their yelp page is getting flooded with 1 star reviews right now. By suing this person they've pretty much hit the self destruct button for their business.
 

AssMan

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Just remember it's not slander if it's the truth. It's the same thing as if you picket a business from across the street. As long as you stick to the facts there's nothing they can do but negotiate with you to get you to go away. Unless some uninformed or crooked police officer removes you.

Now, if you're outside a Chinese restaurant with a sign saying they cook kittens just because your meal was cold... ;)

But what if they really did cook you some kittens ;).
 

bigdogchris

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I'm totally on the fence regarding Yelp.

I don't see how a good business model is going to be put out of business because of something people say on a website (especially if it's untrue). People should have the right to share their poor experiences.

But I also understand the how stupid some people are. They complain, just to complain, in hopes to get free stuff or because they have nothing better to do and like the attention or for other unknown reasons. Businesses should be protected against this type of defamation.
 

SonicTron

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So she got a refund but still published a negative review. I like how dog owners are all psychotic freaks.

Whoa now, getting a refund means that a negative review shouldn't be published? Give me a break.
 

sfsuphysics

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and that this customer’s negative review “had a significant impact.”
If the negative review did not lie about what the experience was like the person getting sued has nothing to worry about, she counter sues to ask for time lost from work, lawyers fees, court fees, etc, the other person probably drops case if there's no merit

“In a nutshell, the services delivered were not as advertised and the owner refused a refund,” she wrote in her Yelp review, which has since been removed from the site.
something tells me "in a nutshell" she may have written a much more inflammatory review that what she's stating, especially if this is a defamation suit.

People need to realize that your first amendment rights do not give you the right of defamation or libel.
 

WaltC

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The obedience school owner will not win--he hasn't a prayer, and if what she wrote is true she can counter-sue for damages (no refund) & punitive. The intent of suits like this is to simply frighten the person into doing what you want--but, again, if this lady is telling the truth then she should hang on and watch the obedience school dig itself into an ever-deeper hole.

People who sue because of negative reviews are pretty much idiots--all they'd have to do is *answer* the Yelper review with *the truth* of what they did to satisfy the lady, unless they didn't do anything praiseworthy at all--in which case the fact that they didn't answer her negative review simply adds more fuel to the fire and helps buttress any anti-obedience school suit that may come up.

First Rule of Business: the Customer is Always Right (even when he's wrong.) Even if the customer becomes ludicrous and ridiculous you still try and meet him halfway, at least. Violate that principle and you won't stay in business very long.
 

DeadSkull

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Don't know who is right between the business and the dog owner but Yelp is notoriously anti business.

If don't pay for ads as a business then Yelp will let every negative review fly. However as you pay more and more Yelp will "silence" or "hide" negative reviews on your business.

tl;dr Yelp is a scam.
 

DeadSkull

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Don't know who is right between the business and the dog owner but Yelp is notoriously anti business.

If don't pay for ads as a business then Yelp will let every negative review fly. However as you pay more and more Yelp will "silence" or "hide" negative reviews on your business.

tl;dr Yelp is a scam.

Want evidence? Just look at the Yelp reviews and all the random noobies bombing the business with negative 1 star reviews.

Yelp is a scam.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/dog-tranquility-llc-burke-2
 

GushpinBob

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So she got a refund but still published a negative review. I like how dog owners are all psychotic freaks.
I like how people who don't bother clicking on the link make a snarky quip based on the thread title and incorrect generalizations that have nothing to do with the article's contents. :rolleyes:
 

McFry

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This is the first time I've seen so many sudden positive reviews for a site go up to counter the damage. Guess she sent out a mass email to all her customers/friends to save the sinking ship. Their efforts have improved her business to 2 stars instead of 1 now. Oh well fuck her and fuck her business, tired of people using financial ruin to intimidate others.
 

OEM

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Don't these people learn that doing shit like this just pisses off the internet?
 

SunnyD

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The actual solution to the problem would be for people to not use sites like Yelp. Unfortunately I am at a loss as to how they still are even popular now that people know that they are for-pay review sites which serve to market the business's interests and not the reviewers at all. Yeah, I know they have to make money somehow, but still. I tend to go out of my way to avoid any place suggested by someone that is highly rated on any of these sorts of review sites.
 

Pez

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Both the reviewer and the dog obedience training guy are in the wrong.

First, taking a dog class does not guarantee you will get the expected results. The dog owner was upset her little dog was with big dogs? If you want the dog socialized, it needs to be around ALL dogs you stupid woman. Even then, it can take months for some dogs to acclimate.

And.. "therapy dog" training? What does that even mean? Any dog can be called a "therapy dog" these days. Really, all it really entails is a dog with some obedience training.

As for the business owner, simply leaving a polite comment after her review would have done much more. Instead, the dumb asshat decides to sue. I can understand why he did it, but it was the wrong move.
 

raz-0

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Wonderful how you didn't even read the article. There was no refund - that was the point of the negative review.

These claims have been denied in court time and time again. Counter-sue him out of business!

Now if only the folks who read the article also looked up the business. Nowhere on the business' web site was I able to find anything indicating they do therapy dog training. As much as therapy dog certification may or may not be a crock wherever you are, they all at least have some standards. Given the sum being bitched about, and what packages the trainer offered, The sum in question wouldn't be sufficient to get you through to therapy dog guidelines (at least where I live) even if they DID claim they did such training.

The lawsuit was stupid, but in this case I'm pretty sure the customer is an idiot as well.
 

Armenius

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Don't these people learn that doing shit like this just pisses off the internet?
They obviously have not heard about the Streisand effect. Not only did they openly sue this person, but got a national news story on it, too. The owner obviously wants to go out of business by gaining this much attention.
 

OEM

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Her dumbass kid is wearing a military uniform with a beard. Hes out of regs. If he is still in I hope he gets hammered for that.

Shit like that pisses me off.
 

McFry

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Both the reviewer and the dog obedience training guy are in the wrong.
There's no denying the reviewer is a jackass, but thats the cost of doing business. Look at the product reviews on sites like Amazon or Newegg. If you sort by negative you will always find one random retard complaining about something. Someone will knock a GTX 980 because they didnt like the packaging it came in and Newegg forgot to honor a coupon code, so boom they give it 1 star as if the device itself is trash. You just gotta roll with the punches.

For a business like hers a couple of negative reviews could sting if she doesnt have much volume. In that case she either makes it right no matter what the cost if it's worth it to protect her reputation, or she eats it and moves on, perhaps encouraging current clients to leave positive reviews to help.

But the moment you decide to abuse the legal system to ruin someone's life you can go fuck yourself. You are infinitely more wrong than they could ever be, even if they flat out lied and said you killed their dog. Bitch deserves everything she gets.
 

McFry

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Oh wow she really did get all her friends/family to spam the site with positive reviews. While all of the fake one's have been removed restoring her ranking back to 4.5 stars, there were about a dozen 5 star reviews all made today and yesterday that have also been removed. What a ++++. Hopefully her news story does enough damage locally.
 

infin@

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the stupidest thing I've read all week, and its Saturday.

maybe even all month.

Couldn't agree more, lets make some more sweeping generalizations shall we?

On topic, I have to agree both parties are in the wrong here, this whole fiasco is just another example of why I avoid sites like Yelp.
 
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