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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Madam, I wonder if you could help. A client visited

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam, I wonder if you could help. A client visited my shop and after spending 3-4 hours at our premises,she suggested that she could find the fabric online (rather than purchase it from our adjoining shop which sells at retail prices) and have the labour done by us. We stated to the client that our labour charges are competitive as the fabric showroom supports the upholstery workshop. So we would have to decline the work. The client became enraged and demanded that she spoke to the owner. We stated to her that we were engaged with clients and we could get the owner if she waited. She was fuming. In fact her husband stated to us that in his father's shop this type of incident of clients buying online happens all the time. Subsequently she wrote a review on google, which includes statements that in our view are defamatory and malicious : "Awful pathetically bad service, the owner is a compete lunatic, who cannot accommodate any form of bargaining even for large orders. His behaviour was bordering on physical aggression and i almost got scared. The other salestaff may be ok but i will be taking my business elsewhere. Stay well clear". I have contacted google to remove this malicious hateful review a) because we believe it is untrue, b) because we believe it is defamatory of the person and business and c) we assume that this has affected our position on the internet. Google has come back to us taking a complete account of what happened but also asking which defamatory laws in the UK this review breaches. I wonder if you could help. Many thanks Alex
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Hello Alex my name is ***** ***** I will help you.What is it you want to achieve please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Dear Alex
Thank you for your e-mail.
As stated in my query, Google has come back to us taking a complete account of what happened but also asking which defamatory laws in the UK this review breaches. I wonder if you could help. Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
It is hard in the UK and very expensive. Under the Defamation Act 2013. You would have to show that you have suffered serious harm. Even then you can only issue proceedings in the High Court.The cost of getting to trial would be circa £15,000 or so and if you lose then you would be liable for costs of the other side.But what you could do is a seek a Court order from Google that they tell you who this person is (assuming you dont know). Then you could potentially get a Solicitor to write and ask her to remove it.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Dear Alex
Many thanks for your response.
We know who the person is that is partly why we disagree with her version of events.
Google can remove the review themselves but they need support by us as to what rules/Acts of the country are being contravened.
What is astounding is that anyone can write this personal type of attack i.e. calling me a lunatic, which feels defamatory. Google publishes this claim without having established the facts (again a mute point) and yet I am the one who has to prove the amount of damage suffered (again a debatable point apart from stating would one go to a shop that has received a bad review).It seems obvious to anyone that this review could be considered "hateful" and "malicious" yet not much is done to protect the party that is suffering the consequences. At the other extreme one could argue that clients now feel they can blackmail staff given the power of the review. Anyway. I am sorry and thank you for your help.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
In that case you need a Solicitor to write to this person.Otherwise you have to sue in the High Court.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Many thanks Alex
I am happy with the details you provided me as they clarify one aspect of this conundrum.
Before I proceed, would you happen to know the following: what Rule or Act is google contravening by publishing such a review which clearly defames me in a malicious manner?
I can see that Google wants reviews but surely there must be some protection for me too.
I understand the protection of client which Google may purport is promoting by allowing reviews.
Because what i am thinking of doing is indeed take this to the High Court but I would need the slanderous person's details.
I only know her name.
So when I ask the solicitor to write to her I would need her address details. Thus I would need Google to give me her details. Many thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Well its a review and of course is up to Google to decide whether they want to publish it. They didnt write it, they are just the medium to transmit.Therefore your only recourse is against the person that published it.Does that clarify?Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer 3, 4 or 5 starts before you leave today.I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget! Thank you.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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