Yelp Reviews – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

When it comes to Yelp reviews, businesses expose themselves to a variety of comments -

Carpets

Keeping carpets clean.

from the happiest customers to the most outraged ones. One small business owner, Mr. Joe Hadeed, is taking a stand against several negative reviews posted on Yelp’s website. Hadeed is the owner and operator of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, a small, Virginia-based business with a listing on Yelp’s website. After his listing received several anonymous negative reviews, Mr. Hadeed decided to take legal action. Hadeed’s lawyer, Mr. Raighne Delaney “issued a subpoena demanding the names of [the] seven anonymous reviewers” (Howell & Swarts, 2014). Delaney and Hadeed argued that the reviews were created by fictitious customers and therefore were fraudulent posts. Read More

Yelp Lawsuit Raises Freedom of Speech Issue

Thomas Jefferson by fotopedia user Navin Rajagopalan, licensed by Creative Commons

                   A rock-solid lawsuit?

The founding fathers could never have imagined what path freedom of speech has taken since our country’s inception.  Case in point, a character defamation lawsuit has been filed against a Yelp user who gave a negative review to a local contractor.  The defendant, Dietz Development, claims that online feedback is one of the most important ways a potential buyer or client uses when they make a decision on whether or not to use a service and is seeking $750,000 in damages.  The Yelp user, Jane Perez, has been defending her claims in court since late November, stating that she was simply exercising her freedom of speech after what she felt was an unsatisfying service.  A Judge in Southern California has ordered her to edit her comments via a preliminary injunction. Read more