How to Handle Damaging Customer Reviews


I have a burglar alarm company in New Jersey. When a customer tried to cancel, we enforced the contract and sent her a termination contract, which included a fee in the event that she stopped her service. She got upset and wrote a bad review of my company on the Internet. Is there a way to have that removed? How should I have responded?


It’s very hard — if not impossible — to get a comment removed from the Internet. The Internet providers, search engines and Web site owners generally disclaim any responsibility for posting fair comment. You can have obviously inflammatory postings removed by contacting the Web site, though it’s an uphill battle and most likely, you are going to be told that only the person who posts the comment can take it down. As unsettling as it is, keep in mind that most of your subscribers and potential subscribers are not going to see the posting and after a few days may have even less chance of finding it.

If you believe that you’ve been defamed, you can notify the poster that you intend to sue for defamation. Threatening the Web site will probably be a waste of effort.

I had a collection case for an alarm company; we got a judgment and were aggressive trying to enforce it. The subscriber posted a YouTube video that was, to say the least, not complimentary. We sued the subscriber to compel him to take down the video and for damages. Eventually the posting was taken down. YouTube couldn’t have cared less.

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About the Author


Security Sales & Integration’s “Legal Briefing” columnist Ken Kirschenbaum has been a recognized counsel to the alarm industry for 35 years and is principal of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C. His team of attorneys, which includes daughter Jennifer, specialize in transactional, defense litigation, regulatory compliance and collection matters.

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