Suing over a bad review?
A story came out today about a Virginia contractor who is suing a former customer due to a bad review the ex-customer posted on a review website. I don’t know how far this case will make it in the Virginia courts, but I do know that (assuming the allegations posted were true) this is a sad day in our Country. We tout what a great Country we are, how we guarantee so many more freedoms that other Countries, including Freedom of Speech, but yet when someone does try to exercise their freedoms, they are often cut down. Among the allegations made by the ex-customer were that the contractor did damage to her house and that some of her jewelry was stolen. Now if this was in fact the case, she should have every right to write a review, mention the contractor by name, and issue a public warning to others in her community in an effort to prevent future thefts. I’ve had things stolen from my house from contractors, and I’ve also been involved with companies that failed to deliver on what they promised and in the latter I worked with the BBB to try to get restitution.
The reason this is such a sad day is that very few of us will be able to follow through on what happens with this case, but the mere fact that the contractor sued will inject a matter of cautiousness into our minds that may prevent one of us from going public next time we are the subject of an injustice…and in that regard, our society is going in the wrong direction. To take both sides of the story, if in fact the allegations are false, then I completely support the contractor and since the woman was clearly in violation of a law, she should be punished. At this precise moment, I am dealing with a local business that is charging me for services they did not provide and I have thought long and hard about writing a blog (where I would mention their company by name) to which I have held back for fear of retribution. That fear is precisely what has been instilled in me from hearing stories like this one in the past.
If we really are a Country that allows for free speech, then we should be able to post whatever we want (as long as it is true) on any public review site…case closed.