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Discussion Starter #1
I own a retail store and a competitor, started and completely staffed by my ex-employees, is constantly providing false reviews about our company with derogatory information. these reviews are on various review websites including yelp and citysearch, and many of our customers are pointing out the reviews to us. Also, when new customers call the competitor, they bad mouth us. Of course, we are trying to take the high road by not saying negative things about them, and not reciprocating false reviews. I am certain that these false reviews are negatively impacting our business.

I suppose it is possible to positively identify the author of the false reviews by finding out from the review site what the IP address is from the computer providing the review. finding this out would not be conclusive, however.

Anyone have any thoughts to force the competitor to permanently stop? Also, it would pleasure me to no end to sue them for punitive damages and use whatever other legal tools are available to make life difficult for them for doing this. Anyone know of an expert and experienced law firm experienced in libel to help in pursuing this?

Thanks in advance.
 

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you'd need a warrant to get the ip addresses, so definitely a lawyer.

but it'll cost you a lot, take a lot of time, only get rid of some of the reviews, and if your competitor is willing to do that in the first place, they'll probably still do it (depending on what they are like) and just be more sneaky about, only they'll get worse since they'lll be upset you got johnny law onto them.
 

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Get an experienced lawyer from a reputable firm. Usually the first step is a cease and desist letter. If it is from someone who is well known then this can sometimes solve the problem as they'll know you're serious. Unless you have fairly deep pockets you probably want to avoid having to actually sue.
 

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what kind of business are you in? if you dont mind me asking?
 

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Smith & Wesson, Esqs.



j/k :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
lie down

you'd need a warrant to get the ip addresses, so definitely a lawyer.

but it'll cost you a lot, take a lot of time, only get rid of some of the reviews, and if your competitor is willing to do that in the first place, they'll probably still do it (depending on what they are like) and just be more sneaky about, only they'll get worse since they'lll be upset you got johnny law onto them.
so the only thing to do is to continue to take the beating? that is so wrong.
 

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The internet shouldn't be abused. If your competitor thinks he can play with fire and not get burned he's got another thing coming. For instance, there are certain websites that use the power of the internet to make things happen. They have been known to manipulate nationwide polls, ruin peoples lives and even wage wars against certain groups. If your competitors info was ever found by these people he would definitely think twice before trying to play dirty on the internet.
4chan /b/tards? rotfl
 

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You will probably find that one threatening letter will do the trick. Been through the same crap myself. Have the letter done by an attorney. Will cost you a couple hundred.

That is all you are doing though, bluffing. Taking it farther than that is too costly and a waste of your time vs spending time with your company.

Also, fight fire with fire and have friends post glowing reviews about your company. Sorry, but that is a game you must play. Play by the rules 100% of the time and you will not come out on top.
 

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Get an experienced lawyer from a reputable firm. Usually the first step is a cease and desist letter. If it is from someone who is well known then this can sometimes solve the problem as they'll know you're serious. Unless you have fairly deep pockets you probably want to avoid having to actually sue.
This is the best advice. It's tough to prove damages in a case like this. A letter will cost between $1,000 and $2,500. Now, your lawyer will say, he doubts a jury would even give you punitive damages. BUTTTTTTT, their lawyer will tell them, if they really have been posting (libel) and saying (slander) false info, they stand to possibly lose everything if you get a good jury. So, the letter will probably stop them. But, here's something you might try.

You can't post a rebuttle to these sites, but a friend can.

"I'm not just a satisafied customer of company Y, but I also consider myself a close friend of the owner, Mgreenbl. On Jan. 3 2008 some former employees started a business in direct competition. Before that date there wasn't ONE complaint about Y, but now, hell just look at these posts. You do the math. Mgreenbl, could have asked any number of friends, relatives employees to do negative posts about Y, and he has possible grounds to sue for libel and slander, but he's taking the high road. I'm not, if you call the store they bad mouth him. You want a store with integrity, with an owner who stands by his product and never has a bad word to say about anyone. Or a store that has to resort to these tactics to get customers."

Any attorney can handle a cease and desist letter. I used to live in Big Bear. THere aren't any attorney's up your way worth anything beyond a letter, but anyone of them can handle that. If you want the best, I have him but he's $650 an hour, the letter will cost you $2500 and you'll probably have to give a $5,000 retainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is the best advice. It's tough to prove damages in a case like this. A letter will cost between $1,000 and $2,500. Now, your lawyer will say, he doubts a jury would even give you punitive damages. BUTTTTTTT, their lawyer will tell them, if they really have been posting (libel) and saying (slander) false info, they stand to possibly lose everything if you get a good jury. So, the letter will probably stop them. But, here's something you might try.

You can't post a rebuttle to these sites, but a friend can.

"I'm not just a satisafied customer of company Y, but I also consider myself a close friend of the owner, Mgreenbl. On Jan. 3 2008 some former employees started a business in direct competition. Before that date there wasn't ONE complaint about Y, but now, hell just look at these posts. You do the math. Mgreenbl, could have asked any number of friends, relatives employees to do negative posts about Y, and he has possible grounds to sue for libel and slander, but he's taking the high road. I'm not, if you call the store they bad mouth him. You want a store with integrity, with an owner who stands by his product and never has a bad word to say about anyone. Or a store that has to resort to these tactics to get customers."

Any attorney can handle a cease and desist letter. I used to live in Big Bear. THere aren't any attorney's up your way worth anything beyond a letter, but anyone of them can handle that. If you want the best, I have him but he's $650 an hour, the letter will cost you $2500 and you'll probably have to give a $5,000 retainer.

joshs,

that is an interesting tactic. at least for a cease and desist letter, I don't know how a cease and desist on 1 company will work if they tell other people to write letters, which they have done. we have to do 5 letters to various people?

I think I need to discuss with someone with significant experience in this arena so that in case I have to go further, I can. for each disuaded customer, I lose an average of $165 of high margin dollars. I could easily be losing a couple customers a day.
 

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the letter will cost you $2500 and you'll probably have to give a $5,000 retainer.
It takes the bloodsucker four hours at $650.00/hr to type a letter?? -poke-

You don't need 'the best' lawyer to type up a desist letter. Many will do such a thing boilerplate, $200-$300. Can be done by the guy that barely passed the bar exam and has a part time job at McDonalds for that matter. Just as long as he/she is local and has fancy letterhead. :nanner2:
 

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You can't post a rebuttle to these sites, but a friend can.

"I'm not just a satisafied customer of company Y, but I also consider myself a close friend of the owner, Mgreenbl. On Jan. 3 2008 some former employees started a business in direct competition. Before that date there wasn't ONE complaint about Y, but now, hell just look at these posts. You do the math. Mgreenbl, could have asked any number of friends, relatives employees to do negative posts about Y, and he has possible grounds to sue for libel and slander, but he's taking the high road. I'm not, if you call the store they bad mouth him. You want a store with integrity, with an owner who stands by his product and never has a bad word to say about anyone. Or a store that has to resort to these tactics to get customers."
That part is excellent!!! + cheap!!! :clap::clap::clap:
 

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I think people have been prosecuted for racketeering for this.

Didn't the head of one of those health food places get sued for millions for exactly this sort of thing?
And lose his job?

Sue him and call in the tv cameras, right in front of his store.
I bet you make up the cost of the attorney in new business alone.
 

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how about the cleansing powers of fire?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think people have been prosecuted for racketeering for this.

Didn't the head of one of those health food places get sued for millions for exactly this sort of thing?
And lose his job?

Sue him and call in the tv cameras, right in front of his store.
I bet you make up the cost of the attorney in new business alone.

this reminds me that I have a very well respected radio announcer as a good customer that has many friends in TV....and has offered to help us in the past (on another idea)
 
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