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Central Florida Apartment Complex’s Anti-Negative Review Policy Backfires

For anyone looking for a place to stay – whether a hotel or an apartment complex – there is no question that, second to price, peer reviews are very important.   Hotels and apartment complexes are well aware of this too and, naturally, their owners and members of management are concerned...

False Competitor Reviews: John Doe Lawsuits & False Advertising Claims

There is no denying that online reviews are important for businesses.  After all, customers regularly search them out and are increasingly relying them. According to a 2014 survey of 2,104 consumers, SEO expert BrightLocal found that 88 percent of the respondents had read online reviews for local businesses and 88...

Businesses Must Not Unfairly Impact Online Reviews

Today, a business’s online reputation is a large component of how customers and potential customers perceive it.  Businesses must be aware of what customers are saying about them online and via social media. In other words, they must be reading online reviews.  Given the significance of online reviews these days,...

New California Law: Non-Disparagement Clauses Barring Online Reviews are Void, Unenforceable

In August 2014, we wrote about a New York hotel that was slammed online when people learned it was fining wedding parties $500 for negative reviews left by their guests.  On Tuesday, California passed legislation prohibiting businesses from doing something just like that: having customers sign non-disparagement clauses agreeing not...

Competitor Defamation: How to Overcome Damaging Content Posted Online by Competitors

Today, anyone who wants to cause damage to a business can easily do so simply by going online and harming them in one of many different ways. Online attacks on businesses and their professionals may originate from a number of parties, including business competitors. Realizing the potentially devastating effects that...

Hotel Warns Against Negative Reviews, Receives Flood of 1-star Ratings

Being open to honest feedback and encouraging consumers to voice their opinions is not a terrible thing for businesses — even if that includes some negative or constructive criticism.  What a business should not do is enact a policy or take some other action to discourage people from posting negative reviews....

Whitney Gibson to Lead 8/27 Webinar: ‘How to Come Out on Top When Dealing With Negative Reviews’

Whitney Gibson led a webinar titled, “How to Come Out on Top When Dealing With Negative Reviews.” The live webinar, hosted by the Association of Strategic Marketing, took place on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.  It was primarily designed for marketing directors, managers, social media managers, presidents, vice...

Teachers, Professors and Defamatory Reviews Online

On May 22, The Janesville Gazette (Wisc.) ran a story about Sally Vogl-Bauer, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor, suing a former graduate student over allegedly defamatory statements published online. Vogl-Bauer contends the former student made false statements through YouTube, Blogger.com and TeacherComplaints.com about her treatment of the student. According to court...

Positive Reviews are Critical to Success of Hotels

Like other businesses, hotels can suffer from a sampling bias when it comes to online reviews: review pages may not be representative of actual customer bases and a disparaging review can carry significant weight. A recent study published in the Aug. 2013 edition of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (“CQ”), however,...

Aware of False Reviews Dilemma, Some Healthcare Providers are Now Publishing Patient Reviews Online

Last week, we discussed how physicians can overcome the various challenges of online reviews. A growing number of healthcare groups are understanding the realities of online ratings and reviews, and are taking matters into their own hands. Two recent stories highlight how hospitals are becoming more transparent by publishing patient...