Is It Illegal To Post Negative Reviews?

from the questions,-questions dept

The owners of an apartment complex are apparently trying to sue some anonymous reviewers who wrote negative things about the complex on an apartment reviewing website. The apartment owners go on and on about how they need to remove these "unlawful" remarks, where it's not at all clear how they're unlawful, other than the fact that they're "negative." The only explanation for why they might be unlawful are that they damaging the business. There's nothing illegal about that if the comments are true, but the apartment owners seem to think that the comments are actually from owners of competing apartment complexes, which makes the whole story a bit more confusing. How can anonymity be protected, while making sure that the comments are actually from people who legitimately lived at the apartment complex itself? Still, there's something odd about the insistence that any negative comment simply must be false and, therefore, illegal. Update: It appears this is a hot, hot topic today, as USA Today is running a different story about companies suing over negative websites. Meanwhile, the Financial Times is running an article about why companies need to pay attention to what bloggers are saying about them, that includes a couple quotes from me (based, in part, on some of the work we've done with clients advising them how to respond to negative things being said online), suggesting that companies respond honestly, rather than with lawyers, since the legal response tends to make things much, much worse.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Donovan, Feb 8th, 2005 @ 5:00am

    Illegal to post negative reviews? That's not the r

    It isn't 'illegal' so much as 'legally actionable' - that is, you can write whatever you like as long as you can afford a lawyer to protect you in court should the other side say that your writing was defamatory. How many bloggers are willing to pay for a lawyer - even for one who is almost certain to win their case? The cost of defending yourself in court will have an impact far larger than the actual law in question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Jeffrey, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 1:22am

    Beware of Techxpress, all true

    Beware of Techxpress.net at Techxpress in San Luis. Site development at Techxpress is the worst in the business. Service’s are an absolute pure rip-off, customers have no real access to their web sites or have any real programming at their finger tips either. You hire these guys and they own your site completely. With no file transfer protocol code, they do everything in-house at a $100.00 an hour. You give Techxpress your money, you never see it again, goodbye Sam I am. Proprietary servers which give customers no function to move files or transfer their files to other hosts. Techxpress likes to fool people telling them that a content manager system is a complete access option, thanks Techxpress I have html access. Can you say lame, sure is.

    With Techxpress you get lots of problems and guaranteed poor customer service. 24/7 Technology made easy, NOT!!

    Hey and it’s only a flat $100.00 an hour rate, oh plus 15% increase per year and 20% restocking fees on all return computers folks.

    Oh yeah, employees get a free Kennedy Club Fitness membership, yaahoooo.

    That's so cool, thanks Techxpress.net

    Where Technology is outdated and always unreliable in good old San Luis Obispo at Techxpress.net

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Bonnie Wilson, Sep 28th, 2006 @ 6:38pm

    Internet is an open forum to all

    You can post whatever you like wherever you like on the internet. You can write anywhere in any country or foreign place what you wish to say.

    Hiring a lawyer, if you live in USA and the feedback is from China, India, Nigeria, how can someone go after someone for negative feedback when the internet is an international forum of information.

    Everyone has the right to disagree with a product or service or an opinion. Internet comments is not a democracy, it is an open forum to the entire world to say what they want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Tommy, Oct 7th, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    Techxpress issues

    Heard of this company Techxpress before, not surprized by their bad service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 12:51pm

    Post anything

    Posting negative is fine, there are thousands of complaint sites out there to do this. Bad companies need to be written about so people are educated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Brian, Sep 6th, 2007 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Beware of Techxpress, all true

    I am sorry to hear about your experience. Have you found a new provider for your services? We are direct competitors of Techxpress, check out www.itech-solutions.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    Hey www.itech-solutions.com isn't that great either, this hoster is really expensive. $115.00 an hour, wow, that's a lot of dough for one hour.

    There are a lot of ftp hosting services with designers or builders that can charge less than $35.00 and reliable too.

    The more you charge, the more you force people to outsource for cheaper services or labor. Look at all the jobs in the States that are going to China and India.

    Newsweek magazine said back in late 2003 that all companies in the United States need to cut their prices but 30% lower to compete with China and India and now even more with so much inflation people are paying in the States now since the country is in a major recession.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    Hey www.itech-solutions.com isn't that great either, this hoster is really expensive. $115.00 an hour, wow, that's a lot of dough for one hour.

    There are a lot of ftp hosting services with designers or builders that can charge less than $35.00 and reliable too.

    The more you charge, the more you force people to outsource for cheaper services or labor. Look at all the jobs in the States that are going to China and India.

    Newsweek magazine said back in late 2003 that all companies in the United States need to cut their prices but 30% lower to compete with China and India and now even more with so much inflation people are paying in the States now since the country is in a major recession.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Roger, Jan 24th, 2008 @ 10:13am

    Re: Beware of Techxpress, all true

    No small business can be good at everything. TechXpress is no exception. These guys want to fix your PC, do network support for your LAN, do help desk, design your web-site, manage you database or e-commerce platform. And they want to do this all with a handful low skilled, low paid, unmotivated workers. Of course, they fail. My advice: stay away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Kevin being an idiot

    Kevin, You are an idiot.

    Company names aside and looking at the industry in general people like you need to understand the following. Jobs that get outsourced to China and India are low quality controlled manufacturing, poor tech support, and very poor code writing. You must no know anything about writing code, or providing technical services, OR even manufacturing because if you did you would not be relying on someone in India to write your code, or provide you with technical support.

    Hey while we are at it - since you think outsourcing is so great, why not outsource your medical doctor, and have someone in India give you a diagnosis for a medical problem? Oh wait, thats right doctors don't charge that much at all, and are affordable so there is no need to outsource right?

    There is a long time known statement that has always stood to be true. "You get what you pay for." Don't forget about that when you are investing in your kids college fund.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Wow, John stutters

    Here is a perfect example of an idiot. He posts twice, because he didn't know you only have to click on the submit button once. He still doesn't have a grasp on what you are supposed to double click vs. single click.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    support, Aug 3rd, 2008 @ 10:51am

    yeah they suck

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    support, Aug 3rd, 2008 @ 10:52am

    yeah they suck

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Business Owner, Sep 27th, 2008 @ 5:30pm

    Techxpress sucks

    Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Business Owner, Sep 27th, 2008 @ 5:31pm

    Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress suckTechxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress suckTechxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress sucks, Techxpress suck

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Bryan Sarlitt, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Beware of Techxpress, all true

    I am the owner/CEO of TechXpress, and do not show a "Jeff" as doing business with us during the time frame this complaint alleges. I'd welcome any proof of such a claim (e.g. name of business, website, etc).

    The facts are that TechXpress has been in business for 10 years, has received tremendous community recognition/awards, maintains a sterling AAA rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has a slew of very happy customers. Take a look at some of them for yourself: http://www.techxpress.net/testimonials.php

    With all of the success also comes challenges, which at times can be in dealing with and resolving (legitimate) customer complaints. I'm not going to allege that I or my company is perfect. I don't think any business owner can claim that. However, I DO make it a point to give my attention to, and make every effort to fairly resolve any issue that comes my way. In most all cases, this has resulted in favorable outcomes.

    I welcome anyone with concerns to contact me directly.

    Sincerely,

    Bryan Sarlitt
    Founder / CEO
    TechXpress
    805-541-4400 ext. 201
    bsarlitt@techxpress.net

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Bryan Sarlitt, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Beware of Techxpress, all true

    Fail?? Low skilled, low paid, unmotivated employees? According to who??

    The facts are that TechXpress has been going strong for 10 years now, operates out of a 7,000 sq. office, is accredited with numerous skill certifications and awards (because of its high skilled, highly motivated employees) including being the ONLY Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in SLO County, maintains the highest AAA rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has a ton of happy clients who benefit from all of this, as seen at: http://www.techxpress.net/testimonials.php

    I have also personally received several business awards over the years as seen at: http://www.techxpress.net/pressroom.html

    Do your homework before spreading rumors.

    Bryan Sarlitt
    Founder / CEO
    TechXpress
    805-541-4400 ext. 201
    bsarlitt@techxpress.net

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Screwed by Techxpress also, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 4:46pm

    It's all true.

    I can't believe they are still in business. They will promise you the world then screw things up and say "Sorry we F*12CH up but pay us more and we will make it better. They take big but stay far away from this company and Bryan Sarlitt. These are not rumors! Heavy turnover of staff mostly college kids between classes. What a waste of time and money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Screwed by Techxpress also, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    It's all true.

    I can't believe they are still in business. They will promise you the world then screw things up and say "Sorry we F*12CH up but pay us more and we will make it better. They take big but stay far away from this company and Bryan Sarlitt. These are not rumors! Heavy turnover of staff mostly college kids between classes. What a waste of time and money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    William, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 8:27pm

    Techxpress sucks

    Techxpress sucks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Samual, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    It's true Techxpress sucks, can't believe they are in business

    techxpress is a ripoff

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Another dissatisfied customer of Techxpress, Oct 6th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    I agree Techxpress sucks

    This place is a total rip off !
    You don't own you site!
    You can't make changes to info they don't want you to change!!
    Run from this rip off company...
    200.00 per month hosting... real competitive
    Bryan will promise you the world - watch out
    Bad Company Bad Company
    pay us more, that's a change, bla bla bla

    Turn and run from any dealings with Techxpress, San Luis Obispo, CA you'll be glad you did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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