Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
contracts, reviews


Company Claims Submitting Negative Yelp Review Violates Contract

from the well,-don't-sign-such-contracts dept

Patty points us to a Reddit post where someone claims that after posting a negative Yelp review, the company being reviewed threatened the reviewer with legal action, claiming that the review violated a contract that the customer had signed. The business apparently is one that repairs damaged hard drives or recovers data off of them. The customer was clearly not satisfied. Where it gets strange though is that the company claims that the negative review violates the signed contract. As per standard Reddit practices, the details of the company are redacted, so it's a bit difficult to dig into the facts here. However, it seems likely that this threat is more about getting the person to back down than any realistic shot at legal action. One would hope the company would realize that if it actually took legal action, that information would spread far and wide across the internet, and would probably do significantly more harm than any single bad review on Yelp...

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  1. identicon
    Peter L., 14 Apr 2014 @ 12:29pm

    Epic Data Recovery Labs

    Hello to all Epic Data Recovery victims,

    After reading through all the posts I decided to add my two cents to the equation. I have gone through pretty much the exact same nightmare as those who have posted negative albeit accurate accounts of their dealings with this particular outfit. As the sufferer of a damaged hard drive with the need to have it repaired and/or recovered in terms of data, I sought out the services of EDRL on the basis of the few rave reviews I saw posted, along with the seemingly reasonable cost for their service as compared to other data recovery firms. Lo and behold to my great dismay I found out too late that I walked into the "lion's den". What followed was an endless barrage on ignored emails, phone calls, etc. On the rare occasion that an email was answered with the date or time when I should expect a call from John, who is the name of the person I had to deal with throughout this ordeal, it was never adhered to. I have been raised to understand a person is only as good as his/her word. In any case after 7 months of this and finding out that basically very little progress was achieved, I decided to end the onslaught, sacrifice the $150 initial fee and chalk it up to experience. I also decided to report my experience to the Better Business Bureau at which point the threatening emails began. I was accused of being a con man, sociopath, extortionist, etc. who had committed a breach of contract. The facts I submitted with the BBB were said to be Exaggerated, Ungrounded, Conspired, Constructed, Malicious, Manipulative, Twisted Propaganda. Here is a portion of his response:
    Let me (sarcastically) get this straight:
    > 1. We designed the Hard Drive and Laptop.
    > 2. We dropped or mishandled it after we bought it.
    > 3. We need to be at your Beck-and-Call and respond to every
    > Exaggerated, Ungrounded, Conspired, Constructed, Malicious, Manipulative,
    > Twisted Propaganda Email stab you or anyone sends us.
    > 4. We as a Company need to respond to every FRIVOLOUS (TALKING OUT OF YOUR
    > A$$) email we receive.
    > 5. We as a Company should allow Customer's to pull CON GAMES/Extortion
    > Schemes
    > and humor their Frivolous/False accusations by playing the villain they
    > try to make us out to be.
    > -
    > But seriously, at what point did I tell you that I am an idiot?
    > When I initially met you, you did not tell me that you suffer from a
    > mental deficit or ailment.
    > You seemed normal to me, yet you now say my emails are
    > "... suggesting you are doing me a favor".
    > Did you actually pay us for the Months of effort and labor we put into
    > your Case?
    > Did we ask you to pay us for the labor spent (if we were not successful)?
    > You call that rude? You call your demands and accusations nice?
    > You are the one who is Condescending and Rude.
    > +Pretentious with a false/twisted sense of reality.
    > Your behavior would be better described as one of a self-serving
    > Conning/Manipulative/Delusional Sociopath with a Grandiose Sense of Self.
    > Check your self before you start pointing fingers;
    > You should respect those who are courteous and who give you the time of
    > day (or Months) as a FAVOR!
    > Let me ask you a question, do you shoot your Doctor if he cannot cure you
    > of Cancer or bring someone out of a Coma? Is that how your Logic works?
    > -
    > By you sending your Defamatory / Propaganda email to the BBB you have
    > violated our Service Agreement, Non-Disclosure Agreement in part, and our
    > Contact.
    > Which is, but not limited to, a Breach of Contract.
    > --
    > Consider this as a Preliminary CEASE AND DESIST NOTICE/DEMAND.
    > We demand that you take a step back, consider what you are accusing us
    > of, Correct your report to the BBB and withdraw your FALSE Complaint with
    > them.
    > OR THIRD PARTY and/or (in part) you engage in making Defamatory/Propaganda
    > statements about us to anyone, in ANY form of communication (Verbal,
    > Written, etc..), we have the right to file a Lawsuit against you, other
    > than contacting the Police to investigate any relative/applicable Criminal
    > charges that can be brought up against you (e.g. Extortion/Abuse).
    > I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney (in private) to clarify
    > the Contracts that you have agreed to.
    > Please Note: ("Ignorantia juris non excusat")
    > Ignorance of a Law is not a valid or acceptable excuse in a Court of Law.
    > You can't make-pretend you didn't read the Contract that you signed or
    > claim you couldn't reference it all these months.
    > -
    > For now we will investigate and calculate any applicable damages.
    > We will respond within 30 days.

    My response:
    My conscience is clear and I have absolutely no regrets for stating the facts. I've been through too much and seen
    too much injustice to let the likes of you scare me.
    If you want to open up a can of worms rather than to simply
    > return my hard drive, than go ahead. I will fight you tooth and nail. I
    > welcome the opportunity to make it public, and expose you.

    In any case, to all persons considering the services of EDRL I must reiterate and sum it up with one statement. CAVEAT EMPTOR

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