West New York, NJ asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Internet Law for New York

Q: What remedy do I have if a person left a bad review on the BBB website, for my business, but I have never met her?

I am located on Long Island, NY.

This person left a bad review and I have never met or interacted with this person to the best of my knowledge. I requested additional details regarding what the person looked like or the service vehicle (my service vehicle is very distinct) they were driving when they arrived. I own a small mobile automotive repair business, so I perform all repairs at the customer's home, business or jobsite. She claimed that I showed up late, was unprofessional and made rude comments about her vehicle. This was posted on 10/1/2023. If the incident occurred on that day, I met with 2 male customers in entirely different towns. I requested the date and time this occurred, but I haven't received a response. It is one of only 2 reviews on the site, so the review and 1 star is having a significant impact on my overall rating. I am not sure how to proceed at this time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations like this, your first step should be to reach out to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and file a dispute against the review. Explain your situation, provide any evidence you have that the review is fraudulent or mistaken, such as your schedule for the day in question, and ask for the review to be removed.

If the review remains and you believe it to be defamatory, you may consider consulting with a lawyer to discuss the potential for a defamation claim. Keep in mind, for a defamation case, you would need to prove that the statement was false, that it was published as a fact, and that it caused you harm. Legal action can be complex and costly, so it is typically seen as a last resort. Concurrently, encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to mitigate the impact of the negative one.

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