Orlando, FL—A business owner may sue a consumer who leaves a negative review, but only under certain circumstances.
In today’s society, people rely heavily on reviews. In fact, most people use consumer reviews of products and services to help them decide if they should make a purchase. In 2015, nearly 50% of adults under the age of 50 used online reviews before they committed to a purchase.1 That number has likely increased as more and more individuals today rely on the internet to buy the goods and services they need or want.
Because online reviews are likely to impact how other consumers shop, it is important for them to only post honest reviews, even if they are negative. The operative word here is “honest.”
How the Consumer Review Fairness Act Protects Consumers
Consumers are legally permitted to leave honest reviews, even those that aren’t promoting the use of a product or service. This is because they are protected by the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA). The CRFA “protects people’s ability to share their honest opinions about a business’s products, services, or conduct, in any forum, including social media.”
Essentially, what this means is that if a consumer had a bad experience with a product, they could include this in their review. Although this could harm a business’s potential to sell more of the same product, there isn’t much the company can do. While the CRFA does protect consumers’ rights to review products and services, it does say that businesses can remove a review or prohibit it from being posted if:
- The review is “libelous, harassing, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, or is inappropriate with respect to race, gender, sexuality, or other intrinsic characteristics.”
- Is false or misleading to others.
- Has no relation to the products or services the business sells.
- The review contains “confidential or private information.”
In the event a consumer posts a review that is false or misleading to the public, a business owner should consult with an Orlando, FL business law attorney to find out what their legal rights are. In some cases, a business owner may have the grounds to sue, however, they may be presented with certain challenges they may not know how to overcome without the help of a lawyer.
Connect with an experienced business law lawyer in Orlando, FL today
Any time a business owner is facing legal challenges, they are encouraged to enlist the help of a business law attorney who is experienced and has a track record of obtaining successful outcomes for their clients. Attorney Michele Diglio-Benkiran, the founder of Legal Counsel, P.A., was named as a “Power Lawyer” in Lawyers of Distinction, which was published in the April 2021 edition of The New York Times.
If a business owner in Orlando is facing any legal troubles or would like to inquire about their rights, Orlando business law Michele Diglio-Benkiran is the lawyer to contact for help.
Legal Counsel P.A. is located at:
189 S. Orange Avenue, Ste. 1800
Orlando, FL 32801
Email: [email protected]