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Can bad reviews lead to jail?

August 26, 2014
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. A Roswell tree service is accusing a would-be customer of extortion after they refused to do work for him.

According to the owner of the tree service, his company met with a Medridge Circle resident who wanted some trees cut down in his backyard near a creek. When he was told the neighborhood HOA and state law both forbade this, the suspect demanded the trees be cut for free or he would begin posting negative feedback on online review services.

The ratings of the business have fallen recently, which the victim says is because the suspect has been posting negative comments.


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Tags: Crime, Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Bad Reviews
    August 26, 2014 | 03:12 PM

    Social Media can be a real boon to small businesses - but one bad customer review can so overshadow hundreds of good ones that it would appear there needs to be some scrutiny of these posts. The negative post may carry some merit and if so it should be allowed, if verified by the rating service. Anyone can post anything these days - and a devious post by an angry customer can destroy a hard-working person's livelihood.

    Ed Szczesniak
  2. report print email
    It's always been true...
    August 28, 2014 | 12:15 PM

    Even before there was an internet. If a customer likes you, they will tell seven friends. If they dislike you, they will tell seven HUNDRED.

    The only thing that the internet does is amplify the voice of the customer AND give the business owner direct visibility to the chatter.

    Jolly Roger
  3. report print email
    A fact of modern life...
    August 28, 2014 | 03:37 PM

    But not extortion. Being a liar, telling a lie, is not illegal (thank God) except in rare circumstances. Libel? Fat chance for many reasons. Ultimately, it's up to the consumer to judge the value placed upon online reviews.

    Johns Creek
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