Company Slaps Back Against Bad Reviewers Who Damaged Business

February 25, 2019 | Online Reviews

No guff – bad reviews cost businesses big.

Working with mid-to-enterprise level businesses, we constantly hear from clients who have a bad review or post — or several — and don’t know how to handle it.

Usually the conversation starts with the question “How can we get this removed?” and then moves onto, “Can we report it?”

In some instances, we have seen clients receive negative reviews where the reviewer says they did business with the company and had a bad experience, but when the company looks into it, no record of a relationship can be found whatsoever.

Well, in Ontario one company slapped back, suing an Ontario couple who posted negative reviews about them:

The lawsuit was for $3 million, but settled with the couple having to pay a $100,000 settlement to the company for breach of contract.

The thing is that a local business may be able to identify the tangible impacts of the bad reviews but other larger businesses and marketing teams may not.

I remember being at a meeting at a national retailer’s office years ago, pitching social media. We had identified that:

  • All the reviews on the advertiser’s page were negative.
  • Of 25 posts on content, 23 were negative.
  • Many of the reviews related to product sold at the retailer – not based on a bad experience directly with the retailer.
  • They were making no effort to respond to or mitigate the bad reviews,

We almost fell off out chair when they said that with the thousands of customers that they have that they weren’t concerned with negative reviews, and that the reviews were about product and not even about them. Hello! How about the tens of thousands of people who visit your pages and may not make your stop the first one because all your reviews and posts are negative?!

If there is one thing that should be your top priority, it is your customer engagement. Happy customers become your promoters.

Don’t think you are too big to have a problem. Too many bad reviews and too much negative customer engagement on your social media walls or, worse, on other pages like groups on social media that you can’t control, and even an established brand can find themselves with a big challenge on their hands.

So, if the question is can you clap back, the answer is absolutely, but we prefer to recommend that:

You quickly respond to the reviewer with sincerity – that makes them feel good and shows other visitors you care.

  1. Endeavour to get the reviewer to make contact with you so that you can try to get them to remove the review by resolving their issue.
  2. Re-organize your reviews in order of rating — from 5 stars down to one star – instead of chronologically. This means your best reviews are always at the top.
  3. If you are getting too many bad reviews and posts, consider removing the reviews component to your Facebook page and moderating your social presences as to not promote engagement. You may also want to avoid social platforms where you have less control over what happens with content you share, like Twitter.
  4. Promote how to review you to happy customers so that you have more positive reviews to offset possible negative ones.

If you would like more information about how you can form a strategy for dealing with negative reviews, engagement, and manage your brand reputation both on owned presences, and external ones, please visit