Most consumers utilize Google to search for service providers. Be it a plumber, doctor, attorney, accountant, home improvement/repair company, etc., we all turn to Google from time to time. Once an individual finds a prospective service provider, they will often review the company’s “Google Reviews” to learn about other consumers’ experiences with the company. Seeing that a company has a bad review can often lead the consumer to procure the services of another business.
Sometimes a disgruntled customer may leave a false review about a company for any number of reasons. More often than not, such reviews are disingenuous, as it was the customer’s own behavior, and not that of the company, that led to the customer’s unsatisfactory experience. On other occasions, individuals have been known to retaliate against people by leaving a completely made up review about the individual’s business.
How can a business have fake/false Google reviews removed? Do they sue Google? Do they sue the individual? What if the business does not know the true identity of the person behind the Google username who left the review?
The removal of such content requires the assistance of an attorney, as Google requires a Court Order regarding the content before they will remove the review in question. The aggrieved party need not sue Google. Instead, the business will sue either the individual who left the review (if the individual is known) or they will sue “John Doe” or the reviewer’s username if the individual is unknown.
The business will bring multiple causes of action in their suit, including but not limited to Defamation and Invasion of Privacy by False Light. Such a suit does not typically seek money damages, but instead seeks a Declaratory Judgment whereby the Court declares the review constitutes Defamation and Invasion of Privacy by False Light.
With the Declaratory Judgment in hand, the businesses’ attorney will then submit the judgment to Google. Google will then process the judgment and remove the review in questions.
The attorneys at May Oberfell Lorber are proficient in prosecuting such cases for businesses.
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.