What to do when you get a bad online review?

Updated: May 21

If you have received a bad or negative online review, you may be wondering what you can do. Can you take the review down, for example.

Bad reviews are (for the most part) an inevitable part of doing business. Sometimes a business drops the ball and doesn't deliver the 5 star customer experience it promised. But sometimes, online reviews are fake, untrue or the kind of emotional rant you see in a soap opera.

None of these will help your business's online shopfront to convey the right message to your would-be customers.

If the review (although negative) is accurate, it may be illegal to remove the review and you could seek to minimise the damage by obtaining a flurry of positive reviews!

Author: Farrah Motley, Legal Principal of Prosper Law.

What to do when your business gets a negative online review

Why should you try a remove a negative online business review?

Google is the most popular website in the world. According to research, it’s also the top online review website. Further:

  • 90% of consumers will check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.

  • 21% agree that Google reviews are one of the most important factors in their search for a local business, ranking them as more influential than proximity, price estimates, and search engine results pages (SERPs).

  • Google is the No. 1 site for online reviews, followed by Facebook.

What to do when your business gets a bad review?

Here's what to do when your business gets a bad review:

Respond immediately

Step 1: Always respond immediately (and professionally). While you're assessing and preparing your next move, you can significantly reduce the damage by immediately responding to the review. This website provides helpful information and response templates for bad reviews.

Bring the review to the platform's attention

Step 2: If the review is fake, flag it with the relevant online platform (i.e. Google) and request that it be removed.

Contact the reviewer

Step 3: If the review is untrue or "rant like", contact the reviewer directly (if you are able to) and request that they either adjust their review so that it is accurate (if this is going to benefit your business by painting it in a better light than the current review) or request that they remove their review.

Engage an online lawyer

Step 4: If the reviewer refuses to change or remove their review, it's time for a heavy hand. You can either send a legal letter, putting them on notice that if they don't take action (and your business has legal grounds to do so), your business will take legal action against them.

Step 5: If the negative online review is having a material impact on your business and its reputation, it's time to take legal action. At this point, you should contact a lawyer that can help your business draft and submit appropriate documents and, yes, you guessed it - Prosper Law can help your business with its negative online reviews!

How can Prosper Law help?

Prosper Law has successfully helped clients remove negative reviews. If you need legal help to remove a bad business review, email Farrah today.

Check out another of Prosper Law's articles about the registration of business names on the Australian Business Name Register here.

Author: Farrah Motley | Legal Principal

PROSPER LAW - A Law Firm for Businesses

M: 0422 721 121

E: farrah@prosperlaw.com.au

W: www.prosperlaw.com.au

A: Suite No. 99, Level 54, One One One Eagle Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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