Bad reviews against your company? No need to panic.

Customer reviews can be an excellent way of commencing a positive business relationship with new prospects even before they approach you directly.

And over time it’s perfectly normal for a firm to run up a few bad reviews from the occasional dissatisfied customer, so there isn’t necessarily a need to press any panic buttons if you see a less than complimentary comment here and there.

But very occasionally, things aren’t quite so simple. This week we’ve seen in the news how a hotel in Blackpool has fined a customer for a bad review on TripAdvisor. But should it really come to this?

So what can UK businesses do if they find themselves victim of damaging content and the reviewing site refuses to remove it?


  • Establish whether the customer had a valid complaint - if so, take steps to rectify the situation by offering an apology and compensation.
  • If a review is malicious, contact the website directly and tell them your concerns.
  • If the site will not remove the review, contact a solicitor who specialises in defamation law.
  • Act quickly: defamation cases are typically restricted to one year following the defamatory content.


  • Get into an online argument with the person who posted the review. It won’t help the situation and looks unprofessional.
  • Don’t panic- if your business is being damaged by malicious content then you have a case.
  • Attempt to counteract the bad review by posting your own good reviews- most sites have ways of uncovering fake reviews.

A bad review can feel like a personal attack, while a malicious review may well be precisely that.

The key thing is to distinguish between the two.

If you get a genuine bad review, it’s an ideal opportunity to look at your business, and the service you provide, and see how you can make it better for subsequent customers.

If you get a malicious review, then stay professional and follow the tips above in order to stand the best possible chance of a positive resolution.

Posted in: Business law

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