Trustpilot has actually warned users after a company took legal action against a man for leaving an unfavorable evaluation on the platform.
” We highly oppose the use of legal action to silence consumers’ flexibility of speech,” states a message on the site.
The warning follows a man was purchased to pay ₤ 25,000 in libel damages to lawyers who sued, on the basis the evaluation was false and defamatory.
London-based Summerfield Browne said the choice to sue offered it “no enjoyment” and was not ignored.
New evaluations have been temporarily suspended on the law practice’s business page on Trustpilot after publicity about the case resulted in more reviews.
After seeking legal recommendations through the business online, Philip James Waymouth left an evaluation on the website implicating the company of being “another fraud lawyer”, court documents said.
A banner at the top of Summerfield Browne’s profile on Trustpilot reads: “Please be aware that this company has actually taken legal action against a consumer for a review left on this profile.
‘ Severe procedures’
” We strongly oppose the use of legal action to silence consumers’ liberty of speech. As a public, open, evaluation platform we believe strongly in consumers having the capability to leave feedback – excellent or bad – about a service at any time, without disturbance.
” This is the first time we’ve seen a service taking such extreme steps against a customer voicing their real opinion. The large bulk of businesses on Trustpilot engage with their consumers or use our flagging tools to report material and resolve their concerns.”
Following the court choice, several reviews were left on Trustpilot referencing the case and writing in support of Mr Waymouth.
The Trustpilot caution continues: “The business’s actions have actually resulted in limelights and this profile has seen a considerable increase in evaluations that do not reflect an experience with business.
” Due to this, this profile has actually been briefly closed for brand-new evaluations.”
Trustpilot informed the BBC it was never ever gotten in touch with by Summerfield Browne, nor was the evaluation flagged to the website.
It said it was not celebration to the case however “in the event that we are served with an order, we intend to challenge it”.
The platform included: “Our company believe there are a variety of mistakes within the judgement and it raises substantial concerns around liberty of speech.
” If customers are left afraid of leaving negative evaluations, this might result in customers being misguided about the quality of a business and companies being denied of the valuable feedback from which they can learn, enhance and grow.
” It is better for businesses to engage, respond and improve upon the feedback they receive, rather than using legal action to silence customers.”
Summerfield Browne stated in a statement: “As a household firm, the decision to pursue legal action was not one we took lightly and doing so offered us no enjoyment.”