We are a small online business and few years ago we registered with a free review site. Recently some fake reviews have been submitted by some competitors (as we understand from the tone of the reviews!). The reviews are not ‘purchase verified’ anyway. We wanted to close our account on the website to prevent any further nuisance and asked the review site to remove our account and all our reviews. They declined removing the reviews or our account altogether and asked us to post comments instead in response to the fake review. The review site clearly is hosting FAKE reviews and forcefully tainting our brand reputation.
The website has informed us that they won’t remove our profile or the reviews and they do not require permission or approval from a company to feature them on their site (really unsure if this lawful)!
We look forward to your kind advice on the matter as to what we can ask the review website to do as we understand should be lawfully done to protect our business reputation.
Alasdair Taylor's Answer
Assuming they are in the UK, the next step would be to consider writing to them threatening action in defamation or malicious falsehood. The unfair trading laws might also apply. If they are outside the UK, it may be harder to get and/or enforce a judgment. I suggest you instruct a specialist solicitor on this matter, as there are various pitfalls.