Man to pay £25,000 damages over negative TrustPilot review

Credit: BBC News, 9/02/21 

A man who left a negative review of a legal firm on the TrustPilot website has been ordered to pay £25,000 ($34,000) in libel damages.

“Philip James Waymouth engaged London law firm Summerfield Browne online to provide advice but was unsatisfied with the service he received.”
“He then left a review accusing the firm of being “another scam solicitor”, according to court documents.”
“The firm took legal action, stating that this was untrue and defamatory.”
“Other reviewers are now leaving TrustPilot reviews on the firm’s page, in an attempt to support Mr Waymouth.”

Above, Two reviews left on TrustPilot

The BBC News report does not make clear the processes that took place to attempt to settle the dispute quickly and fairly. Even during a defamation process, a court normally expects to see reasonable behaviour from both parties, but obstinacy can often take place.

KwikChex believes in freedom of speech and ensuring that it is not freedom of deceit – tackling the fake reviews (negative and positive) and distinguishing them from those from real customers with genuine complaints.  In this case, the circumstances have resulted in a costly financial penalty for the reviewer and a cost to the reputation of the law firm reviewed – both of which should have been avoidable.

Below, the Alert on the firm’s page on TrustPilot

The firms page on TrustPilot: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.summerfieldbrowne.com

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