JEFFERSON CO., Denver — A couple from Denver is being sued over a review they wrote for Yelp.
Fox 31 reports that Matt White posted a review of Footprints Floors back in 2013.
The review said in part: “Absolutely horrible experience. … I have 4,000 square feet of sandpaper on the floor and Footprints believes there is nothing wrong. I have shoe prints in the stain, dust, debris and filler trapped under my stain. … The quality of the work is absolutely deplorable.”
White said the company left him with a staircase that didn’t meet code, mismatched colors and doors that would not open.
Footprints Floors filed a defamation lawsuit in response, saying that the review cost them 167 projects and $625,000 in revenue.
White actually settled the case for $15,000 because it was cheaper than going to trial. But he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would have kept him from discussing the case. In all, White said the whole ordeal cost him $65,000 in legal fees. White’s fiancee, Amanda Jameer, called it an “attack on free speech.”
Yelp issued the following statement regarding the situation:
“Businesses that choose to sue their customers to silence them rather than address their comments, often bring additional unwanted attention to the original criticism. We frequently find that a better course of action, rather than suing your customers, is publicly responding to a critical review in the same forum.”
Footprints Floors also issued a lengthy statement. It said in part:
We recently had an experience that I hope to never go through again. One of our customers expressed dissatisfaction with our work. We offered to fix all of the problems. I personally did everything I could to meet his needs. He still wasn’t satisfied and made online comments that, in our view, were not true. After a drawn-out legal process, the case was settled last month when this client ultimately paid us for the floor we installed. This attack hurt our business’s bottom line, yes, but more importantly, it hurt our reputation.
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