What UK Legal Implications are there with documenting bad service online
March 21, 2013 5:00 AM   Subscribe

What are the legal implications if I start a blog documenting the poor service my property manager provides, and asking others to share their opinions of this firm? I can speak for the factual accuracy of my own experiences (I have their letters and invoices etc, as well as my responses), but what about others?

This question seems a bit above my level, but basically I am having a nightmare with my property managment firm who are (amongst other things) invoicing me for periods when I didn't own the property, agreeing to waive a fee and then issuing another invoice in which said fee has reappeared, failing to respond to direct queries of mine (I email a direct question, they write back as though they didn't even see that part of the email), failing (despite me now having asked four times) to send out a direct debit mandate, attempting to force membership of a communal buildings insurance policy for considerably more per month than my current buildings AND contents policy costs... the list goes on. Already this firm sees their name appended in Google's autocomplete with words like "suck", "rubbish", "complaints" and "terrible". I'd like to provide a focal point for those with a frustration to state their case, and then to make sure that anyone searching for the firm sees all of these just as prominently as the firm itself. It is an attempt to shame the firm into improving its service.
posted by dougrayrankin to Law & Government (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Put your money and energy into finding a good attorney to help you settle this as opposed to opening yourself up for more grief and a possible lawsuit. Remember, anyone can sue anyone for almost anything, they might not win but you'll spend a lot of money defending yourself.
posted by HuronBob at 6:48 AM on March 21, 2013

It might be more efficient to use existing forums for airing your complaints, e.g. write to your local paper (if you can get in contact with other aggrieved customers, you could write a joint letter to the paper), and write to the Guardian's consumer rights columnists. If Google auto-complete is already suggesting this company sucks, I'm not sure if one more website listing your complaints will help much, but a journalist from a local or national newspaper contacting them and asking why they have such bad customer service might help.

Often (somewhat irrationally), companies don't care about their reputation online, but being bad-mouthed in print press is much worse for some reason. Use that to your advantage.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:59 AM on March 21, 2013

You could formally complain to RICS, the Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors - that ought to be the professional body regulating your property manager.
posted by meronym at 12:41 PM on March 21, 2013

IANAL but just a friendly reminder that UK libel laws are infamous for heavily favouring the party with more money rather than those with right on their side. Seconding HuronBob's idea that you should concentrate on getting them to treat you better rather than publicly shaming them.
posted by peteyjlawson at 3:58 PM on March 21, 2013

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