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False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am the owner of a campground in Michigan that has a combination of seasonal and night/weekend campsites.

As a family campground owner it is imperative that we maintain an appropriate image with all of our campers. However, we have one camper that is engaging in extra-marital activities, although I had not expressed any concerns or opinions until they asked me "What is wrong?" after I had chosen to ignore them and their activities.

After answering their quiry, the "girlfriend" posted a blasting negative review stating that I was harassing them and that I didn't allow unmarried couples in our campground.

A single, private conversation is hardly harassing, and I made no statements that they were not allowed in the campground.

I had to contact my attorney, who in turn wrote a letter demanding that the slanderous review be removed and that she had to leave the campground immediately.

Although the review was removed, and both parties departed, she contacted several friends, and had them post inappropriate and slanderous negative reviews on both Facebook and Google.

I've contacted Google support, and they claim that the negative reviews, even though they are posted by people that have never camped at our campground, and are posted immediately after the other party was delivered the legal document from my attorney, are not against Google review policies.

By allowing a single person to contact their friends to post slanderous reviews for the purpose of defaming and damaging our reputation is just encouraging further behavior from others.

Google's policy of Off-topic reviews states that the reviews are not meant to be used for personal rants, or based on other individuals' experiences.

My attorney has also written an addition letter to the original individual, requesting that she notify her friends to remove the slanderous materials, this has not yet happened.

Google is forcing me into a very expensive legal battle in order to protect our business' reputation. Google My Business should be supporting business, not providing a means to destroy them.

Please contact Google Legal and have them review this situation.

 

David Basinger

Hidden Hill Family Campground

300 N Clare Ave, Harrison, MI  48625

(989) 539-9372

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @David B

 

I will escalate this, but I am not holding my breath based on past experience.

 

 



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I just seems that Google would rather encourage outrageous bullying than protect the integrity of businesses. When someone can get away with these kinds of rage techniques to destroy a business, the media that allows it should be in question. Reviews should ONLY be allowed by people that actually experienced an issue, and not be allowed to propagate lies or hearsay. I'm all for "Freedom of Speech", but publishing lies and slander should also be against the law. This is just media bullying, and should not be encouraged!

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for the followup.
Like you, I'm not holding my breath.
It just seems that Google prefers to support the bullies rather than the
businesses.
When it comes to slander, the business should be given the benefit of the
doubt, rather than forcing the business to spend outrageous legal fees to
defend their business!!
It doesn't cost Google ANYTHING to support the business is this way, but it
DOES cost the business when false statements are made in public forums.
A reviewing system should be just that, a review, not a forum, and not a
place just to blast businesses just because they can get away with it, and
Google is letting them get away with it.

--
Dave Basinger
300 N Clare Ave
Harrison, MI 48625
(989) 339-4028

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi @David B

 

I am waiting to hear back, but our CM usually has to follow the advise that was given originally.

 

In the mean time, keep asking happy customers to leave a review which will push the others down.



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
That advice, however, was given without reviewing the legal papers
delivered by my attorney stating that the reviews were indeed slanderous!

--
Dave Basinger
300 N Clare Ave
Harrison, MI 48625
(989) 339-4028

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi @David B

 

The business support team would not be looking at legal papers, they are not qualified. They should be filed with the legal department at Google.

 



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ok, how do I get hold of the legal department at Google

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
https://www.google.com/contact/

Should be in there somewhere.



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

Re: False and Slanderous Review. Please help!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Google has conveniently NOT listed any contact information to their legal department, making it harder to find out what has happened to my complaint.