Moving Company Picks The Wrong Person To Threaten To Sue Over Bad Yelp Review

(1918.com)

In May 2011, Kristen’s parents had a bad experience with a Massachusetts-based moving company. So on their behalf she wrote a negative, one-star review of the incident on Yelp. Just the other day, 18 months after the review was posted, she received a letter demanding she remove the review by Nov. 21 or face a lawsuit for libel.

This obviously didn’t go over too well with Kristen or her husband Phil Buckley, an SEO professional who presumably knows a thing or two about how people try to game online reviews and search results.

Phil has not simply posted the letter on his blog and called out the company for its BS, but has instead written a well-researched and rather extensive post that calls into question some of the moving company’s online behavior.

For example, while there are only two unfiltered reviews on the company’s Yelp page — both of them one-star. But look at the filtered results shows 11 reviews — all four- or five-star ratings — that have been deleted completely by Yelp for violating content guidelines or terms of service.

A look at CitySearch found a handful of positive reviews for the site. But Phil looked at the other reviews written by these people and noted a trend — that many of them also seemed to have penned reviews for the same travel agency in Hawaii and/or sprinkler repair service in Anaheim, CA. It has to strike you as odd that there are a half dozen people who have not only used the same three companies in far-flung states, but who also posted positive reviews about those businesses on CitySearch.

But there are some people out there who have given good feedback to the moving company. In fact, Phil found that the movers posted positive customer surveys on their own blog — complete with full names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Since this info was being made public, Phil checked with a couple of the customers whose reviews were on the movers’ blog. Both of them denied giving permission to have their questionnaires made public.

After Phil posted all this information and linked it on the moving company’s site, the sales manager who penned the legal letter, contacted him by phone to say he didn’t really want to sue Kristen. He just had problems with the review.

Phil says he just wants the movers to never threaten to sue his wife or any other customer again over a negative review.

You can check out then entire saga over at 1918.com