Church Demands Tradesman Take Down A Review Or Get Sued, He Shuts Them Down With Another Review

There are certain things that you probably shouldn’t do in a church. Always remember to take off your hat, watch your language, refrain from gossiping, and silence your cell phone. And apparently, thou shalt not write any negative reviews either.

One tradesman recently posted in the Malicious Compliance subreddit detailing how he found himself in a sticky situation with a church all because he called them out online. Below, you’ll find the full story, as well as some of the replies amused readers shared.  

We’re expected to be on our best behavior when in a church

Image credits: lil artsy (not the actual photo)

But when one church decided not to practice what they preach, this tradesman knew he needed to call them out

Image credits: charlesdeluvio (not the actual photo)


Image credits: Massive-Discount845

Online reviews can be incredibly important for businesses nowadays

In this day and age, online reviews can be extremely important for businesses. Word of mouth is a great way to bring in new customers, and that word can spread even faster and farther when patrons are posting pics on social media and detailing their great experiences on the internet. On the other hand, however, this means that negative reviews can hold a lot of weight if there aren’t hundreds of positive reviews to balance them out. 

According to Invesp, a whopping 90% of customers read reviews online before deciding to visit a business, and 88% of consumers trust these reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends. These reviews even affect how much patrons are willing to spend, as customers are likely to spend 31% more on companies with “excellent” reviews.

72% of consumers say that great reviews make them trust a local business more, and 92% of customers will be happy to go to a local business if they have at least a 4-star rating online. At the same time, negative reviews can deter potential customers. Invesp reports that a single negative review on Yelp can cost a business 30 customers. So it’s recommended for businesses to reply to negative comments and see if they can fix their mistakes to ensure their ratings don’t fall too low.

Image credits: Meruyert Gonullu (not the actual photo)

Some businesses consider negative reviews to be defamation

While it’s important for businesses to have great reviews, they should actually earn their reviews, rather than simply scaring off anyone who wants to critique the company. And I can’t imagine positive reviews are particularly important for places such as a church. But because this church decided to pursue legal action, they must have felt like the review posted about them was libel.

According to Freedom Forum, libel is “the publication of false statements that damage someone’s reputation.” This might also be referred to as defamation. But libel does not include opinions a person has had; it only includes specific facts that can be proven untrue. For example, if the man in this story accused the church of not paying him and that was untrue, the church would be onto something.

Assuming, however, that the man was telling the truth about the church owing him money, it’s questionable why they would try to pursue legal action. In fact, as many commenters pointed out, he could have simply sued the church first for never paying him what they owed. There’s even an example online of how to handle a potential situation where companies refuse to pay a worker in Germany.   

Image credits: Lisa Fotios (not the actual photo)

It’s not always worth it to pursue legal action over online reviews

The laws will be different in every country, so depending on where you live, it may or may not be possible to actually attempt to sue over a bad review. A business may decide to sue for defamation, but it’s important that they’re able to prove that the claim made against their business actually was false. They might also need to prove to the court how the negative review has impacted their business or profits.

But this doesn’t come without any risks. Going through the entire process of taking legal action can reflect poorly on the company if it doesn’t go their way. And in general, people are allowed to express their opinions on a company online. So O’Flaherty Law notes on their site that it’s typically wise to seek an alternative solution, to avoid the hassle and costs of a lawsuit. 

“In many cases, pursuing legal action for a bad review can be challenging and costly and may yield a different outcome than what is anticipated,” the law firm explains. “It is generally encouraged for businesses to consider alternative strategies to manage their online reputation effectively and to contact a litigation attorney for additional support on the matter.”

We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. And then, if you’re interested in another Bored Panda article featuring bad reviews, look no further than right here!

Image credits: Sora Shimazaki (not the actual photo)

Amused readers shared their thoughts on the story and asked the OP why he didn’t sue in the first place

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There are certain things that you probably shouldn’t do in a church. Always remember to take off y...