Company That Threatened to Sue Negative Reviewer Just Lost Its Amazon Account

While the reviewer took down his Amazon and Reddit posts, Mediabridge might have lost its livelihood.

National Journal
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Matt Vasilogambros
May 9, 2014, 8:40 a.m.

The con­sequences of one neg­at­ive Amazon re­view might have just cost a com­pany its busi­ness.

Earli­er this week, a man took to Red­dit ask­ing for leg­al ad­vice, say­ing a law firm was threat­en­ing to sue him for writ­ing a neg­at­ive re­view about an In­ter­net router.

The com­pany that sold that router, New Jer­sey-based Me­di­abridge, through the law firm, claimed that the re­view con­tained sev­er­al as­ser­tions that were “false, de­fam­at­ory, li­belous, and slan­der­ous.” The re­view­er claimed the com­pany faked pos­it­ive re­views and stole the design of their product from an­oth­er com­pany.

Com­pan­ies have been able to suc­cess­fully sue over false on­line re­views in the past.

In the days after the law firm made its threat, the man who wrote the Amazon re­view has taken down his ori­gin­al re­view and his post on Red­dit. But that’s not the end of this for the com­pany.

Lead­ers at Me­di­abridge now say that Amazon has re­voked the com­pany’s seller ac­count, pre­vent­ing the sale of Me­di­abridge products on — the only site through which it cur­rently sells its products. That might mean the loss of jobs for many of the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees, the com­pany claims.

“All of this is due to mis­in­form­a­tion which was blown out of pro­por­tion by in­di­vidu­als on a so­cial me­dia site who ac­ted first, be­fore ques­tion­ing wheth­er the in­form­a­tion they had was ac­cur­ate or not,” rep­res­ent­at­ives of the com­pany said in a state­ment. “This is the real­ity of this situ­ation. Re­mem­ber that there is a hu­man as­pect to this story.”

Me­di­abridge still de­fends the ac­tions it took against the Amazon user, who had ori­gin­ally claimed the com­pany was bul­ly­ing him and threat­en­ing to sue for a simple neg­at­ive re­view.

The Amazon user has not ac­tu­ally been sued. Not yet, at least. He has been warned and asked to cor­rect what Me­di­abridge and its law­yers called “un­true and dam­aging state­ments.” And the com­pany is not threat­en­ing to sue just over a neg­at­ive re­view, rep­res­ent­at­ives say. Com­pan­ies re­ceive many neg­at­ive re­views for their products, and to sue over them would be “silly,” Me­di­abridge ad­mits. The com­pany just took is­sue with per­ceived false­hoods in the re­view it­self.

“This was done in the most pub­lic for­um, and in the very spot where our products are dis­played,” the com­pany con­tin­ued in a state­ment. “It would be like see­ing a sign at a Ford deal­er­ship, right next to a Mus­tang that says, ‘This car was made with child labor.’ “

Ap­par­ently, Me­di­abridge has had to deal with these sort of state­ments in the past, the com­pany says, and spent two years de­fend­ing pre­vi­ous al­leg­a­tions in sep­ar­ate re­views. For Me­di­abridge, it is “with­in our rights to take steps to pro­tect our repu­ta­tion” when “an army at­tacks us on the In­ter­net.”

But that “army” might have just cost Me­di­abridge its fu­ture.


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