There are many sites devoted to unearthing scams and protecting the public. They go by names like scam-detector or rip-off-report. People who have been taken advantage of can log on, share their experience and warn others about potential scams.
Unfortunately, many of these site have become free for alls when it comes to reporting unhappy experiences. Any time they don’t agree with a company’s representative, misunderstand a rule or deliberately try to scam the company and get caught, off they run to tell the world they have been scammed.
This is one reason it is so important to try and head off trouble before it starts. There is a reason companies settle cases out of court and off the record – sometimes shutting someone up is mandatory before they do you irreparable harm. The principle of the thing may sting a little, but it beats having your whole company go down the drain because of undeserved bad publicity.
Make sure you keep an ear to the ground for disgruntled customers. We’ve touched on this several times in the past weeks, but it can’t be overstressed that you need to vigilantly Google your business name in conjunction with the month and year every week and see if any ‘news’ reports or blog stories have popped up that could be a potential hand grenade.
If you do find yourself slandered on a scam blog or site, first remain calm. Try contacting the owner of the site and seeing if you can explain the situation. Many don’t care – they are like tabloid journalists, and the messier the better – but there are a few that will actually take the time to investigate and proffer their own ‘expert’ opinion on whether or not your business is a scam.
If they are going to just let anyone post anything, however, then it’s time to do a little judicial posting of your own. Get anyone and everyone you can to bombard with comments stating the real facts, and exposing the slanderer. If the individual in question violated a TOS, tried to manipulate you, or simply tried to get something for nothing or demand a refund for services rendered without just cause, you might be able to get your side of the story out there.