As tempting as it is to respond to negative or false statements people may make about you or your business, there was a story this week telling us that sometimes it may be better to suck it up and take the hit; that the result of fighting and winning the battle may end up causing you to ultimately lose the war.

I read an article early last week about a company who was threatening to sue a customer for negative reviews he had left them on Amazon and Reddit. The company, Mediabridge, claimed that the review was “false, defamatory, libelous, and slanderous.” The reviewer had apparently made assertions that Mediabridge created faked positive reviews and stole the design of their product from another company. 

The letter from Mediabridge’s attorney was stern and direct, and caused the reviewer enough concern that he sought advice online about the matter and ultimately pulled the reviews down. It seemed for a moment that Mediabridge won that skirmish, and was emerging from the battle victorious; except for the fact that they may have inadvertently torpedoed their own existence in the process.

A company’s ability to sue and win over false or damaging reviews has been previously proven in court. Consumers best take heed, as there is a difference between relating factual negative experiences and making wild allegations for which one has no proof. Still, companies should also note that directly confronting such actions can have unanticipated consequences.

In this case, the Mediabridge customer, who has not been publicly identified, purchased their product through Amazon, the online retailing behemoth. This put them in a position of threatening an Amazon customer with legal action. No one is really sure what happened, but I can only surmise that this did not sit well with the Amazonian Gods, as Amazon late in the week revoked Mediabridge’s seller account, preventing them from selling any products through the online store. As it turns out, Mediabridge only had one sales channel – one source through which they sold their products. That one spot was Amazon.


We don’t know whose claims were valid in this particular confrontation, but it likely doesn’t matter. If the reviewers assertions were false and misleading, I completely understand the desire to “set the record straight”. That desire, however, must be weighed against practical application and the reality of the world in which you operate.

Watching the impact on a company like Mediabridge, I think in these situations that “turning the other cheek” is the best available play. In this case far more people have heard about Mediabridge and the negative review than would have otherwise had the company just let it go. That is entirely due to their decision to pursue redress. In so doing they elevated their opponent, and made the negative review of their products a national story. 

Another alternative would have been to respond online to the negative review in a professional manner, countering the allegations with facts and information. Either approach, it seems, would have produced better results than the path they chose. In the corporate world, the David v. Goliath scenario is not necessarily a positive image. 

And they lost their only existing bridge for continuing sales. 

We in the workers’ compensation industry are no strangers to negative comments and accusations. It should surprise no one that some of these claims are false, misleading and downright slanderous. As difficult as it may be to believe, most employers do not intentionally maim and cripple their employees. Adjustors do not take great joy in starving children and ruining lives. And as an industry we do not kill thousands of people a day as some would have you believe. Still, as an industry we generally let inaccurate statements and accusations pass, as they are almost expected given the nature of our business. 

Still, in the vendor dependent world of workers’ compensation, it is a good reminder that your customer may also be your customer’s customer, and that intertwined relationship requires nuance and diplomacy when something goes wrong, and negative comments are made.

Winning a battle and defending your honor is one thing. Sinking your business in the process is likely not worth the effort. 

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