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Validating Libel Claim On Seller Feedback

Discussion in 'Defamation, Libel & Slander' started by Wholesaler, Mar 4, 2021.

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  1. Wholesaler

    Wholesaler Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    So I am a 3P seller on Amazon and received a patently false review from a customer, that is clearly only motivated to get the items free.

    He stated that he only received 50% of an order, when in actuality, he received nearly 20% more than the listing stated. It was a candy product and I upgraded all customers to the larger size bags, due to the smaller bags not being available. We video tape every order we process, so I can easily prove what he received.

    He left this review on our seller feedback, that all customers can see if they choose. Besides the obvious consequences of a customer seeing this and deciding to move on, there are real consequences by Amazon for negative reviews. It could result in delisting my offer due to a review of this magnitude, all the way to suspension or deactivation of my account.

    My question is, What has to be validated in making a claim of libel? I know the basics, false statement, public board/forum and obvious damage. I realize there are not "sure things" in court, but what gets close?

    I'm wanting to really learn what I need to know going forward, because this is a very rampant problem on Amazon. Amazon does very little, if anything to protect us. I don't want this to become serial, just want to know for those scenarios that are so blatant.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    What's your percentage of negatives in the last 3 months? If it's only a couple of percent I think you are over-reacting. If you have a lot of negatives then you have a bigger problem than just that customer.

    I bought some night lights on Amazon last month. This was the seller's feedback:

    upload_2021-3-4_22-35-11.png

    I read the recent negatives and there were a couple of shipping mishaps and a couple where the product didn't work. No big deal to me. The seller has 96% positives in the last 12 months. That's what I look at. That's what your customer's will look at, if they look at all.

    The idea that you are going to sue somebody for libel over a negative feedback is ludicrous.
     
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  3. Wholesaler

    Wholesaler Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I do appreciate your response, even if it had no bearing on the actual question.
    As I stated, the real concern is over the hit to the metrics. For 3P sellers, we have several metrics that are constantly weighed to determine our account health. When a customer intentionally leaves negative reviews this impacts those metrics, depending on their claim. For example, if a customer claims item was damaged, that listing can be removed by Amazon, whether or not it's legitimate. This is far more damaging to a business, than if a customer reads those reviews or not.

    I can't imagine a scenario where protecting ones business, could be considered ludicrous. The law exists to protect those affected by consumers that feel entitled to order something off of an e-commerce site and think they should get it free. Those customers that feel entitled know how Amazon works and what they need to say to trigger auto refunds, a business has to have a way to fight back. This is a real business with real employees and thus, real responsibilities. I am not just a hobbyist selling some stuff I found at a garage sale.

    However, suing over "HOT" coffee being spilled in your lap as you "drive", for it being too HOT, is definitely ludicrous. In addition, it should be a level of stupidity that should be hard to reach, but it happened didn't it.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You asked questions that solicited OPINIONS.

    You may not like the opinions you receive, then don't ask any questions.

    Amazon allows their customers to post an opinion about the products they purchase.

    There's NOTHING you, I, or anyone can do about another person's opinion that isn't flattering or fawning except IGNORE it.

    You didn't get anything "wrong", you simply PERHAPS "misunderstand" the process and it's result.

    I served in the military for 31 years.

    I served under many leaders.

    Early on in my military career, I had a superior that often asked for opinions from his subordinates.

    It didn't take me long to learn that he didn't want to hear another voice, he simply wanted a person to do what he desired.

    Anytime he'd ask my opinion, I'd simply say, "Sir, I have no opinion. I only have a duty to do what you direct."

    You see, mate, with some people there's no winning, just losing.

    Good luck with whatever YOU decide YOU wish to do.

    I've simply repeated my action of years gone by, REMOVED my offensive opinion that dared to differ from what YOU think it should have been.

    You see how easy that is, now YOU have less to upset you, big, bad, candy selling, bossman.
     
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  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    The woman that suffered 3rd degree burns on her thighs and ...elsewhere, that required skin grafts, was not "stupid" for suing for her injury. The coffee was so hot that it caused these burns on contact. This is an example of a 3rd degree burn. Imagine this on your thighs, inner thighs and...elsewhere. Still think it's stupid?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Wholesaler

    Wholesaler Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I simply asked a question, on a forum. Thought that was the general idea, maybe it's me that's got it wrong.

    1. Never stated I was going to file
    2. Never said I wanted a sure thing, as I clearly stated I am aware there is no such thing in a court of law.

    I do appreciate the responses. If this is only a forum that is interested in ignoring the question asked, and only offer opinions to boost their posting numbers, then I get it. Relevancy has different opinions, now doesn't it.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There are none so blind as those who will not see.
     
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  8. Wholesaler

    Wholesaler Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hmm...the idea that ordering HOT coffee, would be served HOT.. Who would've thunk it. I mean really, why stop at McDonalds, why not sue the city/state for not keeping the streets smooth as glass, so no bumps exist. It's tragic what happened, but let's be real. Pharma companies kill thousands a year with their garbage, Do you suppose that is worse than a burn? I thought murder/manslaughter was illegal in this country? I guess if you declare it on national TV first, all is good.
     
  9. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    My God, you are ignorant. The coffee was 190 degrees. Not just hot but dangerously hot. The woman offered to settle with McD's for her medical bills (20k) but McD's refused. A jury awarded the woman 3 mill because it found that, although she was partially at fault for her injuries, McD's was aware that the temp of the coffee was dangerous and had received hundreds of complaints from customers that had been badly burned and did nothing to either adjust the temp or warn their customers that the coffee was EXCEEDINGLY hot. McD's showed not only negligence but reckless disregard for the safety of their customers.
     
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  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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  11. Wholesaler

    Wholesaler Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am ignorant. Ok. Let's examine that statement.

    You see the skin being are largest organ, is also are most fragile organ. At 120 degrees and an exposure of 5 minutes, could lead to 3rd degree burns. I"m sure you can then appreciate that the higher the temperature, the shorter the exposure time that is required. For example, at a mere 130 degrees, that exposure could drop to 30 seconds. Were you aware that most water heaters have the ability to heat your water to 160 degrees or more, at the faucet? How long are your showers? So fine, I am ignorant, let's go with that.

    FACT: Everyone outside of that courtroom knew what that was, a money grab.

    I notice you did not comment on which is worse, but it's all good, common sense is not all that common.
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Just for clarification, the jury awarded substantially more than the plaintiff sued for, but the amount was later reduced by the judge, then settled by the parties. As you know (but Wholesaler obviously doesn't), the plaintiff was extremely reasonable in her initial requests for out-of-pocket expenses.
     
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  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It's said that being ignorant is ok, because that can be corrected. Being willfully ignorant is a whole different ball of wax.

    You are willfully ignorant, both about the tangential coffee case, and about your own business.
     
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  14. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget that McDonalds served it's coffee at 180+ degrees. Third degree burns in 2 seconds there, buddy. Also, did you know that the victim wasn't even driving?

    Learn.
     
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  15. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Did anything actually happen to your metrics because of that one feedback or are you just kvetching over "what ifs" and "maybe"?

    You've answered your own question pretty well.
     
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  16. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    That happens to be one of my favorite words.

    Thanks for the memory.
     
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  17. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't a money grab. She wanted her medical bills covered. 20k was a more than reasonable request. . McD's would not go higher than $800.00. It went to a jury decision because the parties could not come to an agreement. After hearing the facts of the case the jury awarded 3 mil, most of that was punitive due to the reckless disregard McD's showed for the safety of their customers.

    FACT: Based on your ignorant postings you did not read the case. You are just spewing nonsense that you read on a social media chat or barroom drunks observations.

    It's rather amusing that you are so disdainful of an elderly woman that was horribly injured, in large part because of corporate disregard/negligence, but are here whining like a baby because someone said something mean about you/your company on the net.

    Doesn't Texas have a law against snowflakes living there?
     
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  18. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Active Member

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    And what was your response?

    Did you ever directly communicate with the customer to try and resolve their concern?

    Is there a reason you didn't update your storefront to reflect what you actually sold? Accuracy in listings is valued by many customers: we place our orders based on the item description. Maybe the customer wanted 2 packages because they were giving them to 2 people, for example. In such a case, 1 package weighing over twice the package listed would not serve the customer's purpose.
     
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  19. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Note that I attempted to respond directly to the questions you asked. However, one question was slightly unclear and the other was completely unclear. I tried my best with the first one, but I truly have no idea what the second question meant.

    You might be able to prove what you shipped, but you can't prove what the buyer received.

    I'm not sure what "validated" means in the context of this section. If you're asking about the elements that a plaintiff suing for libel must prove, they are, generally, that the defendant made a false statement of fact to one or more persons other than the subject of the statement, that the statement was harmful to the subject's reputation, that the statement was made with the required degree of knowledge regarding its falsity, and, typically, that the statement resulted in actual monetary harm to the subject of the statement.

    Huh?

    It's not Amazon's job to "protect" anyone. Aren't you afforded an opportunity to respond to a negative review?

    Commenting about a case about which you are obviously ignorant and misinformed will not lead to productive dialog (as pretty much this entire thread demonstrates).
     
  20. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I looked. Unlike other review sites, Amazon doesn't appear to have a way of responding publicly to a feedback comment.
     

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