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Libel/Defamation help!

Printed From: AussieLegal
Category: General Legal Discussions
Forum Name: Discuss legal issues that are of a general nature
Forum Discription:
Printed Date: 23/April/2019 at 09:58

Topic: Libel/Defamation help!
Posted By: stargirl71
Subject: Libel/Defamation help!
Date Posted: 17/May/2018 at 16:35
Hi all. Hoping for some advice if possible. Very basic overview of situation: my elderly parents paid upfront (bank transfer) to a transport company for a job that wasn't done. The office manager took it upon herself to find out information from the warehouse where the item to be collected was located, that information was incorrect according to her (but had nothing to do with my parents) and the item was subsequently not collected and could not be collected at a later date by this company. My parents had to pay someone else to transport. After several polite requests to have their money refunded, and an admission by the office manager that it was indeed totally her fault, the money was not refunded, phone calls were not returned within advised time frames, emails not answered - nothing to suggest anything was being followed up on. Everything to the contrary in fact. The office manager herself even said that although it was her fault, it was "up to her boss" whether he decided to issue a refund and that she had gotten into a lot of trouble over the matter.
I subsequently left a negative review on the company's Gumtree advertisement (which was my honest opinion and factual at the time of the review being left). Within hours ONLY of that review being left, the owner of the business emailed my mother saying he'd needed "time" to review the matter and he'd incurred costs etc etc and would only be refunding a partial amount (less than half of what my parents paid him). Furthermore, he would NOT refund any amount until the review was removed and would take legal action if it wasn't. There's quite a bit more to it, but that's the general back story. I wondered if there is actual grounds for legal action on his behalf? FYI, I did attempt to remove the review however there is no functionality for this. I have emailed Gumtree to enquire about whether they can do it for me. There are several options for the business owner to address the issue if he's genuinely only concerned with his perceived reputation and not simply trying to make himself out to be the victim and monetise his situation: respond directly to the review publicly, appeal the review to Gumtree requesting it be removed or even simpler - pause or delete his ad and create a new one.
Would appreciate any insight. I can post content of the review if that helps. Thanks so much.

Posted By: citizen-joe
Date Posted: 17/May/2018 at 22:24
See consumer affairs regarding the refund. As far as your review goes if it's true you have nothing to worry about except for a little inconvenience of going to court to say that, possibly.

But the ball is in your court, get back to the company and say, yes you will remove your review but only when they make a full refund to your parents.

The threat to bring a defamation action is usually just that, a threat, don't be intimidated by it.

Posted By: stargirl71
Date Posted: 18/May/2018 at 16:50
Thanks for that, much appreciated! Definitely doing the Office of Fair Trading complaint and looking at some other options too. Hopefully it might make this individual think twice before trying to take advantage of others next time.

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