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Yelp review could cost woman $750K

Online Review Could Cost Woman $750,000

A Virginia woman could be forced to pay $750,000 for leaving a bad online review.

Jane Perez claims Christopher Dietz's home renovation business botched a project she hired it for, charged her for unnecessary services and accused workers of stealing jewelry from her home.

She warned others in her reviews on Yelp and Angie's List not to hire a, quote, "nightmare of a contractor." Dietz says her one-star reviews cost him $300,000 in business, plus personal embarrassment.

Dietz's attorney told reporters, "The case isn't about being bad-mouthed, and the law doesn't let you say anything. The point here is to address the statements where Ms. Perez lied."

He's now seeking $750,000 in damages. Perez's is reportedly counter suing Dietz for his response of her review, that called her a liar.

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fvleo January 29 2014 at 3:13 PM

The first line is misleading nonsense. There is a huge difference between an opinion, as in a "bad review", and an accusation, but today's "writers" are not particularly sophisticated about language, so connotations and their subtleties are totally lost on them. It is no pleasure reading the news media anymore. Besides the penchant for sensationalism, today's writers have a very tenuous grip on language. Grammar, punctuation and usage are at very low levels. I am horrified at the garbage I read. Today's "journalists" can barely write their way out of a paper bag. This could be just a lead-in by way of sensationalism, but it's so bad today that it could just as easily be the writer's inability to write with precision. Either way, it stinks.

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2 replies
baldbiker2 fvleo January 29 2014 at 3:15 PM

Writers on HuffPo and AOL are the worst.

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1 reply
dustyander baldbiker2 January 29 2014 at 3:24 PM

Fox is the worst.

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Gail Martin fvleo January 29 2014 at 3:27 PM

In a word, "BOOM."

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Brian Workman January 29 2014 at 11:33 PM

Happens all the time when the guilty try to cover they're butts, by claiming to be the victims, and counter suing!! The BIGGER the BUasiness, the BIGGER the Counter Suit!! It's like when a BIG CORP says, you can't even use your own name, you were born with, on your own business cards or sign!!

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WashingtonDC January 29 2014 at 11:24 PM

I knew this was going to happen.

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1 reply
tony WashingtonDC January 30 2014 at 2:52 AM

In that case, y o y didnt thee warn people. Wow, not very nice of thee.

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pdqpress2 January 29 2014 at 4:31 PM

I guess lawyers can stop chasing ambulances and chase internet users!

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edwbiker January 29 2014 at 4:41 PM

I like to read the reviews before I hire a contractor or go to a restaurant. If this guy suceeds in shutting up his critics, then what good are reviews? I usually discount the worst reviews and the best reviews anyway but still, only good reveiws allowed? Why bother?

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2 replies
screenfont edwbiker January 29 2014 at 5:00 PM

Casting out an equal number of raves and pans tends to let one get a better sense of the overall situation, but reviews (especially restaurant reviews) are subjective and only reflect one person's experience at one particular time and place. My experience on a different day, with a different service provider or different project could be exactly opposite. In either case, citing the EXACT reason for the good or bad experience in a review makes everyone (including the business owner) more able to judge what needs to be fixed or what was right. A mere opinion is pointless. Tell me WHY you formed that opinion and let me judge its validity for myself.

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happy2bgridfree edwbiker January 29 2014 at 5:03 PM

That's how ebay operates. A buyer can leave a bad reveiw, whether true or not, about a seller. However, a seller cannot post a negative review about a deadbeat or fraudulent buyer.

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Bitter Twitter January 29 2014 at 4:51 PM

The Idea of Yelp is good but I stopped using them a long time ago. There is no way of knowing the truth in Good reviews or the truth in Bad Reviews. Some bad reviews are just sour grapes and some good reviews are just PR. For a serious reviews The Better Business Bureau is a reliable source.

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1 reply
Dana Bitter Twitter January 29 2014 at 5:45 PM

the bad thing about the BBB is businesses can actually pay to have the bad report removed.

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mike775954 January 29 2014 at 4:54 PM

If she is telling the truth, she has nothing to worry about. If she is lying, she should be sued. Slander is slander, no matter where you do it.

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dennis January 29 2014 at 4:54 PM

I am surprised a bad yelp review actually surfaced. According to Yelp themselves, they have the right to not display any negative reviews.

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Kelli January 29 2014 at 10:16 PM

FYI....if you go to YELP and look up Dietz Development in Washington, DC, you can read the review (at bottom of page) and this has already gone to court. Ms. Perez includes a link to the court case and you can read it all.

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Jim January 29 2014 at 5:10 PM

As usual, the news has taken a legal issue and turned it into sensationalism, and left out a lot of important information. Despite the warning about giving bad reviews you have little to fear if: 1) You report the truth. Truth is always a defense. 2) You state your opinions - opinions, even wrong ones are not actionable. A statement like, "These guys gave me crappy service" is an opinion statement. So, while THIS particular homeowner may or may not have stepped over the line, most of you have nothing to fear.

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1 reply
wyodrgnrdr Jim January 29 2014 at 5:38 PM

She was probably okay until she said his people stole jewelry. That is accusing them of a crime. Did she contact the police? Was there an investigation? What was the outcome?

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