I recently came across an article on Businessweek.com called “Why It Makes Sense for Businesses to Threaten Online Critics.” The article talks about how a company tried to fine a woman for a bad review on their site, which they claimed violated their terms of service, and if she didn’t pay they would hurt her credit. However, the company received a ton of bad press for this because it was unclear when the terms of service was posted. Despite this, the article goes on to describe how it is a good idea for businesses to similarly threaten people who post negative reviews of their companies, because a bad review could cause a lot of lost business, plus if the review is false it could smear the company’s good name.
Many apartment communities rely on reviews from current and former residents to attract new residents. Should multifamily communities consider similar tactics if they receive bad or untrue reviews (and that’s assuming the reviewers are providing real names in the review and are easy to trace)?
This seems like it would be a bad tactic for property managers to take. Sure, negative reviews could be embarrassing and potentially damaging to an apartment community. But it would be even more damaging to get into a war with your reviewers.