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Website for Poor Service

Question

I recently asked if anyone knew of a website where someone who has had a bad experience with a car or a garage could post this on the web. I got a couple of replies but nothing that would do what I wanted. I have gone through TestAchats. They took some action but nothing really satisfactory. For you lawyers out there, what would be the risks (if any) of publishing on the internet the names of garages where we considered the service to be unsatisfactory. If the posting is factually true would I risk opening myself up to a lawsuit for defamation? If I posted it as “a garage in (commune)” without using the name of the garage would there be less risk? How specific could I be? I really think such a website would be a service to many other people but I’m not exactly sure how to proceed. This would be a website where anyone could post his/her experience. There are such websites in other countries but nothing that I know of in Belgium. Ideas would be appreciated.

Answer
ap Feb 16, 2016 12:08

sounds like a great potential for a startup in Belgium, its not known for great service, if someone can find a site for general service complaining i would be interested.

Answer
kasseistamper Feb 16, 2016 13:49

If you post something with your actual details on it you leave yourself open to legal action by the person about whom your are complaining. Whether they would take action is another matter but you would be vulnerable.
"a garage in (commune)” removes the risk but doesn't solve the problem as no-one can be certain which garage your are complaining about.
'garages where we considered the service to be unsatisfactory' is a matter of opinion - what you consider to be unsatisfactory may not necessarily be so.

The problem with these type of forums is that anybody can post what they like with the result that the whole thing becomes meaningless. Someone using the name 'Joe Blow' is actually a rival garage owner trying to drum up business and 'Fred Smith' is angry because his girl-friend ran off with a garage mechanic.

The best course of action is just to find a garage which comes with a recommendation from someone you trust and stick with them. And use word of mouth to circulate your opinion about the garage with which you are unhappy.

Sorry to be negative but I think you are backing a loser here.

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