Federal Appeals Court Rules Yelp Not Responsible for Bad Reviews; Labs Advised to Examine Their Online Presence
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups can benefit from developing a strategy for addressing negative Yelp reviews
In today’s wired world, clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have a new challenge: what to do when unhappy patients go to social networking sites and post comments about their negative experience with their lab. A lab can have a sterling reputation for service and it can all unravel if a vociferous and angry patient posts rants on the Internet.
Today’s reality is that, like them or not, online reviews posted on websites such as Yelp are here to stay. That is why medical lab managers and pathologists should know about a recent court ruling that protects websites that feature consumer reviews about businesses.
One business owner who sued such a website learned this out the hard way—in court. A locksmith in Redmond, Wash., reportedly filed a libel lawsuit, claiming he lost 95% of his business after receiving a negative 1-star review on Yelp. Regardless, a federal appeals court ruled that Yelp’s star rating system, which is based on user input, does not make Yelp responsible for negative reviews of businesses, the Chicago Tribune reported. (more…)