Yelp Review Gets Denver Couple Sued: ‘Absolutely Horrible Experience’
A Yelp review has led to a Denver couple being slapped with a lawsuit.
According to FOx31, Matt White posted a review of Footprints Floors back in 2013. The experience he had with the company was, needless to say, not the best, and he decided to warn others about using their services.
“Absolutely horrible experience. … I have 4,000 square feet of sandpaper on the floor and Footprints believes there is nothing wrong,” White wrote. “I have shoe prints in the stain, dust, debris and filler trapped under my stain. … The quality of the work is absolutely deplorable.”
White said the company left him with a staircase that didn’t meet code, mismatched colors, and doors that refused to open. After seeing the review, Footprints Floors decided to take action and filed a defamation lawsuit, claiming the review cost them 167 projects and $625,000 in revenue from January 1 and August 1, 2014, according to KDVR.
White decided to settle with the company for $15,000 because it was cheaper than going to trial. However, he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would keep him from discussing the case. He said all-in-all the lawsuit cost him a total of $65,000 in legal fees.
The president of Footprints Floors, Bryan Park, issued a statement regarding the case.
“I started Footprints Floors in December of 2008, after working for another hardwood flooring company and deciding to go out on my own. I grew up in the Denver suburbs, and I wanted to start my own business in the community I love and that has given me so much.”
“Footprints Floors is a unique, family-run company. We help people with their residential remodel projects, installing raw hardwood floors that we then custom finish. But our work goes well beyond floor installation. We take care of any issue or challenge that comes up during a project – because we want to make sure our clients have a great experience with us and are 100 percent satisfied with our work. We tell our clients, “We want you to be happy with your floor for as long as you have it.”
“I’m proud of how this philosophy has allowed us to grow our business. We now have 120 employees and contractors, and we complete, on average, 1,500 wood-floor projects a year. Our projects span the Front Range from Pueblo to Loveland. We’re one of four Colorado installation companies certified with the National Wood Flooring Association, and we carry an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. I never imagined this outcome when I started the company six and a half years ago, walking door-to-door to hand out fliers and working 16-hour days to complete our projects. I am humbled by our success.”
“We recently had an experience that I hope to never go through again. One of our customers expressed dissatisfaction with our work. We offered to fix all of the problems. I personally did everything I could to meet his needs. He still wasn’t satisfied and made online comments that, in our view, were not true. After a drawn-out legal process, the case was settled last month when this client ultimately paid us for the floor we installed. This attack hurt our business’s bottom line, yes, but more importantly, it hurt our reputation. We take our reputation, both on and offline, very seriously because we know it is what has allowed us to succeed. This was one project – that we wanted to make right – in the thousands of projects we’ve completed. We have thousands of happy clients, and we strive to keep them happy for however long they have our floors. This particular client’s online comments were not representative of our work.”
“I know my company can move beyond this experience to continue to grow and serve our community. Footprints Floors will always do everything we can to meet our clients’ needs and provide top-quality work.”
Yelp also issued a statement regarding the incident.
“Businesses that choose to sue their customers to silence them rather than address their comments, often bring additional unwanted attention to the original criticism. We frequently find that a better course of action, rather than suing your customers, is publicly responding to a critical review in the same forum.”
[Photo by Gil C / Shutterstock.com]