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    • pawntoc5
    • By pawntoc5 14th Jun 19, 8:13 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 4Thanks
    Blackmailed by a company I hired. What would you do here?
    • #1
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:13 PM
    Blackmailed by a company I hired. What would you do here? 14th Jun 19 at 8:13 PM
    Hello all! I need a bit of help -

    Short version: my husband and I hired a videographer/his film company for our wedding last year but the footage was poor and very delayed, beyond the timeframe that was represented to us. I posted a 2 star review on Google and the videographer responded publicly by denying its authenticity, claiming that I am "not a genuine client" and that my review is false. At the same time, he emailed me and threatened to sue if I don't take down the review. He also threatened, amongst other things, to call me at my workplace and involve my employer if I don't respond. This is obviously insane since I've got so much proof that I am a genuine client (eg. payment, emails). I also find the blackmail tactics despicable.

    My question: Does anyone know if there are authorities I can report them to? Consumers should not have to put up with this sort of outrageous attacks, especially when the vendor himself is doing the lying.

    Long version: in addition to the above threats (which he might well follow through on… hard to say.) he has done a number of other disturbing things, including tracking my husband down on LinkedIn (I guess he wanted to find out which company to call if he did want to involve our employers) and finding out who my employer is (I'd never told him directly).

    He has also stated that he will leave a bad review for me in public via my employer's Google listing if I don't take my review down. The threat, of course, is that he wants to drag my employer down because he's got beef with me and that would reflect badly on me. Besides it being completely unfair and irrelevant to the situation we're dealing with here, this is also plain vicious. I'd already looked on Services Ombudsman but they don't seem to cover the filming/media sector so just wondering if anyone knows whom I should be reporting them to.

    I hired this videographer because his company is very highly rated based on Google reviews (vast majority are 5 stars. No 1-3 star reviews at all). But now that I look closer, I noticed that most of the "people" leaving this company great reviews on Google only have just that one review to their name. No history of reviewing any other businesses. I'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about what's going on there. Who knows what happened to all the other negative reviews? Got blackmailed out of existence? Who knows...

    Sorry this ran longer than I hoped. It's a ridiculous situation and the legal route doesn't interest me because this company is frankly not worth my time. My goal is to de-escalate the situation and move on. Don't want to take down the review (this was still a free country the last time I checked) but I may revise it so it's less contentious. People should not be bullied into submission, the way he's trying to do here. Thank you in advance to anyone who can help!

    P.S. If there are brides/grooms-to-be out there who want to know which company this is so they can avoid the same troubles, please reach out to me directly.

    27 June Update: he went through with his threat and posted a 1-star review on my employer's Google listing, putting my full name in capital letters in the review and calling me a large number of things that are ridiculous and untrue (eg. "manipulative" - ironic considering he's the one who's publicly denying the authenticity of my review and then threatening me in private.
    Last edited by pawntoc5; 28-06-2019 at 9:18 PM. Reason: update
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    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 29th Jun 19, 8:15 AM
    • 3,641 Posts
    • 3,753 Thanks
    Can't speak for others, but no misunderstanding on my part.

    A one off event is not harassment. It needs to be repeated behaviour.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    In this case the trader has made multiple threats. He emailed the Op threatening to call his/her workplace; and posted a google review on her employer's google page.

    That is two separate actions which would satisfy the test for a "course of conduct" under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.

    In the Op's situation I personally would not hesitate to issue a claim seeking damages under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.

    Op I also wonder if you could report the review to google and ask them to take it down?
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 29th Jun 19, 1:36 PM
    • 2,890 Posts
    • 2,601 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    If I were the OP's employer I'd be asking Google to remove the review and I think I'd be contacting the person who posted it too, pointing that I'm not happy having my company brought into disrepute.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 29th Jun 19, 2:28 PM
    • 13,974 Posts
    • 11,226 Thanks
    In this case the trader has made multiple threats. He emailed the Op threatening to call his/her workplace; and posted a google review on her employer's google page.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Did you forget/overlook the post I was replying to stated:
    Ohhh, I think there’s some misunderstanding here. I'm not claiming he's harassing me because he’s emailing me. He's harassing me because he posted a public Google review
    Anyway, the OP is talking about reporting to police - not just issuing a claim themselves. They stated in their OP they're not interested in the legal route - they just want to know who they can report them to.

    A bit too much tit for tat going on. Hence why I think the police are unlikely to get involved other than having a quiet word.
    Money doesn't solve creates it.
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