Please read this before you complain

  Forum Editor 20:11 06 Feb 2006

about a supplier.

I know only too well how infuriating it can be when a company ignores a request for help, refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong, breaks a promise to collect a faulty computer, or is guilty of some other example of bad customer service. Sometimes it's too easy to forget how impotent an individual customer can feel when he/she has tried for the umpteenth time to get some kind of an encouraging response from a company which appears to have no understanding of the term 'customer service'. Our forum exists to help such people, and we can - we've been doing it for over five years,and in all that time we've learned a thing or two about how to negotiate the customer-service minefield. We'll help if we possibly can, and if we can't, well, it's sometimes good just to have a sympathetic ear.

What we will not tolerate is anything libellous.

A libel is when one person 'publishes' an allegation about an individual (or a group of individuals) which is untrue, and which by being published may harm the public standing of that person or group, may have a detrimental affect on their ability to earn a living or conduct a business, or may harm their previously good reputation. That isn't intended to be a definitive explanation, but it will suffice in this case.

In a libel action the person or group that is libelled does not have to prove the allegation to be untrue - the person who publishes the libel must prove that it IS true. If a forum member was to be sued for libel by a supplier we too might end up in court as the joint publishers.........and that's something that isn't going to happen while I have any say in the matter.

I will therefore delete any thread or post which contains statements to the effect that "company A are a bunch of thieving cowboys" or "company B took my money and ran" or "This company cheated me". I will also delete threads or posts which say "Don't buy from XX" or words to that effect.

  barryg 20:29 06 Feb 2006

Especially if they happen to be major advertisers within PC Advisor?

  J B 20:30 06 Feb 2006

I agree with every word that you said. I too have read such entries within the forum, and like you, think that they are out of order at best. I do wonder though, how many casual members will head your words after they read them? Good question don't you think? J.B.

  skidzy 21:30 06 Feb 2006

I agree to a certain degree FE...but places like this does help the consumer as well.I would have bought a system from what i thought was a very trustworthy vendor,but after reading numerous threads about them..i have since declined and am looking elsewhere.....
Whatever people say...Feedback is a good source of information in general.

  fly_boy_201 21:54 06 Feb 2006

How do you actually know when something is untrue? Have you done any investigative journalism to check?

If a contributor is stating exactly what happened that is not libelous, it is just fair comment which is protected by Statute Law and Case Law Judgements. Freedom of speech comes to mind too.

However I accept that you do have to tread a thin line carefully and it’s your website.

  SANTOS7 21:59 06 Feb 2006
  Totally-braindead 22:10 06 Feb 2006

If someone says that he bought an item and it didn't work and they wouldn't refund him or her thats fine, as long as they stick to facts not innuendo its the posting where someone says something like don't buy from them they are rip off merchants or say something they imagine to be correct but have no proof of, that sort of thing.
The FE will keep all of us right.

  ade.h 22:27 06 Feb 2006

Staying within the realms of libel laws when commenting publicly and in print - which is what we are all doing here - should come under the heading "common sense".

  jakimo 22:33 06 Feb 2006

When complaining about bad service best to keep to the facts,and keep your opinions to to yourself

  anskyber 23:07 06 Feb 2006

We are lucky to have the opportunity to express ourselves here and bring consumer related issues to some 184558 users. But I have read some very direct comments on suppliers such as Mesh and PayPal to name but two in recent times. In each case I have felt that my understanding of the situation and therefore my ability to benefit from the information was reduced through the use of strong opinions.
To a degree the very strength of the comments can create an environment where the reader is questioning the ability of the writer to form a balanced judgement. Those who serve themselves the best and in turn us are those who can see through the red mist and paint a picture for us of events which can be proved. There is currently a locked thread concerning Cube 247 Computers which included a reply from Cube 247 presented in a very clear and seemingly factual manner. I have no way of knowing the truth behind the story but I was impressed with the approach and in turn formed a positive judgement about that supplier.
FE has no option considering the law regarding libel but even if it were different he is also right to maintain a position of integrity. There are many other Forums out there if all people want to do is slag others off.

  ade.h 23:17 06 Feb 2006

Nicely put, Anskyber.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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