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Company sued for threatening customers who left negative reviews

Online reviews are critical to the success (or downfall) of local businesses, and a Maine company reportedly took drastic measures to ensure negative reviews don’t plague their business — threatening to sue people who post negative reviews. leave up to $2,500 per day.


A Liberty Bell moving and storage truck, as posted on the company’s Yelp page.

Maine-based Liberty Bell Moving and Storage, Inc. settled a lawsuit with the state’s attorney general on January 24 over allegations that the company used a fake email address (impersonating an attorney) to tell customers they would be compensated up to $9,500 if they left a negative review, deeming it “false and defamatory” would be considered.

The emails too Reportedly threatened customers with a $1,000 “defamation fee” that would be assessed at a 2.5% per day interest rate for up to 30 days if the reviews were left.

Ironically, many took to the company’s Yelp pages to express their disdain after hearing about the lawsuit.

However, Liberty and its owner, Kevin Finkenaur, were ordered to pay $125,000, according to a local outlet WMTWFinkenaur “denies any allegation.”

Finkenaur and his company’s threats were in direct violation of the Federal Consumer Review Fairness Act, the Maine’s Unfair Trade Practices Act and other federal-level regulatory moving services laws, the That’s what the attorney general’s office said.

“It is ironic that a company named after an iconic symbol of freedom should engage in violations of consumers’ freedom of speech and other legally enforceable rights,” said Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey. at an expense. “I hope this case will remind consumers that no company can require you to waive your right to leave honest reviews of companies and products.”

The lawsuit did not clarify which specific review site or sites the company was monitoring or referring to.

A consumer warning of “questionable legal practices” has been posted on the company’s various Yelp pages at eight locations in Maine and New Hampshire.

through Yelp

“This company may have attempted to abuse the legal system in an attempt to suppress free speech, for example through legal threats or contractual gag clauses.” notification is reading. “As a reminder, reviewers who share their experiences have the First Amendment right to express their opinion of Yelp.”

The company’s headquarters in Portland currently has 48 reviews on the Yelp page with an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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