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Legal action!!

(10 Posts)
Shallowstreams Mon 25-Apr-16 14:21:11

One of our local nurseries charges rather a lot of money but seems to have many very unsatisfied parents who have expressed concerns about staff levels, safety and also the poor attitude of the management. There have been a couple of complaints to OFSTED but most just remove their children elsewhere and try to tell others.

However on local forums whenever anyone expresses this sentiment the nursery contacts the admins and threatens legal action unless the post is removed - which it always is

Can they do this? Surely parents are allowed opinions and can express them to others?

VoldysGoneMouldy Mon 25-Apr-16 14:25:25

Well if a premises is being mentioned by name on a public forum, they're probably within their rights to do so. Sounds like they definitely are one to be watched though.

Shallowstreams Mon 25-Apr-16 14:31:47

But does that mean no-one can ever moan about any place, brand or product? How do places like Trip Advisor survive then!!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 25-Apr-16 14:36:23

They can contact and ask reviews/comments to be remived, yes. The site does not have to comply but may face legal action over libel (site owner responsible for content). Many sites don't want to take the risk so theyncave straight away. I'd guess maybe TripAdvisor is big enough that it is confident in the legalities.

LurkingHusband Mon 25-Apr-16 14:44:53

The problem the admins (as MNHQ) have, is once their attention has been drawn to the fact a post may be libellous/defamatory/illegal/unlawful, there are few options. Especially given that once alerted, any continued hosting of said posts could be considered colluding - and make the publishers (website operators) liable. Something smaller websites simply cannot afford. So the easiest option is to remove contentious posts.

To be fair to MNHQ, they take a slightly different approach, whereby they will allow contentious posts to stand only if the author(s) of those posts are willing to have their contact details passed onto the complainant, to be chased individually. This lets MNHQ off the hook, but any posters who don't wish to be named have their posts removed (and to be even more fair to MNHQ this is a transparent process).

Having received such a notice myself, I can verify how it can have a chilling effect.

It is basically bullying with the law. But we know what happens to bullies ....

It's also worth noting that despite Scientology being enthusiastic practicioners of such tactics, their general reputational standing is pretty close - if not equal - to zero.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 25-Apr-16 16:10:57

Trip Advisor presumably has a legal team so can seek advise. They also presumably have the "nuclear option" in that if someone requests a removal of one post they can then take down all that hotel's posts and write something like "ABC hotel has requested that posts are removed." Would you go to that hotel?

Where we live the etiquette is "can anyone recommend a nursery in XYZ part of the city. Also if anyone has reasons why I should avoid a particular nursery then I'd be really grateful if you private message me."

howmanyairmiles Mon 25-Apr-16 16:34:08

Sounds like they are doing bit of reputation management, a mate of mine setup up a company offering that service and is doing very well out of it.

Any negative comments online about his clients or products are squished for a price.

isitginoclock Mon 25-Apr-16 21:59:12

There are ways and means around this. Post your concerns but don't name them. I guarantee you parents will take you up on he offer to pm them the name of the nursery.

Also, post facts rather than opinions. They don't have a legal leg to stand on.

isitginoclock Mon 25-Apr-16 21:59:16

There are ways and means around this. Post your concerns but don't name them. I guarantee you parents will take you up on he offer to pm them the name of the nursery.

Also, post facts rather than opinions. They don't have a legal leg to stand on.

BlueJug Mon 25-Apr-16 22:38:33

It's getting a balance though isn't it. We see on here that one person who has, or believes she/he has had a bad experience can cause havoc when they broadcast this to a wider audience. Look at the Heathrow/breastmilk drama as an example of ridiculous complaint that has escalated.

A small business that relies on reputation can go under in months if the "accusations" get out of hand. Job losses, huge amounts of money lost and no hope of recovering from it. If the word goes round that nursery is not safe they will be very unlikely to survive. Fair enough if they are truly dangerous and should be shut down but really terrible if they are perfectly good- but a couple of people are not happy.

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