How do I stop somebody from destroying my business?

29 replies
I provide writing services on both Fiverr and the Warrior Forum. The latter I only started again today (although I was pretty successful with it in the past. I think I have had about 5 threads over the past 2 years in 'Warriors for Hire').

Let's forget about the writing services for a second though. What I am more concerned about is the fact that somebody is trying to discredit me online. The comments they are posting are pure defamation.

Every day, sometimes more than once a day, they are posting reviews on ripoffreport.com which are completely false. They say I 'scam money', send spun content, offer poor customer service, threaten to hack websites etc. etc. (None of this is true, don't worry!)

It is now at the point where I am LOSING clients from my main business (which is a public relations company) simply because people are searching for my company name and seeing that I scam people out of money and NEVER deliver after receiving the cash (I don't!)

Basically this one person is on a massive crusade to completely destroy me. I have NOT done a single thing wrong to them. I believe I know who it is. I have no way to prove it though.

It kind of...sucks though! I am at the end of my tether. Business is plummeting fast (thankfully i am keeping clients who KNOW they are getting quality work and that their cash is in safe hands.

This person is a member on both the Warrior Forum and Fiverr. I know that for a fact. This is because around an hour after I posted my thread there he posted a new review saying he was scammed through it....AN HOUR!

Anybody have any suggestions as this is just getting me down? I may have to give up doing something I love. It is NOT FAIR to destroy somebody's business. I wouldn't mind so much if the comments were true. They are far from it though. This is completely soul destroying stuff. I have NEVER done anything that is being suggested. I would NEVER steal money from anybody. Ghastly.

I was tempted NOT to post this here because I know the person is active on this forum right now. However I feel as though I had to. Where better to get advice?
#business #destroying #stop
  • Profile picture of the author thriftgirl62
    You need to reference each claim and respond in a business-like manner. List your phone number and a physical address to show your potential clients that you have nothing to hide or run from.

    If that doesn't work, run a background check so you have all the information you need to hire an attorney and sue for damages.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
      Originally Posted by thriftgirl62 View Post

      You need to reference each claim and respond in a business-like manner. List your phone number and a physical address to show your potential clients that you have nothing to hide or run from.

      If that doesn't work, run a background check so you have all the information you need to hire an attorney and sue for damages.
      thriftgirl62,

      I would strongly recommend Ryan do both immediately.
      ..

      I would get on the phone ASAP with an Attorney in your jurisdiction to begin legal action..... Each minute you wait, more damage is being done to your business and your personal reputation.

      All The Best,

      Rich Beck BCIP, MCSD, MCIS
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  • Profile picture of the author jhphotographer
    You need to track him down. Send a solicitors letter to the person in regards to slander and hopefully it will stop.
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    • Profile picture of the author RyanGillam
      Originally Posted by jhphotographer View Post

      You need to track him down. Send a solicitors letter to the person in regards to slander and hopefully it will stop.
      Sadly I have no proof of who it is. I have an inkling, but no proof really.This person is quite literally watching every single post i make, picking up on comments, and using it against me in reviews.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
        Originally Posted by RyanGillam View Post

        Sadly I have no proof of who it is. I have an inkling, but no proof really.This person is quite literally watching every single post i make, picking up on comments, and using it against me in reviews.
        It doesn't matter if you know who he/she is. A good lawyer will put the fear
        of God into the hearts of the website owners where he/she is posting their lies.

        You have three choices...

        1. Muddle along trying to scratch out a living in spite of what
        people can now find about you with a simple Google search.

        2. Quit doing what you love and let this miscreant win.

        3. Call a lawyer tomorrow and have them send sternly worded
        threatening letters to the owner(s) of any website where this person
        has posted allegations without proof. Be prepared to follow through
        if the website owners tell your lawyer to buzz off (not likely but always
        possible).
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        If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Have you asked this person what his problem is? If he's posting on WarriorForum you can send him a message. People don't do stuff like this for no reason... you may not have done anything wrong (or at least don't THINK you did anything wrong) but from his perspective you did - and it's worth engaging him to find out.

    Unfortunately that's really your only resolution. Even if you could get negative comments on other sites deleted, that won't stop them from making new ones. If it were me, I'd be trying to find out why this person has it in for you and what you can do to make it right.
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    • Profile picture of the author RyanGillam
      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      Have you asked this person what his problem is? If he's posting on WarriorForum you can send him a message. People don't do stuff like this for no reason... you may not have done anything wrong (or at least don't THINK you did anything wrong) but from his perspective maybe you did. It's worth engaging to find out.
      He hasn't posted on the Warrior Forum. Shortly after I posted my thread he hopped on over to RipOffReport and said I was running a scam here. He (or she) has posted an average of 2 reviews a day against all of my businesses. They all say roughly the same thing. I simply have no way of telling who he is.
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      • Profile picture of the author ronrule
        Originally Posted by RyanGillam View Post

        He hasn't posted on the Warrior Forum. Shortly after I posted my thread he hopped on over to RipOffReport and said I was running a scam here. He (or she) has posted an average of 2 reviews a day against all of my businesses. They all say roughly the same thing. I simply have no way of telling who he is.
        Ah ok, I misunderstood, I thought you had said he was commenting on your thread here.

        You might have to use Ripoff Report's paid arbitration service ($2K).
        Ripoff Report | Scams, reviews, complaints, lawsuits and frauds. File a report, post your review. Consumers educating consumers.

        They also have a corporate advocacy program, but I'm not sure what the costs are. This sets you up in such a way that any time anyone posts something negative about your business, you can review it first and an arbitrator decides whether the post is ever seen or not.

        Unfortunately with a site like Ripoff Report there isn't much else you can do - users can't even delete their own comments after they've posted them, so the only way to get something removed is to work with RR.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      Have you asked this person what his problem is? If he's posting on WarriorForum you can send him a message. People don't do stuff like this for no reason... you may not have done anything wrong (or at least don't THINK you did anything wrong) but from his perspective you did - and it's worth engaging him to find out.

      Unfortunately that's really your only resolution. Even if you could get negative comments on other sites deleted, that won't stop them from making new ones. If it were me, I'd be trying to find out why this person has it in for you and what you can do to make it right.
      I agree with ronrule 100%, there is always two sides to a story. You must have did something to piss him off. Your best bet is to try and get in touch with him, and see if you can work something out. I don't think a lawyer can legally stop someone from posting a review of a service.

      "fight fire with fire"
      In this case, it will just make things worse... People do weird things online.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
        Originally Posted by Alex Blades View Post

        I don't think a lawyer can legally stop someone from posting a review of a service.
        If the alleged "review" is for a service the poster never purchased and
        is nothing more than lies designed to destroy a competitor's business a
        good lawyer will not only stop it from continuing they'll make you wish
        you had never started.
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        If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Freeman
          Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

          If the alleged "review" is for a service the poster never purchased and
          is nothing more than lies designed to destroy a competitor's business a
          good lawyer will not only stop it from continuing they'll make you wish
          you had never started.
          Unfortunately, Ripoff report is well known for never removing a report. They also fight every case against them which is great when the information is true, but not so if made up. OP the best option is as stated above, to respond to the reports with your contact information to show you have nothing to hide. You also may ask for reviews from happy customers so that those can be found as well when a Google search is done.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            I think your answer at Ripoff was good - but too long.

            I would craft a short answer to this person and that is exactly why I would post in reply to every rant he posts.

            I have never had a refund request from Fiverr
            I have never had a complaint from a customer on Fiverr
            These rants are posted by someone with a personal agenda and nothing more.
            Don't vary - don't explain further - just dismiss him with 3 lines.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    Wow! Sorry this is happening to you.

    I'm really surprised this is affecting your business and that anyone takes Ripoff Report seriously anymore since they allow anyone to make anonymous complaints about a business with no proof, then ask the business for $$$ to get the review taken down. Sounds like extortion to me.

    I really don't have any advice, but I hope it all works out well for you. You might just have to play the RR game to get this taken care of. Maybe at least talk to a lawyer. Many of them give free consultations.

    Best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Originally Posted by RyanGillam View Post


    This person is a member on both the Warrior Forum and Fiverr. I know that for a fact. This is because around an hour after I posted my thread there he posted a new review saying he was scammed through it....AN HOUR!
    Ryan, first, I am very sorry this is happening to you.

    You say you "know that for a fact" that this person is a WF member because he/she posted a new review just after you posted your thread. Guests can access the WF and read threads without being a member.

    Personally, I think you should consult an attorney to see what your options are legally to put a stop to this, including with regards to the complaints posted on RipOff Report.

    Something else you might consider, in the meantime, is not using your real name as your username (here at WF and Fiverrr). Just a thought, although it won't offset the current damage that's been done.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    I recall a time there were a few people somewhat crusading against my business (phpLD). There was sort of a "gang rule" on another forum, and the moderators let people say whatever they wanted. I was out numbered, and couldn't keep up. The interesting part was that while all this was going on my business actually increased. I just kept working hard and doing a good job and I think people knew better, maybe not all, but my business increased.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author joseph7384
    Ryan, I have just read both reports and I got to say it really sounds like it is some idiot who finds it easier to discredit you instead of stepping up their game to compete with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan3
    "fight fire with fire"
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    "Start"
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
    If you know who this person is, can't you report him to the Warrior management for action? Of course, they won't be able to remove any bad reports from the ripoffreport site, however, they might ban him from this site, which would put him out of commission as to targeting you. Also, aren't there any good review sites where your satisfied customers could be issuing rebuttals, such as reports of being satisfied with your work? If you can get your customers to stand up for you, then that might negate some of the damage that was done to you before.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
    You may be able to threaten action against ripoff report. Or sue the person (john/jane doe) slandering you and compel ripoff report to furnish sufficient information to identify john/jane doe.

    I am not a lawyer, in fact have no legal training whatsoever. I don't even play a lawyer on tv.
    In no event will I be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of my opinion. Taking legal advice from anyone via the internet is a bad idea, you should do your own research and consult proper legal counsel before embarking on anything after breakfast.
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    Robin



    ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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    • Profile picture of the author wendyann
      I am so sorry to hear this Ryan. I was looking for your article thread (now closed) when I saw this. The legal system has yet to catch up with the internet unfortunately, although some of the posts on this thread are worth following up. You have written some of the best articles I have ever bought, so I hope you can continue, even if it's under a dummy name. Cheers and best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Javisito
    Wow this kind of people doing those things is just too much.

    Hire a lawyer..
    Respond to his lies..
    Try to talk to the guy and ask him why.

    Try to get him to admit it somehow and get proof of what he admits and use it against him in court.

    Unfortunately it is hard to beat those guys without sinking to their level, which I do NOT suggest you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author fatchap
    Well, well well. I had never heard of ripoffreport. Looked at the site and I have to say my first thought is -- genius! People love to whinge and bitch. And then offering an 'arbitration service' for $2000. Bet every case is upheld and report removed

    Is this any worse than selling the latest best ever seo course/video course/facebook ads course?
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    For those that think the OP had to DO something wrong to this jerk for them to be destructive, that's not necessarily the case. The person could be a competitor trying to squash him. It could be an obsessed sociopath/stalker type getting their kicks. This behavior is way over the top and not something the average disgruntled client would do. Most people are too busy with their lives.

    I suggest the OP work on rebuilding his reputation online by creating positive, helpful information for potential clients on a blog or website under his own name. Do this asap. You need to drown out the negative search results with your own information that shows you in the best of light.

    Also, post a public response about this incident telling your side of the story and letting everyone know that you are innocent of the charges. Explain how you conduct business in detail. You can also email your current clients and honestly explain the situation. Let them know you are actively responding to these baseless allegations and will continue providing them top notch service. Ask for testimonials and post these on your site.

    Whatever you do...don't roll over and let this person steal your business and your reputation. Giving up is what he/she wants you to do, because it makes them feel powerful. Fight back!

    I wish you the best and may you grow from this and be even more successful a year from now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Did it ever occur to you that the more you buy into what they're doing, the better they like it?

    They are jerking your chain and you are dutifully rising to the bait.

    How much time has this cost you away from your business? Do you think that time might be better spent?

    Are there any rip-off reports about me? You see I wouldn't know, because I spend zero time worrying about how idiots with nothing better to do spend their time.
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    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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  • Profile picture of the author Gh0zt
    There are ways of dealing with such people.... muhahaha... but I'd assume you want everything done ethically?

    In which case your best bet is to record and report everything to: a) the sites host where the slander is posted and b) the law enforcement agency dealing with online threats and slanders.

    You can also "last laugh" them by boosting your traffic through the controversy they have created about you - a happy customer testimonial placed in the right place can do wonders

    Turn the tables on your adversary - use their tactics and hard work for your advantage and gain.
    They have spend considerable time and effort to: 1) Get your name out there & 2) Discredit it.

    Part 1; people would pay good money for that service,
    part 2; some clever posts, rebuttels, examples of success etc can flip your adversaries hard work into free labour. This way you recieve some justice, essentially their sin against you actually rewards you.

    If somebody is pathetic enough to try and stitch you up like this: use their strength as their weakness - this person is obviously good at hyping and causing a scene - use those 15 minutes of fame to get your true message out to the masses - you think they will ignore you and believe some little whiney kid (fully grown man, I'd assume). ?

    Peace,
    Gh0zt
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  • Profile picture of the author James1212
    That's a tough one, my brother has the same problem. Some people are just complainers no matter if the service is bad or good. It's a much deeper mental problem for them, so I would just write to ripoff.com
    and tell them they are at the point of harassment. If you know this person the best thing to do is write a response to the on ripoff.com and be honest about. Let the chips fall, or get a lawyer and take care of it.
    A simple letter would do the trick I bet.
    Best
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  • Profile picture of the author nmchant
    Look, we all know there are plenty of crazies out there. If this guy is posting multiple reviews about the same person and same subject matter, he is going to look like a vengeful moron.

    Ripoffreport.com has an area for rebuttals- I suggest you post a rebuttal explaining to this person that you don't even know who they are since they didn't contact you first to 'resolve' things.

    Clarify that this is the first time you've received such scathing reviews (all from the same person) and you would like to know who this is, can they please contact you directly as you believe there must be some mistake.

    Don't even think about giving up something you are passionate about because of some asswipe, just take it off the table as an option, period!

    A doctor I know, love, and respect (he's simply amazing) has gotten several Awful reviews on yelp.com, and unfortunately f*cking yelp has suppressed over 40 5 star reviews of his- they have a whole section for 'reviews we don't recommend'- if you find and click that link it takes you to them,... i consider that a crime. Yes, its hurt his business, but he's not going to throw his practice out the window over it. And the worst review- he has no idea who wrote it.

    I suggest instead of that, start collecting as many testimonials as possible for your own website..perhaps use some of them in your main marketing materials. And maybe even take the things he is saying and indirectly address them by outlining your terms (ie. what's your guarantee policy, how many revisions you'll do, etc). If your terms are fair and generous people want to know this.

    My best advice is, get the hell off fivver* and raise your rates. When you lowball it you will naturally attract bottom feeders.

    *I'm sure I'll receive some flak for that. Whatever- sue me!
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    • Profile picture of the author thefulltimer
      The worst clients I ever had when I was still doing client work were the ones who paid the least. I know that sounds bad, but it's true. It's not going to help your current situation, but I would be looking at other avenues off of Fiverr.

      The best thing to do with RipoffReport.com is tell your story honestly, but keep it succinct. Back it up with testimonials and ask the person doing it to contact you to get it fixed up ASAP. (By the sounds of it, they won't, but you should at least put that option out there).

      Originally Posted by nmchant View Post

      Look, we all know there are plenty of crazies out there. If this guy is posting multiple reviews about the same person and same subject matter, he is going to look like a vengeful moron.

      Ripoffreport.com has an area for rebuttals- I suggest you post a rebuttal explaining to this person that you don't even know who they are since they didn't contact you first to 'resolve' things.

      Clarify that this is the first time you've received such scathing reviews (all from the same person) and you would like to know who this is, can they please contact you directly as you believe there must be some mistake.

      Don't even think about giving up something you are passionate about because of some asswipe, just take it off the table as an option, period!

      A doctor I know, love, and respect (he's simply amazing) has gotten several Awful reviews on yelp.com, and unfortunately f*cking yelp has suppressed over 40 5 star reviews of his- they have a whole section for 'reviews we don't recommend'- if you find and click that link it takes you to them,... i consider that a crime. Yes, its hurt his business, but he's not going to throw his practice out the window over it. And the worst review- he has no idea who wrote it.

      I suggest instead of that, start collecting as many testimonials as possible for your own website..perhaps use some of them in your main marketing materials. And maybe even take the things he is saying and indirectly address them by outlining your terms (ie. what's your guarantee policy, how many revisions you'll do, etc). If your terms are fair and generous people want to know this.

      My best advice is, get the hell off fivver* and raise your rates. When you lowball it you will naturally attract bottom feeders.

      *I'm sure I'll receive some flak for that. Whatever- sue me!
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackKryponite
    You may be able to sue the guy i say hire a lawyer and try to find this guy
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