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Couple uses internet to air contractor dispute

When hiring a contractor, many homeowners in Ohio get recommendations from friends, relatives or websites. Home repair and improvement can be expensive, and few people want to spend money and end up dissatisfied. However, if work is incomplete or done poorly, there are steps one can take to resolve the issue. If homeowners do not get satisfaction from the contractor, they can hire an attorney or file a complaint with a professional agency, like a licensing board. One couple took to the internet.

The homeowners hired a contractor to install doors and windows, paying him $10,090. When none of the work was done, the husband and wife posted negative complaints on internet message boards, then went further to create a website that named the company along with a derogatory term. The website outlined their dispute with the contractor and warned others not to hire him. The contractor countered by converting his business website into a page about the couple, explaining that the dispute resulted because the wife developed romantic feelings for him.

He claims the couple breached their contract by refusing to pay money they owed him from an insurance contract. The contractor also says he offered to refund the couple's money, but they refused. In light of the negative internet presence, he has filed a defamation lawsuit against the couple.

When a small business contractor in Ohio deals with unhappy clients, he or she may not expect the lengths to which they may go to get revenge. Taking their complaints to the internet means potentially millions of people will hear what may be an exaggerated interpretation of the facts. Small business owners often cannot afford such negative publicity. Allowing a lawyer to handle the defamation issues may ensure one's business is protected and one's customer base will continue to thrive.

Source: kmov.com, "Negative online reviews lead to nasty dispute", Chris Nagus, Feb. 3, 2017

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