Millions of people complain about products and services every year. Not all complaints, of course, need a lawyer. In most cases, a small business can handle things on its own. Some business owners have a great return and exchange policy. They’re even willing to give back the customers’ money if they found the product is not to their liking. Yes, in some cases, businesses do this even if the customers used the products and removed the tags.
But there are things that, as a business, you can’t let pass. Wrong accusations that can hurt your reputation should never be ignored. If you let one customer get away with saying wrong things about your business on social media, that can get out of hand. Soon, customers will back away from transacting with your business. That hurts the chances of you proving to them that these accusations are wrong.
Small businesses don’t usually have a business attorney on retainer. It’s something they shrug off, thinking they’re too small of a business to have troubles with the law. But even though you are paying the right taxes and following government regulations, your customers are the ones who can put you in a tight position. That’s when it’s time to call your lawyer.
Have you ever had a customer complain about a product because it didn’t do what’s it’s supposed to do? Whitening products, for example, never explicitly promise a date when people will notice the lightening of a scar. When you read the fine print, there are always exclusions and exemptions to the product’s effectiveness. And yet, some customers will use the product for a month and complain about it when they didn’t notice anything different on their skin.
Is this a fraudulent claim on the part of the manufacturer or the distributor? Complains like these are always the loudest because it seemed to many that the products are falsely claiming positive results. When this happens and the customers are not agreeable to having their money back, call your lawyer and see how this will impact your business.
Class Action Suit
One of the most popular multinational companies globally, Johnson & Johnson, faced multiple lawsuits over the last decade. The lawsuits said that its talc baby powder caused cancer and other illnesses to its users. There are more than 19,000 cases before the United States federal and state courts against Johnson & Johnson. As a result, the company has to employ powerful public relations campaigns to save its reputation.
When a group of customers accuses your small business of something that your products supposedly caused, don’t engage with them until you talk with your lawyer. Things like this can get out of hand. Whether the accusations are true or not, you need to know where you stand legally before you react to it.
So customers stormed your store and started throwing insults to you and your employees? Some of them even threatened your employees with harm. This is definitely a reason for you to call your lawyer. You have to know what kind of protection you need from these people. You can also consider filing a case against them for disrupting your business operations.
It is the employer’s responsibility to protect business interests, yes. But the employer must also protect the health and safety of the employees. If any of them feel threatened because of a customer’s actions, the employers have the right to seek legal solutions.
Maligns the Company Publicly
The worst nightmare for any business is for customers to air their grievances on social media. This can hurt the business. Not only is it going to throw off potential customers, but it will also malign your reputation. And the worst part of it is that social media rarely want to listen to what the “big companies” have to say. People are quick to side with the consumers while your competitors are going to jump on the bandwagon and throw shade at you.
Always consult with your lawyer and PR specialist before coming up with a witty response. You could be digging your own grave. Worse, you could be empowering other customers to start complaining about similar unfounded accusations.
Businesses cannot please customers all the time, though that is not for lack of trying. Customers have high demands from the brands that they support. After all, if they’re spending money on you, they should get their money’s worth, right? But that doesn’t mean you should not protect your business’s interest and your employees. The right lawyer can guide you in navigating the complex world of consumer complaints.