Brokerage

Broker in court seeking identity of Yelp reviewer

Defamation suit claims reviewer was never a client

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ABC affiliate WFAA reports on a defamation lawsuit filed by a Texas agent and his brokerage against an anonymous Yelp reviewer. 

If a reviewer slammed one of your agents on Yelp, would you defend yourself on the site or sue?

A family-owned brokerage in North Texas that’s mostly racked up five-star reviews on the site has proven willing to try both approaches.

When a recent client, “Pam E,” gave Flower Mound, Texas-based The Rhodes Team a one-star review, owner Russell Rhodes took to the site to give his firm’s side of the story.

But when another reviewer, “Lin L,” posted a one-star review claiming that one of his agents was “by far the worst deceitful and money greedy sales agent you would ever deal with,” Rhodes and the agent sued the reviewer for defamation.

The difference? For one thing, while Pam E. was an actual client expressing her opinions, Lin L. was never represented by the brokerage, the lawsuit claims.

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Although Yelp is not named as a defendant, it’s fighting attempts to force it to reveal the reviewers’ true name — which Yelp may not even have, Consumerist’s Chris Morran points out.

Read the complaint, and Yelp’s response, on consumerist.com.