Good News for Honest Claimants.
Online Furniture Retailers have formed an Alliance to fight back against Online Consumers who threaten to post false online reports, or who post derogatory comments that affect the value of their Company's Brand or Reputation.
There is a growing practice from consumers to make threats against sellers. The threat from consumers is that they will post comments online that they know will be very harmful and detrimental to the value of the sellers Brand.
Threats from Consumers.
These threats involve demands for a refund, additional products delivered free of charge and cash payments.
One family who demanded two thousand euros posted several derogatory statements on online platforms when the retailer refused to pay.
Online Furniture Retailer takes Legal Proceedings Against Consumer.
This case was taken to Court and the judgement was made in favour of the Company. The Court judged the false comments to have had an adverse effect on the Company's Reputation and Brand Value.
The Court awarded the Company a Compensatory Costs and all the Legal Costs were awarded against the Defendants.
The Total Judgement amounted to 125,000 euros.
The Judge found the Defendants to be ‘fundamentally dishonest’ and ordered them to pay a record amount for a fraudulent transit damage Insurance Claim, and for the posting of several false derogatory statements to online platforms, that devalued the Company's Brand and Reputation.
The Defendants made a fraudulent claim that the furniture arrived damaged and was poor quality.
The Court heard that the Defendants had posted photographs on social media of their home showing them using the furniture which clearly was not damaged or faulty. The pictures showed them content and happy in their living room sitting on the furniture at a family party.
Further evidence was submitted to the Court that other members of the same family have also made identical claims, demanding £2,500 in compensation from a Furniture Company, or they threatened to post damaging reports claiming the furniture was poor quality and the service from the Company was bad, and they also made a fraudulent transit damage Insurance Claim.
False Claims and False Statements Posted Online.
Bogus claims for compensation have rocketed for online purchases resulting in many honest claims being rejected as Sellers and Insurance Companies are forced to take a very sceptical view on all complaints.
The Judge concluded there was a joint conspiracy to defraud.
The Judge concluded that the family were foolish to upload pictures of a family gathering that included their furniture that clearly showed that their claims for damage were false, and for members of the same family to make identical claims with their purchase. There is clearly a joint conspiracy to commit fraud.
Proceedings against the other members of the family are due before the same court in the coming weeks.
The Insurance Company and Seller are hopeful for a similar result.
The Defendants in the first case have been given 30 days to pay the Penalty or risk a Prison Sentence.
The Lawyers representing the Insurance Company and the Furniture Retailer said: ‘It’s very sad for the Defendants who will ultimately lose their home, their belongings and any assets they have, but we have had to go this far to defend our client's good name.'
Defendants made false claims to the Insurance Company and made derogatory statements online about the Furniture Company.
The court has found the Defendants made fraudulent claims to the Insurance Company, and also made derogatory statements online that have seriously devalued the Furniture Company's Brand and Reputation.
The defendants have been fundamentally dishonest and have been ordered to pay all the Legal Costs and a compensatory amount to the Furniture Company.
Legal Precedent is a Deterrent Against Consumers Making False Statements Online.
In future, this case will be used as a Legal Precedent, and the extent of the penalty has been given as a deterrent to anyone who makes a false Insurance Claim or posts an exaggerated or false statements on the internet that will devalue a Company's Brand and Reputation.