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Threatened to serve papers if I don't remove a review about a renting company in Poland


Stu 12 | 522
25 Oct 2010 #1
Hey everyone,

A couple of days ago I tried to rent a car in Wroclaw. I stumbled upon this company, which seemed attractive cause it was jolly close to our apartment and thus I wouldn't have to travel half way across the city to pick up the car.

I called the guys and they were so jolly unhelpful, rude and unreliable (they said they would send me an e-mail to confirm the booking, but it never came, despite me calling them several times), that I decided to write a negative review about them.

Today I received an e-mail from the company threatening me they would serve me papers through their lawyers if I didn't remove the negative review. My review was negative, but phrased politely ("That's new", some of you might say, but I have my soft side as well, you know ;) ), I didn't write anything that wasn't untrue, but it obviously struck the wrong nerve with the company.

My question: do they have the right to threaten me with serving me papers for a court case? Is it common in Poland? What if a newspaper writes a negative review about someone's book, movie, or product (like consumer reviews): does the author, the director or the company have the right to sue the author of the negative review? The rental company says I didn't have the right, because I wasn't a customer. Well ... I tried to become a customer, but it was blatently obvious they did everything they could to keep me from becoming one. What are my rights?

Thanks everyone in advance.
Olaf 6 | 956
25 Oct 2010 #2
Ok, here's what I think:
1. Yes, they can sue you, just as you can sue them. But: they'd have to prepare the lawsuit, hire a lawyer, pay for it and also demand some amount of money (in a civil lawsuit) from you for the damage you've done by your review. So they'd have to estimate this damage to their business and justify it later in the trial. Also when they sue you for money, they need to pay 8 % of the amount they sue (if I'm not mistaken here). So I don't see it happening. Call their bluff if you really want, don't get scared.

By the way, where did you post this review?

2. It is not that common.
3. Everyone can sue everyone, the reviewers and journalists are sued too (there's press/media law act in this case...) but everything depends on a case. Imagine this car rental company proving in court that your review actually contributed to their loss in businnes terms. Hard to prove. On the other hand they may argue that it is defamation. But if the review was honest and true... and perhaps you have some proofs (e.g. email history with dates etc., witnesses), then you should tell them to bu**er off and work on their quality of service.

Also, bear in mind the fact that Polish courts, happen to take a very long time to solve even simple cases, and also the verdicts can be surprise. Then you have to appeal, wait again, and then demand justice;). The choice is yours.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
25 Oct 2010 #3
I tried to become a customer, but it was blatently obvious they did everything they could to keep me from becoming one. What are my rights?

that is true and THIS is what you get, which proves that they are a bad company
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 Oct 2010 #4
Just make sure that what you said wasn't slander or libel. Poles leave negative reviews all the time, more than enough to make it a recognised form of behaviour. AFAIK, they don't lead to court cases. So, they can stick it and take what's coming to them for their lack of professional decency/courtesy.
Olaf 6 | 956
25 Oct 2010 #5
AFAIK, they don't lead to court cases.

But there's no istitution or office in the court that would initially consider the coherence or legal basis for the lawsuit when it is placed. The whole trial begins, and judicial assessors often don't even think if the case has ANY basis. Huge waste of time, money and nerves.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
25 Oct 2010 #6
if it gets to court... make sure that u are sick that day with a doctor's note as evidence.

this is how big companies ruin little companies... with delaying tactics. play the game.

or get a big name lawyer to write a letter. do this and they may drop the case.
poland_
25 Oct 2010 #7
Today I received an e-mail from the company threatening me they would serve me papers through their lawyers if I didn't remove the negative review. My review was negative, but phrased politely ("That's new", some of you might say, but I have my soft side as well, you know ;) ), I didn't write anything that wasn't untrue, but it obviously struck the wrong nerve with the company.

Ignore the email and wait for a registered letter, if it does not turn up forget about it. In the mean time create a file in chronological Order, with all correspondence email,hardcopy and telephone ( person you contacted).

If you do get a registered letter, respond in kind, with basic content '' Please explain fully, what you do not agree with, in respect of my post dated D/M/Y.

Do not waste money on lawyers at this stage and don't allow yourself to be bullied.
terri 1 | 1,665
25 Oct 2010 #8
In your case - I would prepare my paperwork, get dates of all contacts made and sit tight.
Do absolutely nothing.
It will take them at least 6 months to bring the case to Court and then it will be thrown out -.
If you receive a registered letter, open it and DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AND DO NOT REPLY..
They will have to send another registered letter - DO NOTHING AND DO NOT REPLY.
Or if you really want to get up their nose - write to them in English and say that you MUST have your correspondence in English (as you do not read and understand Polish)

The letter that you need to worry about is the DATE of the Court case - then hire a lawyer - produce a sick note.

For the next date - say you have had to leave the country.
For the third date - you are sick again.
You have done nothing wrong - if they were so worried about their reputation - they should remember CUSTOMER CARE.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
25 Oct 2010 #9
Write back and tell them that because you were unable to hire a car to take your sick wife to hospital , she died....and you are considering suing them for millions....

that should put the wind up em...
Olaf 6 | 956
25 Oct 2010 #10
It will take them at least 6 months to bring the case to Court and then it will be thrown out -.

- not necessarily. Why do you think it would take them so long to file the case? And read my post above - they would not throw it out usually but proceed eeven if it doesn't make sense. I've been there.

produce a sick note.

- Why do you advise to break the law? I don't think that Stu has to use such methods.

say you have had to leave the country

- that's not an excuse and it can easily make the judge biased i.e. when he starts to avoid the trials. It can work on the favour of this car rental company too, and also the lawyer would have to show up and then the trial would be without him. He can loose a lot doing so. Don't advise if you are not sure.

you are sick again

- again, not legal and not the way to do it - he is not a culprit and it's not a criminal charge so WHY do it? The judge can get pissed and make that trial without his presence as his representative would have to show up. If the representative doesn't show up (not all lawyers would agree to do it just for the sake of doing this;) ) only then it would be postponed.

You have done nothing wrong

- exactly. And there is nothing to avoid.
DarrenM 1 | 77
25 Oct 2010 #11
Stu

Do you speak Polish?

If not then PM me your email address and I will send you my Wifes addy. She in turn can translate and send it on to her Father.

He will tell you if you have anything to worry about.
anthony187 - | 1
25 Oct 2010 #12
you ever hear of something called scare tactics dont worry about it there just trying to make you remove it nothing will come from it
convex 20 | 3,978
25 Oct 2010 #13
Ignore the email and wait for a registered letter

From their lawyer, not the company.

The first step in Poland is normally a cease and desist request through registered mail, or?
DarrenM 1 | 77
25 Oct 2010 #14
you ever hear of something called scare tactics dont worry about it there just trying to make you remove it nothing will come from it

Wrong mi old China.

Companies suing for bad reviews using Libel laws are ever increasing.
poland_
25 Oct 2010 #15
From their lawyer, not the company.

The company has no confirm he has received their email, unless Stu replies.As far as the Car hire company is concerned it could have gone to spam/trash. If you send written correspondence by registered mail/courier or even facsimile, you have a confirm of receipt.

If you read Stu's post, it reads to me as if there has been communication by email, between the two parties regarding this matter:

Today, I received an e-mail from the company threatening me they would serve me papers through their lawyers if I didn't remove the negative review.

The rental company says I didn't have the right, because I wasn't a customer.

I would bet money there has been a email dialog between the two parties and the final email from the company was, "Take your post off the website, or we get the lawyers involved"
OP Stu 12 | 522
25 Oct 2010 #16
Do you speak Polish?

Thank you DarrenM, but my wife speaks Polish. She feels awful, cause at the moment she is alone in Wroclaw and the rental company is just around the corner. Since I have to work as well, I am in the Netherlands at the moment. I try to convince her she has nothing to worry about, but she still feels very unsafe indeed. Especially since they have her address details. And I don't (and can't) fly over until Friday.

I would bet money there has been a email dialog between the two parties and the final email from the company was, "Take your post off the website, or we get the lawyers involved"

In fact there has been a telephone conversation. Then she posted this review on some website (something about reliable companies) and my wife got an e-mail in her mailbox with the subject "I'll see you in court!!" (but then in Polish).
Tlum 10 | 150
25 Oct 2010 #17
If whatever you said was true (or you had a reasonable reason to believe it was true) then they cannot do anything to you.
Wroclaw Boy
25 Oct 2010 #18
"I'll see you in court!!"

Classic scare tactics without any thought what so ever, go back and publish that too.
Olaf 6 | 956
25 Oct 2010 #19
Wroclaw Boy - your idea is saucy. I like that. I'd publish that too, Too bad I cannot find this car rental company or the opinion site. It would be interesting to read this and also we'd know what Stu has written there and if there is anything to be afraid.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 Oct 2010 #20
A review is a review. Some can be scathing and that's just it. As long as it doesn't transgress into the realm of personal attacks/slander/libel, you'll be fine.
terri 1 | 1,665
25 Oct 2010 #21
[quote=Olaf]produce a sick note. - Why do you advise to break the law? I don't think that Stu has to use such methods.

... I had an inspection from PINB arranged and the guilty party (who has built on MY property) said - I have to go on holiday and cannot be there when the Inspectors call.

terri:
you are sick again- again, not legal and not the way to do it .....ask Andrzej Lepper - he used doctors notes all the time and it took 4 years to get his case to Court and to this day he is a free man.
OP Stu 12 | 522
25 Oct 2010 #22
It would be interesting to read this

My wife says she can't remember the URL she wrote the review on. But there is also a site where "reliable companies" are advertised. And this car rental was shown as being reliable. And she sent an e-mail to this site. I don't know whether it is allowed according to PF-rules, but it is euro-rent.pl.

She wrote in the review and the e-mail that the company really didn't deserve to be on the list of reliable companies. The service was rude, they are not reliable, and generally very unhelpful indeed.

It is, by the way, the second time we tried to rent a car there. The first time was a couple of months ago. We agreed to pick up the car at their office at 1100, but lo and behold, there wasn't any (not a car and not an office) on the address they mentioned. So my wife called them and no-one picked up the phone. We phoned another number ... again nothing. We called again and left a message. We went back home and about an hour later the geezer called back, telling us that he had no car available. It should have been our wake-up call.

This time we needed a van. Pretty much same problem. No van, still no office to be found, and we know the neighbourhood cause we live just around the corner, no text message despite the fact we asked for it (and he asks for a text message as well to make a final reservation), rude phone call to my wife (who the hell does she think she is, that she thinks they have to be there at her beg and call) etc ... etc ... .

Well, that pretty much was the final drop, so hence the review and the e-mail. And honestly, they were phrased very politely indeed.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
25 Oct 2010 #23
I called the guys and they were so jolly unhelpful, rude and unreliable (they said they would send me an e-mail to confirm the booking, but it never came, despite me calling them several times),

This will show up on your telephone bill, including times and dates.

Today I received an e-mail from the company threatening me they would serve me papers through their lawyers if I didn't remove the negative review.

Keep all documentation including emails about what happened.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
25 Oct 2010 #24
If they are as good at getting you into court as they are at getting you a car.....you should have little to worry about....
Olaf 6 | 956
25 Oct 2010 #25
I detest bad service. Just keep a stiff upper lip and they can skrew themselves.
poland_
25 Oct 2010 #26
I fully agree with you, I just don't understand it. service means service...
Olaf 6 | 956
25 Oct 2010 #27
Some companies just don't care or think it is other way round. Well maybe it used to be like that but not any more.
jwojcie 2 | 763
25 Oct 2010 #28
@stu, well I'm not a lawyer but if I understand correctly the worst you can be accused of is internet stalking (which of course is not even remotely close to your doings), but there is no law in Poland for that yet (it is in making now...).

I think you can show them your three fingers and tell to "read between the lines"... But of course, maybe some professional lawyer opinion wouldn't hurt before you do that ;)

I do know some lawyers in Wroclaw but they do not work for free...
OP Stu 12 | 522
25 Oct 2010 #29
Good one jwojcie ... I'll keep it it mind. I am not a person who panics, all this just seems weird to me. And the fact that my wife is alone now and lives just around the corner of these guys, doesn't really have a soothing effect on me, as I'm sure you understand.

If I do need a lawyer, which I doubt to be honest, I know where I can ask for some recommendations.
convex 20 | 3,978
25 Oct 2010 #30
If I do need a lawyer, which I doubt to be honest, I know where I can ask for some recommendations.

If so, I'll post a comment and join the fray!


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