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The cost of bad review

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2020 by Craig Harwood


How much can a bad reviews cost your business?


Lawyer Gordon Cheng (source facebook)

The following excerpt from an ABC news article (see link to the full story below) highlights the cost of bad reviews to a business. In this case the ruling was the review was defamatory, mainly because it appears the person was never actually a client in the first place.

It highlights the value of reviews and importance of having a reputation management system in place, because conversely while bad reviews cost you money, good reviews make you money. If your not in the Google 3 pack with more positive reviews than your competitors talk to us about how to simply and easily achieve that.    

Adelaide lawyer Gordon Cheng wins $750,000 defamation judgment over bad Google review

An Adelaide lawyer has won a $750,000 defamation payout against a woman who gave his firm a bad review on Google.


Key points:

  • Isabel Lok wrote a bad online review about Adelaide lawyer Gordon Cheng's firm
  • Mr Cheng said he lost 80 per cent of his clients and $631,000 in income
  • A judge ordered Ms Lok pay him $750,000 in damages

The woman, Isabel Lok, was never a client of barrister Gordon Cheng, according to his evidence in the South Australian Supreme Court.

But she posted a one-star rating of his business on Google in October 2018 in English and Chinese, along with an extensive negative review.

Mr Cheng, 66, was born in Hong Kong and most of his clients come from Adelaide's Chinese community, or from China and Hong Kong, the court heard.

He told the court he lost about 80 per cent of his clients between the bad review and when a former client made him aware of it in February 2019.

He said the post caused him "significant distress, anxiety and financial hardship".

In March 2019 he issued a concerns notice to Ms Lok and made a complaint to Google.

Rather than deleting the review, the court heard Ms Lok changed her name on the review to Bel, then Cindy and finally Peter, the name of her father, who owns a restaurant in Adelaide's Chinatown. He denied any connection with the review, according to Mr Cheng.


See the full story at



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