108 comments

American Romance Bridal Store Threatening to Sue Me

Other / Canada

Update: based on the comments so far it seems like they don’t have much of a case. Thanks for all the priceless feedback and support!

I’m sorry for posting another request for help but this person seems very determined to take action unless I delete a post about a customer’s experience!  I can simply go ahead and delete the post but I feel like this is censorship! So can you guys please let me know what to do about this so that I do not get into legal trouble.

As you know The Canadian Reviews Blog allows people to submit either their good or bad customer experience. I post the reviews as: uncensored and unmodified. People are then free to comment about the store, service, agree with it, disagree, add to it or whatever. It is a completely neutral unbiased service.

In September A. D’Souza submitted a review about American Romance Bridal Store. Click here to to read that review.

Today I get this email from Mia Gaitana:

Boo Radley,

Please remove comments regarding American Romance as I will be filing a suit again A. D’Souza for defamation of character. This is the first request to remove it from your website.

So I reply back:

Hi Mia,

Can you please send me a link to the post you are referring to. And please explain in more detail what the issue here is.

Thanks,

She replies back:

Here is the link to the website:

http://reviews.smartcanucks.ca/category/american-romance-bridal-store/

I was notified by one of my clients (who happens to be a lawyer) that she had found this article on your website.  A. D’Sousa is a past client who obviously was not happy about the service she received due to faults of her own which she has not admitted. She states the following “They know exactly how to screw up your wedding experience by almost not having a dress. They have no professionalism, no courtesy calls if they miss an appointment & to top it all of they try & blame you for something or the other.”  Ms. D’Sousa was given her dress in July of 2009 and at least 3 months before her wedding. Her accusations are false and I will be filing a libel suit in court.

The term libel is as follows:

“Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper.

Typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:

  1. A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
  2. The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher;
  4. and Damage to the plaintiff.”

Please advise whether or not the article will be removed. I would appreciate your attention to this matter and I thank you in advance for your assistance.

Regards,

Mia

I’m not sure what to do here? I never tried to harm her business. I simply provide a service that allows consumers to freely voice their opinion on the experience they had at a store.

108 comments

  1. Sally

    Actually there isn’t much they can do.

    Honestly, people are entitled to their opinions on how their experience. The internet would be a cold lonely place if people got sued on posting reviews and or opinions on things.

    Full names WERE NOT used. I’m not even quite convinced that one lady is in fact a real lawyer because she would know this would not hold up in court. Even her saying they have no proof is a tad presumptious since she has no idea wether this girl does or does not.

    So in short leave the review, if they bridal shop was that concerned they would of made a post on the review with their opinion.

    Omg, think of how dead trip advisor.com would be if you weren’t allowed to post that you were not happy!

    Reply
  2. Justine

    I personally would of never even known of this company if I hadn’t read that review, in fact i did not read it,but you know what I am getting at. Bad publicity is still good publicity.

    Reply
  3. Sally

    I’ve decided that today I’m also a lawyer and the “lawyer” that was their customer would know that this wouldn’t go anywhere in court.

    Heck I don’t want to be a lawyer, today I’m going to be a ballet dancer with a recording company.

    Reply
  4. koala

    You provide the forum for people to express their opinions.
    I don’t think it’s up to you to validate them or censor them.
    If they have any issues, I would say go to the source.

    Reply
  5. LOLOL

    Sally said:

    “So in short leave the review, if they bridal shop was that concerned they would of made a post on the review with their opinion.”

    Actually, they did leave a review but did it anonymously under the name “Amber”. It was pretty funny seeing they went through great lengths to hide the fact that it was them by posting a “fake” store experience.

    Reply
  6. Tim

    As a business owner who has dealt with people huffing and puffing ….the best thing you can do is not react and let the person look stupid on their own…if the store gave crappy service a customer is free to list it if they wish…just as if one of my staff gave you crappy service and i didnt remedy the situation….you are free to tell who ever you want…it boils down to lady give better service and there wont be complaints…instead there will be a reputation praise and possibly even awards and positive publicity…..
    “He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.”
    ~Samuel Johnson

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    There is very little, if any, legal precedent in the matter. To appease the story owner, could you add something to the bottom of the post saying ” please note:
    the store mentioned here is disputing the review, and insists the client received a bridal gown three months before her wedding date.
    thank you, smartcanucks.ca”
    - i would put it in italics
    I would think that way the balanced opinion is up there.

    Also, if you don’t have it already, I’d pt up some sort of disclaimer that smartcanucks.ca doesn’t endorse nor verifiy the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message posted on its discussion boards.

    Reply
  8. Praetor

    Whether or not the statement was true or false has no effect on a finding of defamation. A statement is defamatory if it is expressed to a third party either orally (slander) or in print (libel), and results in an attack on the claimant’s reputation. Defamation is a strict liability tort meaning that whether the statement was made intentionally or negligently in passing is irrelevant.
    The statement must be aimed directly at the claimant, must be malicious, and tends to lower the claimant’s reputation in the eyes of the third party and the standard of opinion is that of a right thinking person (would a right thinking person of the society think worse of that person).
    In this situation, your defense against the claim would be that citizens are entitled to their fair comment. A comment would be fair if it is based on a opinion held in good faith based on facts and not motivated by malice. In addition, the question must be asked, whether or not the claimant’s reputation has been lowered in the minds of a right thinking member of society.
    I don’t practice in this field of law, but these are basic legal principles. You should also know that in most provinces, defamation appearing in print and broadcast, have very short limitation periods.

    Reply
  9. Dakaki

    Stuff like this is hilarious. By not saying anything, Mia/Amber could have suffered from 5 people reading the review, and minimal damage to her company. Instead, she has attempted to bully you, forcing you to broadcast the incident to the thousands of people who visit your site.

    I wouldn’t go to her store now. When she has obviously gone to such trouble to bully a site into pulling a review, she is arguing she has no ability to counter the review with her ‘stellar’ service. Too bad really.

    As far as it goes, Boo, thanks for bringing this to our attention. The bully tactic is not going to work. There just isn’t a leg to stand on, as so many others before me eloquently put it.

    Reply
  10. Sal

    Mia should of provided better service…she can’t do SQUAT! Please keep us update on this matter.

    Reply
  11. Joan Bridal

    The whole point of sites like yours is to voice opinions, and that’s all they are. They’re opinions, not written in stone facts. You also allow comments so it wouldn’t be hard form them to honestly reply to the opinions in their own name.

    Anyways, anyone who starts a correspondence ‘I was notified by one of my clients (who happens to be a lawyer)’ is obviously a slightly bogus character.

    Reply
  12. Kitty

    I’m confused, I cannot see here where Mia said that she was going to sue you. If I read her email correctly (despite the unprofessional typos/spelling mistakes), I believe she informed you that she was going to sue Ms D’Sousa. My assumption is that since she feels that the post involves libel/defamation of character, she thought that you would want to remove the offending material from your website.
    Personally, I’d have to say that you probably shouldn’t have bothered responding to her in the first place, but since you already have, your best bet is to invite Mia to respond to the post. This way, both the customer & the store will have had their say & potential customers can make their decisions on their own.

    Reply
  13. janine

    Even if they dont have a legal ground to stand on please be aware that they can still file a suit which in the end will cost you money in lawyer fees to defend yourself. Likely if you win and are granted a portion of your fees to be paid by this woman it will be a fraction of what you have paid. I learned this the hard way this year, defending my rights against a crazy neighbour cost me over $6000 and over a year in the courts. I won in the end but I assure you that my bank account did not! If you have the money I hope you leave the post up but dont be naive like I was and think that the “system” helps the people who are in the right because feel like the system was an utter failure to the honest and right person.

    Reply
  14. janine

    Oh and by the way I am not a lawyer and I strongly suggest that you consult one before you decide that they dont have a legal leg to stand on….you never know there may be something that we are unaware of!

    Reply
  15. sunshine

    Make sure that there is a statement on your site saying something like : the opinions express on this site are the sole responsabilty of the client. It is not endorsed by the site and reflects only the experience of the client

    Reply
  16. Jennifer

    I am in business for myself, and have looked into various legal issues and what it entails for me if faced with them. What it comes down to is that anyone suing you has to prove that you have set out to commit negligence (in my case) or to defame them (in your case). She can file her suit all she wants, but unless she can prove that you yourself set out to hurt her business she doesn’t really have a case (from everything that I’ve learned anyway – I’m not a lawyer).

    In this case, she would have been smart having come across the review to present her side of the story, and then, I dunno, try to make it right by offering compensation or apologies. Then she could have proved that she was an honest business person that makes mistakes and corrects them to make her customers satisfied. Critical thinkers coming across the review could read both sides and make their decisions to deal with her business based on all the facts. Now, instead we have a fake lawyer and an obvious attempt by the business owner to bully another business owner by using the “I’LL SUE” tactic.

    I think any “real” lawyer would have refrained from muddying the whole mess by not commenting, and just simply making the post known to the business owner so that the business owner could take steps towards damage control. It wasn’t the lawyers place to start threatening to sue (which, I think we’ve all determined that there was no lawyer, just chest pounding).

    In light of this, I would ensure that you have disclaimers on your review website – stating that the opinions stated here are solely those of the contributers and do not represent the opinions of SmartCanucks etc.

    I also think that it may be a great investment to hire a lawyer for a consult to ensure that you do have your bases covered in the future about what you can and cannot post, and if shit like this is just people huffing and chest pounding.

    Reply
  17. Sal

    OMG! It’s a REVIEW of SERVICE someone received!! There are TONS of places to RATE and leave your review! THIS is how we keep business on their toes from providing shitty service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  18. Christine

    Hi everyone. This is actually quite funny. I have gone through all of the comments, but I don’t think she was actually planning to sue Boo Radley. It states in Mia’s comments that she was going after A. D’Sousa. After all of the comments posted, do you think it has caused a ripple effect and strengthened her case more? Boo maybe you should have read her email to you a little more carefully? American Romance was not threatening to sue you. They were going to sue A. D’Sousa.

    Reply
  19. Nettie

    In all honesty, she just took the review from being something that few of us may have seen, and exposed it to a much larger group of people, who now see her as a bully. I most likely would have still shopped at her store (with caution of course). But now that she is trying this bullying tactic on this great site for consumer research & knowledge, I’m not only never going shop at her store, I’m going to tell all of my friends and co-workers about this. She just turned her mole-hill into a mountain, on her very own!

    Reply
  20. melly

    i still dont think anyone should be sued about giving their opinion. My wedding dress place changed 2 of my bridesmaids dresses 2 days before the wedding without telling me and i found out by accident when my girls mentioned something to me, i called the store very upset and the lady (store owner) told me to get over it it wouldnt make a difference. Luckily i was able to alter the dresses myself but after paying 80.00 each for alterations to their dresses, this shouldnt of happened. I left notes on each file and she didnt even care! glad i never blogged about it which i have always meant to!

    Reply
  21. Justine

    Christine, you are right, they are interested in sueing the person who made the comment against them. It says so right here from the email that boo posted, when they wrote “again”, I think they meant “against”.

    “Please remove comments regarding American Romance as I will be filing a suit again A. D’Souza for defamation of character. This is the first request to remove it from your website.”

    Reply
  22. Christine

    The store’s intention was not to sue Boo, but rather in fact A. D’Sousa. They just asked that the comment be removed. I think Boo has now blown this whole thing stating that he/she is the one being sued. Look at the comment again and tell me what y’all think.

    Reply
  23. kate

    i hope this comes up for their “customers” to read when they do a net search about the company. this shows just how stupid this store is. i would never shop at this place based on their actions. its one thing when a customer reports a bad experience. its another when the company acts in a way that backs up the fact that they are a bunch of idiots.

    p.s American Romance: PLEASE don’t sue me for my opinion. we live in fking CANADA. we are allowed to have opinions.

    Reply
  24. kate

    I “legalized” the original review for you:

    So for those to be brides….please do not ever make the mistake of going to (certain bridal store) in Oakville. There are 3 sales people – Mia, Moe & Joe – they are the nicest sales people until you pay for the dress. Once that’s done & you have to go back for the alterations….you’ll never see them. The store is all of a sudden always closed, no one answers the store phone, the cell numbers just ring & ring……you definately do not need this additional stress while planning your wedding. They know exactly how to screw up your wedding experience by almost not having a dress. They have no professionalism, no courtesy calls if they miss an appointment & to top it all of they try & blame you for something or the other. Brides to be or anyone wanting a gown from (bridal store), please do not make the mistake of going there. I am talking from experience & my wedding is in October & I now have to find a seamstress who will alter my dress in a month, after having paid (bridal store) for the same.

    Reply
  25. Larry

    Boo Radley,

    Please remove comments regarding American Romance as I will be filing a suit again A. D’Souza for defamation of character. This is the first request to remove it from your website.

    So….. if the review was positive, would you also demand that it be removed ?

    Fair is fair, if you are willing to accept the good , accept the bad as well ! Learn from your mistakes, if any, and grow because if not, you may not remain in business for long.

    And by the way, it’s ” against” not again, O.K ?

    Reply
  26. Larry

    So, here is the litmus test on subject……..

    How many are going to patronize this store ?

    Simply reply with a YES or a NO !!!!!!

    Reply
  27. Skippy

    Freedom of speech is supposedly a hallmark of Yankee Doodle Land.
    That said,like anything else American,it only applies to their own.
    You and/or the writer of the comment could be a Yankee for all any of us know.
    God Bless America indeed!

    Reply
  28. kate

    freedom of speech is also in the Canadian Charter of Rights. It is as Canadian as Canadian bacon.

    Reply
  29. Brooke

    Christine, yes Mia’s intent was to sue A. D’Souza, but to end her email with “This is the first request to remove it from your website” is an obvious empty threat that if the review isn’t taken down she will take further action. It’s pathetic, and she deserves whatever negative publicity she receives.

    There are two appropriate ways for a business to deal with this sort of thing. The first is to leave it alone, let it fade away and try to do a better job in the future. The second is to address it in a mature way like many of the small businesses do on TripAdvisor. Normally this involves an apology, an offer to try to do better in the future, and possibly some sort of good will gesture.

    Instead, Mia has poorly disguised herself as “Amber” as a shill for her own business, threatened Boo Radley and A. D’Souza without actually having any legal grounds to do so, and involved Boo Radley and by extension the whole SmartCanucks community in a he said/she said argument. Again, whatever negative publicity she receives is well deserved.

    Reply
  30. Shannon

    How do they expect to file a suit against “A. D’Souza” anyways. How do they know that the commenter was in fact a client of there’s. I know it’s obvious that they had a client with those initials that had a bad experience, but in this cyber world there is never any true way of knowing that the commenter is the same person. It could have been a friend, it could have been anybody. These kind of suits NEVER hold up. The only way you can sue someone on the internet is really if they own a reputable site and the owner of the site is making things up about you that cause irreversible damage to your career or position of authority in a community. If A. D’Souza owned a site and she went out of her way to post information about the company that was fabricated then I could see that being admissible, but it’s a comment on a webpage about smart buying tips and deals. We have the right to post comments about absolutely anything on the internet, freedom of speech and opinion. Except maybe admitting to a serious crime, that might bring the law around… but this company has no grounds period. So FIGHT THE CENSORSHIP!!!

    Reply
  31. Vibrantflame

    The sad thing is that now instead of maybe losing a few customers based on A. D’Souza’s bad review, now they will be losing many more customers based on the way they chose to deal with this.

    Reply
  32. sniperc151

    Boo, you should put up whats happening as a “negative” blog against their company on the deals page, show them if they want negative publicity they can get negative publicity, or you could simply threaten to sue them because they are wrecking your company image by saying your wrecking their image (hey if it works on the playground)

    Reply
  33. Joeyjoejoe

    Since you actually had to read and approve it before it went up on the site, you are probably liable as a publisher. They also claim that the review is false, so you have to verify that.

    What you really should do is contact a real lawyer. You could get yourself in a world of trouble just by making this blog post. They can claim this blog post itself is defemation and you definitely wrote and published this.

    Reply
  34. Amanda

    I always thaught that blogs or bloggers were sheilded from legal ramifications? I always thaught that we ( as tax paying citizens) had a right to our 2 cents worth? I think that A. D’Souza is only trying to protect future Brides or now Brides-to-be from having the added stress of a poorly run store. I myself am glad that I read that. If I were to get married I would rather read blogs about Bridal stores as to whom was better than the next and have excellent service rather than the stress she recieved from American Romance.

    Unless they are going after you, Boo with LEGAL actions you do not have to remove the information. I may not be a lawyer but, Im sure these claims have no grounds in a court room and will just waste everyones time..

    Reply
  35. Tjeni

    Boo, the first thing I would do was to ask for the 1st request to come from their solicitor (after all if they are intending to sue they will need legal representation). Also ask for the legal statue(s) that they are intending to sue under. After all you are not posting the review yourself but providing a “free” venue for others to voice their opinions.
    Also I think that if they were found in fault (in the case against D’Sousa) you would have a claim for harassment (eg. D’Sousa could prove that events were factual.) I believe that is how newspaper(s), media outlets operate. (I would try to contact a newspaper and ask if they could give some advice). Last but not least I would contact a para-legal should any “legal correspondence arrive”. After all an email can come from anywhere, anyplace..

    Reply
  36. Heather

    Does anyone watch CTV news with consumer alert? If it is ok for them to give bad reviews on the 6 oclock news I’m pretty sure it is ok for a customer to state/share their opinion of their experience from a store! This store owner is only trying to scare everyone by threatening legal action. If she was so serious she would have had a lawyer write a letter doing the threat not do it herself. Either way something so ridiculous wouldn’t make it past pretrial.

    Reply
  37. Laila

    My dress was from their store and it was absolutely gorgeous. I have referred many brides to them who also bought their dress there.

    All of you must not have a life to continue making so many comments. You base your comments on the fact that Boo Radley thinks he or she is being sued. I have to go with Christine on this one. It’s pretty obvious that Boo Radley wants the attention by having “American Romance Bridal Store Threatening to Sue Me” as the tag line. When, in fact, there is no mention of them suing Boo Radley or Smart Canucks at all.

    Mia if you are reading this – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MY WEDDING GOWN. EVERYONE THOUGHT I LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL IN IT. I HAVE BEEN TO YOUR STORE MANY TIMES AND SAW OTHER HAPPY CUSTOMERS BUY THEIR GOWNS. DON’T LET ALL OF THIS NEGATIVITY GET IN THE WAY. YOU WERE GREAT TO ME AND MY BRIDAL PARTY FROM DAY 1. I HAVE EVERY OUNCE OF RESPECT FOR YOU AND I WILL TELL THESE DUMB ASS PEOPLE WHY.

    FOR ALL OF YOU THOUGHTLESS PEOPLE OUT THERE. A LITTLE PERSONAL INFORMATION…

    I was married on November 29, 2008. On November 22nd I picked up my bridal gown from the store because I had it steamed again. I pretty much had tears in my eyes when I picked up my dress. No, not because I had the most amazing dress. It was because Mia was there when I picked it up. I did not expect to ever see her again. That’s because on November 13th, 2008 (I remember this day because it’s my son’s birthday) she donated a kidney to her ailing father who had lost both to kidney disease. She promised me that my dress would be perfect and that she would have it ready for me 1 week before my wedding. I don’t know anyone else who could endure so much pain and still show up for a customer like they promised. Do any of you know anyone like that? I didn’t think so.

    THANKS MIA FOR EVERYTHING! I HOPE ALL IS GOOD WITH YOU AND YOUR 4 DAUGHTERS.

    Reply
  38. Heather

    Laila I don’t recall anyone saying that the store has never done good work, as I am sure it has… That doesn’t appear to be the issue. The issue is the store attack a customer for having an opinion… but then again according to you I have no life…

    Reply
  39. Justine

    Laila – that is a great story and I am happy that you had such a positive experience with this retailer. We are in no way saying that this store is all bad, the review that is in question is one person’s opinion of her personal experience with the above mentioned retailer. Don’t you think it is fair to allow said person to have their opinion as well?

    I personally don’t understand why the retailer would go after one person’s negative opinion of the store, there are negative reviews of all sorts of things all over the internet. Why should Boo have to censor people’s opinions?

    Reply
  40. Laila

    If you don’t know all of the facts then what is the point of commenting badly about the store or its owner? There are many negative comments being written here. There are 2 sides to every story. Maybe she was a “bridezilla” who was never satisfied with anything.

    If all of you look at the bad comments then maybe you should also consider any good ones that come out of it. Until you have met Mia you can’t really judge her. Take this from a past customer of hers. She was honestly great to me and her customer service was amazing. I can’t speak for A. D’Sousa but I can certainly speak for myself.

    Reply
  41. Sally

    The whole thing is funny.

    Of course theres going to bad experiences with the company, just like there is going to be good ones.

    You take the good with the bad and try to fix the bad the best you can, sometimes you can’t but you def don’t threaten to sue them when they speak out.

    This isnt a communist society and Mia is certainly not our leader.

    Like seriously if it was illegal to review a store wouldn’t of Boo and all of us been sued.

    Mia, you made matters worse, you should of just replied to the review.

    Reply
  42. Heather

    You are saying it isn’t fair to judge Mia… which like Justine and I said probably does wonderful work, but you are assuming A. D’Sousa was maybe a bridezilla? How is that fair of you to say? Crap happens in retail, people have good AND bad experiences, it doesn’t make anyone a bad person AND a customer should be able to speak THEIR opinion of THEIR experiences without having legal action being threatened. Again, I have no doubt that Mia is good at what she does, if she wasn’t she wouldn’t have a business at all.

    Reply
  43. Natalka

    I think the header needs changing asap, as it is not the case that Boo/SC is being threatened with a suit.
    I’m not a lawyer (though I play one on tv, lol!), so I don’t know how much ‘freedom of speech’ applies differently to blogs/internet as opposed to other forms.
    However, I am left wondering – did the customer receive the dress when the store said she did? To me, much hinges upon that. If she did, then that amount of time – three months before the wedding – was plenty of time in which to obtain alterations. Also, she said she paid them for alterations before they were done – well, that just doesn’t happen.
    Not defending the store at ALL here, just questions.

    Reply
  44. Sally

    Oh and also I’m going to have to go out on a limb her and say hes saying their threatening to sue HIM personally because its not like hes going to give information on this person who submitted the review. Boo protects privy information.

    Reply
  45. Laila

    I just called Mia to ask her if she saw all of this and she said no. She said that the store has been closed for 2 months. Firstly because her partners did not want to keep it open (due to the failing economy) and secondly she is not well enough to keep it open on her own.

    I’m actually quite sad to see that their store has closed. I know that they have donated many gowns in the past to various charities and have even lowered the cost of prom gowns for high school girls who couldn’t afford one.

    She said she will contact D’Sousa on her own to see if she can reimburse her for the additional alteration costs. I’m guessing the whole suing thing was out of anger for her first bad comment in the 5 years she was open.

    Mia has a heart. Just 1 less kidney ;).

    Reply
  46. Christine

    Boo maybe you can invite Mia to come and share her thoughts on this whole issue? This way we can all see what she has to say about it. I’m on the neutral end until I hear from her side since we have already read what A D’Sousa has to say. Just a thought.

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  47. Beth

    Maybe Mia doesn’t know all of these comments have been posted. I think it would only be fair for BR to invite her to comment on the posts. I’d like to hear what she has to say and what she is going to do about it. Maybe she’ll change her mind once she reads all of the comments.

    I have also been there and done that with the whole defamation suit. Fortunately it did work for me and I did win my libel case. She does have ground to stand on if she has written proof that A Dsousa received her dress 3 months before her wedding. That is ample time to get a dress altered.

    Being a past bride, you usually don’t pay for your alterations until AFTER the dress has been altered so I really don’t understand that part of her complaint.

    Reply
  48. Brooke

    …and she obviously knows how to get here. The damage is done, there isn’t anything she can do to change that. I think it would be in her best interest to just drop it. To respond now would just be adding fuel to the fire.

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  49. shejayd

    Boo, can you edit the post? Maybe take the names and address of the store off of the post, that way it can still stay there.(?)

    Reply
  50. Beth

    I agree with shejayd. We should still be able to see the information, but having the people’s names (especially last names) is probably not a wise thing to do if you want to avoid a lawsuit. The comment from Joeyjoejoe has a lot of truth to it. He wrote that “Since you actually had to read and approve it before it went up on the site, you are probably liable as a publisher.”

    Also, Mia sent you an email asking you to remove the article not post her email to you so that everyone can see it. That might have been a mistake on your part since you are now clearly not keeping her personal information private (like using her full name). That might also be grounds for a suit.

    Reply
  51. M Bank

    No no no, people need to be able to review things, that’s how smart consumers base their final decisions – both good and bad reviews – and then we determine whether we will use the product or service. That’s why there are websites for people to review doctors, travel destinations, cars, house builders and bridal stores (of course there are many more!)
    For bridal stores especially – since most brides will only buy one dress – it is important to hear all reviews and weigh the benefits. I knew where not to go when I got married when a store in my area had too many of the same negative comments. A D’Souza may have had a bad experience, or maybe she is blowing it out of proportion, but a smart bride/consumer will not take one person’s opinion. If there are good experiences out there, then people should put those there too (as long as they are true!) And no one should be attacking another reviewer, what’s with the name calling?

    Reply
  52. MCM

    Personally, I certainly wouldn’t take the customer’s complaint down. What’s to stop the next retailer from forcing you to cover-up legitimate complaints? (And there’s no reason to assume this complaint isn’t perfectly legitimate, itself.)

    In your shoes, what I might do would be to provide a dedicated area for the business to respond to the customer’s complaint, below the original post. But that’s not entirely necessary, either. The business owner can simply address the complaint in a comment response and use this as an opportunity to try and fix the issue, or at least show other potential customers that she tried to fix it.

    Instead, she’s threatening a ridiculous lawsuit. As a business owner myself, I think she’s making a small problem much worse than it had to be. Complaints are a part of business… if this is her “solution” to such problems (i.e. suing former customers and random innocent websites), I wouldn’t be interested in becoming one of her clients, either.

    Reply
  53. sandra

    I actually think you are all being unfair. I agree that Mia should come on here to explain exactly what happened.

    Also, Beth is a friend of mine and she just tried to post another comment that had to be “moderated”. Seems to me like Boo is choosing which comments are to be posted. Obviously Boo is only trying to post comments which are negative and not any positive ones. Positive ones being that we are requesting Mia to come on the blog to tell her side of the story.

    This is what Beth had to say originally before Boo decided not to post it.

    “I agree with shejayd. We should still be able to see the information, but having the people’s names (especially last names) is probably not a wise thing to do if you want to avoid a lawsuit. The comment from Joeyjoejoe has a lot of truth to it. He wrote that “Since you actually had to read and approve it before it went up on the site, you are probably liable as a publisher.”

    Also, Mia sent you an email asking you to remove the article not post her email to you so that everyone can see it. That might have been a mistake on your part since you are now clearly not keeping her personal information private (like using her full name). That might also be grounds for a suit.”

    Boo Radley – Why are you deleting posts if everyone has an opinion? It’s obvious you have control of what gets posted on here. Was that email from Mia even real or did you just want some really good gossip on here? Your thoughts on that one Boo??????????

    Reply
  54. Derek

    I would suggest leaving it up. If this is the lengths to which an independent business would go to, in order to prevent the publication of negative publicity, it demonstrates the calibre of service they are able to provide to the customers they service, as well as the follow-up they can anticipate.

    I would imagine they would be much better served spending the money it would cost for legal feeds, on enhancing there service, training and ending the negative service some employees as mentioned in the message provide.

    If a company has nothing better to do than attack the customers who have negatively been impacted by the service they provide, then good luck to them.

    Reply
  55. Christine

    I just read something else on your website Boo. It is located in the comments under the article. Is there any truth to it? Why would you delete posts if we have a right to say how we feel? That doesn’t make sense to me. Did Mia really write that or did you just add to her email to you?

    Reply
  56. Christine

    Since it is very easy for you to post and delete comments, it would also be very easy for you to alter them. Free publicity for your website I guess. Seems to be working on your part.

    Reply
  57. Christine

    Here is what it said (this may not get on because I might get moderated and deleted)

    I actually think you are all being unfair. I agree that Mia should come on here to explain exactly what happened.

    Also, Beth is a friend of mine and she just tried to post another comment that had to be “moderated”. Seems to me like Boo is choosing which comments are to be posted. Obviously Boo is only trying to post comments which are negative and not any positive ones. Positive ones being that we are requesting Mia to come on the blog to tell her side of the story.

    This is what Beth had to say originally before Boo decided not to post it.

    “I agree with shejayd. We should still be able to see the information, but having the people’s names (especially last names) is probably not a wise thing to do if you want to avoid a lawsuit. The comment from Joeyjoejoe has a lot of truth to it. He wrote that “Since you actually had to read and approve it before it went up on the site, you are probably liable as a publisher.”

    Also, Mia sent you an email asking you to remove the article not post her email to you so that everyone can see it. That might have been a mistake on your part since you are now clearly not keeping her personal information private (like using her full name). That might also be grounds for a suit.”

    Boo Radley – Why are you deleting posts if everyone has an opinion? It’s obvious you have control of what gets posted on here. Was that email from Mia even real or did you just want some really good gossip on here? Your thoughts on that one Boo??????????

    Reply
  58. Chrissy

    Boo just tried to delete my post. I found this post under the article. I tried to share it with all of you but Boo decided there may be some truth to it and decided not to post it. Here it is again. If Boo decides not to post it then my friends will use their email addresses to post it. There is something definitely funny going on here. I hope this one gets through to all of you. I am starting to doubt if there was any truth to Mia’s email in the first place and BR just made it all up.

    Here is the post I found:

    I actually think you are all being unfair. I agree that Mia should come on here to explain exactly what happened.

    Also, Beth is a friend of mine and she just tried to post another comment that had to be “moderated”. Seems to me like Boo is choosing which comments are to be posted. Obviously Boo is only trying to post comments which are negative and not any positive ones. Positive ones being that we are requesting Mia to come on the blog to tell her side of the story.

    This is what Beth had to say originally before Boo decided not to post it.

    “I agree with shejayd. We should still be able to see the information, but having the people’s names (especially last names) is probably not a wise thing to do if you want to avoid a lawsuit. The comment from Joeyjoejoe has a lot of truth to it. He wrote that “Since you actually had to read and approve it before it went up on the site, you are probably liable as a publisher.”

    Also, Mia sent you an email asking you to remove the article not post her email to you so that everyone can see it. That might have been a mistake on your part since you are now clearly not keeping her personal information private (like using her full name). That might also be grounds for a suit.”

    Boo Radley – Why are you deleting posts if everyone has an opinion? It’s obvious you have control of what gets posted on here. Was that email from Mia even real or did you just want some really good gossip on here? Your thoughts on that one Boo??????????

    Reply
  59. Boo Radley

    Christine,
    I didn’t delete or modify any posts. Why would I? I don’t know Mia or the American Romance Bridal nor do I care. I simply provide a service for people to voice their opinion on the service they got whether it is positive or negative.

    If Mia had sent response for me to post on her behalf explaining her side of the story I would have happily posted it as I have done in the past for other businesses:
    http://reviews.smartcanucks.ca/new-orleans-pizza-stratford-disabled-customers-are-very-welcome-here/
    My intention is not to harm any business at all. Having a business myself I know how frustrating this can be. But this does not mean that we deny people of their freedom of speech and ability to say what kind of service they felt they got at stores.

    Reply
  60. Chrissy

    Seems like Boo has decided to let the comments go on now. “Perfect timing” on your part Boo. I still doubt very much any truth to the email you posted from Mia.

    Reply
  61. Chrissy

    Maybe you should email her then and ask her to explain her side of the story. You should also change your tag line as it is very clear that American Romance was not trying to sue you. Other bloggers have voiced that same suggestion so why haven’t you done it yet?

    Reply
  62. Johnny Bollocks

    Saying that Mia’s “friend” just happens to be a lawyer implies that Mia herself is not a lawyer. If not,

    WHY IS THE LAWYER WHO IS FILING THE SUIT NOT IN CONTACT WITH YOU??

    Also, should you not leave the post up as evidence for the court?

    And shouldn’t it be the COURT that decides whether the remark be censored?

    Boo, don’t budge. This is just a juvenile example of cyber-bullying in a pathetic attempt to assuage the store’s horrible customer service and public relations.

    Reply
  63. Jay

    This site should really hire a lawyer to help them deal with these growing legal issues. You can’t have a site grow as popular as smartcanucks and not expect your legal issues to grow as well.

    On this issue, being notified that something is *allegedly* slanderous is not enough justification for it to be removed – except for sites with very weak knees (and those don’t last because no one takes them seriously). A court must decide who is right. This site can’t and shouldn’t be expected to be the arbiter between parties.

    Reply
  64. Theresa

    This is obviously an attempt to “scare” you into taking down the review. I would perhaps remove the names of the employees from the review, but not remove it totally. You are allowed to state what type of service you received. This is not communist China!!

    Reply
  65. Theresa

    Chrissy, Christine a.k.a comment hi-jacker, you really need to let this go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  66. Nettie

    1) If Mia’s store has been “closed” for “2 months” like Laila says, then why would she care if there was a negative comment about it. The store is already out of business. *rolls eyes* Nice try.

    2)Personally, I think that there is some bored person out there (possibly a kid or someone really needing a useful hobby), who is using many names to reply to this post.

    3) Not Boo’s fault, as he was just looking for advice, who why jump on him.

    Reply
  67. Beth

    I’m on Mia’s side for this one. If Boo feels to delete and post comments as he or she wishes then I do think it would be easy for Boo to alter her email as well.

    It’s surprising how Boo still refuses to change the tag line.

    Stand your ground on this one Mia. Some people just want the publicity and will do anything to get it.

    Reply
  68. Beth

    The fact that Boo decided to moderate my comments and post them 1 hour later tells me that he or she is able to post whatever he or she wants. All this talk about defamation of character and suing a customer is all crap to me. I don’t believe a word of it.

    It definitely gets people going since this is now post #75.

    Maybe Boo can do another “She replies back” and write something on her behalf since he or she is able to do it. That will start a whole shitload of comments again. It’s definitely entertaining to read about someone I don’t even know. GO MIA!

    Reply
  69. Boo Radley

    Beth I did not delete, edit or touch any comments or emails nor do I care to or have any reason to. Think about it for a sec… what benefit would I get out of editing anything?

    Reply
  70. Beth

    You would get a shitload of comments on here putting someone down. If you were smart enough then you would have asked her for the proof first before having your bloggers voice their opinions. If Mia did write this email, it states that she is NOT suing you, but you would rather create a false accusation and put it as a tag line. What do you think Boo? Is she saying that she is suing you? After reading “her email” it says that she is filing a suit against A. D’Sousa and not you or SC. I would leave it between Mia and her customer to resolve if there is any truth to this whole thing.

    There was no threat to you in her “email” so why make it into something it isn’t?

    Reply
  71. itsjustmebub

    your comments were not CHANGED … if you use certain words your reply might get flagged in CASE it’s spam … once it’s double checked it gets approved but no one edited your post or anyone else’s.
    relax.

    Reply
  72. jonathan

    I really don’t understand all the fuss. Let Mia deal with it and just delete the whole thing including the comments. Her store is now closed so there really isn’t going to be a customer service issue anymore. Maybe she will change her mind and not sue A. D’Sousa. Does it really affect any of the people leaving comments on here? If you were going to buy a bridal gown anytime soon then you obviously can’t go to her store. It’s closed.

    Laila, thanks for sharing that story of yours. It’s nice to see that there is a good side to Mia. Not many people would do that especially when they have 4 kids to take care of.

    Reply
  73. christinecrissybethamberlaila

    i think someone from this bridal store is posting under different names. let me see.. Christine, Crissy, Beth, Amber, Laila…. PATHETIC!

    Reply
  74. jonathan

    One more thing. Beth does have a point. Anyone can change a blog or email once it has been submitted. “Moderated” is just another term for being reviewed.

    Everyone needs business these days, but writing an email and using someone’s name is just plain wrong. Copy, paste, add and change a few words. It doesn’t take much to write a whole conversation down pretending to be someone else.

    I wish Mia would go on here and tell us her side of the story.

    I have to go now. I found another website where I can make a complaint about a store because I gained so much weight that I couldn’t put my suit on. It’s obviously not the stores fault for my weight gain, but I’ll word it in such a way that it makes it seem like it’s their fault. Then I’ll make a deal with the website administrator of a discount website pretending to write a defamation, suing, libel bullshit email and pretend I’m the store owner defending myself just so there’s some good reading for me.

    C’mon Boo. Give it up. Couldn’t you think of a better story to boost your website?

    Reply
  75. jonathan

    3:33pm – WOW. I’m getting moderated now? I guess there is some truth to what Beth was saying then. Now I see where Beth and Chrissy are coming from. I will keep writing on this blog since there is obviously no truth to what you are saying Boo. It is really unfair for you to be writing emails pretending you are the store owner and then have your bloggers put her down. I will post this blog on other websites. Does A. D’Souza even exist? Or was she just part of your wild scheme to have people come to your website? I guess it would be easy to find a business that just recently closed and start making accusations.

    Reply
  76. Sally

    Christine your a little paranoid and I suspect you are involved with this bridal company. Sometimes key words are moderated. Swearing, using the bloggers names etc end up in moderated.
    That goes for the “others” freaking out as well. Your not being edited or deleted just being put into moderation because it caught a word. Go read up on wordpress before you start freaking out. Oh but its easier to just blame someone else when you have 0 idea whats going on right?

    Reply
  77. Christine

    No I’m not paranoid and I’m not involved. I was simply asking Boo if what was being stated was true. Beth’s blogs were being deleted and now jonathan is saying the same thing.

    Reply
  78. Sally

    Lmao! Are you for real Christine? you OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA HOW WORDPRESS WORKS. We can see that you are the same person! Christine, Chrissy, Johnathan and Beth are the same people. WE CAN SEE your the same person. Even LAILA who had the wonderful wedding experience….

    Theres this thing called an Ip address… do you need me to explain that?

    Heres a quick explanation. Every machine on the Internet­ has a unique identifying number, called an IP Address. A typical IP address looks like this:

    •216.27.61.137

    ­To make it easier for us humans to remember, IP addresses are normally expressed in decimal format as a “dotted decimal number” like the one above. But computers communicate in binary form. Look at the same IP address in binary:

    •11011000.00011011.00111101.10001001

    ­­The four numbers in an IP address are called octets, because they each have eight positions when viewed in binary form. If you add all the positions together, you get 32, which is why IP addresses are considered 32-bit numbers. Since each of the eight positions can have two different states (1 or 0) the total number of possible combinations per octet is 28 or 256. So each octet can contain any value between 0 and 255. Combine the four octets and you get 232 or a possible 4,294,967,296 unique values!

    Please stop pretending to be all these people, its tiring.

    Reply
  79. Beth

    GO MIA! I support you 100%. Seems like all of this was made up on SC part to get some bloggers to their site. This blog may not actually get posted since Boo decides who gets on here and who doesn’t. There are probably more people out there who are supporting you, but fail to make it on because of the administrator. I will keep trying to post my support for you until it gets on. For all of you out there who have posted and had it deleted, keep posting!

    Thanks to Laila for sharing such a wonderful story. My uncle passed away of kidney disease because he did not have a suitable donor. It’s nice to see that Mia gave hers to her father. Alot of us would think twice about doing that especially those of us with kids. Kudos to you Mia. I hope you can open your store again. After all of this, I would love to come out and see your store and meet you personally.

    Reply
  80. Beth

    Yes Sally and for all of us who don’t understand that mumbo jumbo you just said it sounds very convincing. Good try. I don’t buy it.

    Reply
  81. Sally

    Upon further investigation our multiple personality is either a friend of Mia or Mia herself.

    Why make a mockery of this?

    Beth- You don’t buy this “ip address” thing? Are you serious. Girl you have me in downright tears. I need to log off before I bruise a rib.

    So just to clarify.

    Laila, Beth, Chrissy, Christine and Johnathan thus far are all the same user. What an “active” imagination!

    Reply
  82. Laila

    Wow this whole thing is getting out of hand. I say let them deal with it if there is any truth to it. Mia has already said she would contact A DSousa directly. Whether or not there is truth to the email posted, at least she will figure out what happened.

    The only thing I have to say is that if Mia really did write that email to Boo then why hasn’t Boo emailed her to get her side of the story? I have asked Mia to go on to this site so she can “defend herself”, but she doesn’t feel the need to. Apparently defending herself against mindless bloggers who have nothing else better to do isn’t her thing. Neither is mine.

    So, you can all keeping blogging because you obviously have nothing else better to do with your time. I bet you’re all boiling inside now and will think of something else to say and this will go on and on and on.

    You can all keep the comments coming, but it really doesn’t get you anywhere. Beth, I know you mean well, but I think you’re doing more harm then good. Just let it go.

    Reply
  83. Sally

    Since you don’t believe in the mumbo jumbo of Ip address or wordpress tracking I just wanted to let you know….

    we STILL KNOW YOUR THE SAME PERSON…

    Laila, Beth, Chrissy, Chritine and Johnathan.

    It would of been nice to hear from someone sane that had a nice experience there.

    As far as I’m concenerd youv’e completely discredited all your multiple personality posts yourself.

    Honestly goes a long way sometimes. I hope you’ve learned yourself a life lesson and one day can realize just how ridiculous you acted pretending to be all these different users.

    Reply
  84. Laila

    It’s funny how you’ve gone in and edited your own comments and added my name to your post at 2:53pm. Now I really believe in the whole IP thing. You can change just about anything you like.

    Reply
  85. Heather

    Beth I think you need to keep Mia’s personal life out of this. I don’t recall anyone putting her personal life down. This was a business issue not a home life issue.

    Reply
  86. Sally

    Laila sweety, for real just stop already your busted. Noones changed anything… Ips can’t be edited don’t be naive please. Your busted and you can’t talk yourself out of it. You need to step up to whichever person youll post on next and realize what you’ve done is rash and silly. It took me a few minutes to compile ALL YOUR PERSONALITIES because there was so many I had to go through a lot of posts.

    Reply
  87. Laila

    Sally baby, you need to get a life. Do you work for Boo? Is that how you can see my so-called “personalities”? Just as easy for you to change things around then isn’t it? You obviously have all day to go through 90+ posts. That’s right….IT’S YOUR JOB.

    Reply
  88. Jay

    LOL, this just keeps getting better! What’s next… someone claiming their kid is trapped in a runaway balloon?

    Hopefully Boo can clarify the IP tracking claim, because it sure would be good for everyone here to know whether some of these wacky comments have actually come from the same IP address which (although not 100% fool proof) is a pretty good indication that they’re in fact from the same person.

    Reply
  89. Sally

    Jay, Boo should be on anytime and I 100% guarantee you he can confirm these are all the same people. Laila, I’m not even going to respond to your silliness because your a waste of my time and I’m pretty disgusted your continuing your sick little charade. But I can tell you I would never change peoples post nor pull a charade like you, Boo would ban me instantly if I pulled somethng like what you did.

    Reply
  90. Jeff

    This was a personal opinion or experience that simply used a blog to portray their thoughts and experiences. Since it is a personal opinion, you can’t and should not censor it. It seems to me that this is a battle between the store and their customer, the fact that they asked you to delete the post is simply for one reason, to stop the bad publicity. It has nothing to do with the libel suit.

    Leave the post up, they can not do anything to smart canucks. And because they tried this lame tactic to stop the bad publicity. I hope they are reading this when I say I will be posting this on other blogs.

    Reply
  91. stranger

    You know how ‘precious’ is the time for a lawyer?
    A lawyer browses a deals site on a regular basis?
    A lawyer bought a sample dress for her wedding? (If she lives on coupons then yes, that’s understandable.)
    A lawyer spends her time giving people ‘free’ legal advice and threatens people around?

    If Mia does file a lawsuit, please make sure she can prove that ‘her friend’ Amber is a real person- a lawyer who got married on Sept 12, 2009. If that person doesn’t exist, aha!

    Reply
  92. Jen

    You know what, I am gonna sue this store for my psychological damage just for knowing the whole thing. It made me sick. Some people are just not worthy spending time dealing with. Sue whoever you want if you can actually hold up a case, otherwise this negative publicity will spread far beyond your little lame imagination.

    Reply
  93. LOLOL

    The store is closed now.. maybe there were more bad experiences than just the one that someone decided to post. What happened to her other two business partners? Why don’t they comment or is she the boss?

    Reply
  94. stranger

    The store is closed? Do you mean closed for the day or closed for good? Well, it only takes a few hundreds of dollars to register a new company, they might come back with a different name.

    Reply
  95. Brooke

    Funny how when the IP address thing was brought up Sandra, Chrissy, Christine, Beth, Jonathan, Laila, and Amber all shut up!

    Probably just a coincidence, right Mia? ;)

    Reply
  96. Gordon

    My beautiful bride ordered a dress months ago. The wedding is in 8 weeks. Still no dress – it is now over 6 weeks late (after promissed delivery). I live in Australia. I will withdraw this comment as soon as it turns up. If it doesn’t make it by the day I will make it my lifes work to let every bride know what happened.

    Reply

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