What you should do if you can’t write a negative review about a business online

Leaving a negative review about a business online is one of those things many of us really don’t want to

Leaving a negative review about a business online is one of those things many of us really don’t want to have to do.

But if you find it necessary but you’re having trouble or your review has been edited or deleted, then what happens?

Well, Choice is urging customers to take it up with the authorities in light of allegations that Meriton Serviced Apartments tried to stop guests posting negative reviews on Trip Advisor.

The ABC reports the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is launching legal action the company for actions it’s alleged to have taken between November 2014 and October 2015.

And as the ABC is also reporting, the problem is more common that first thought.

The broadcaster has reportedly received plenty of complaints about businesses stopping customers from writing negative comments and reviews online.

Choice’s Tom Godfrey told the ABC it was “deeply concerning”.

“I think those companies will have some serious explaining to do,” he said.

“The law couldn’t be clearer. Section 29 of Australian consumer law prevents businesses from making or inducing false or misleading representations through testimonials or reviews.

“So if this is going on these companies might find themselves in serious hot water.”

So, what should you do if you’ve been blocked from leaving a negative review?

Well, Choice is advising you contact your state office of Fair Trading or the ACCC.

Godfrey said you could also use social media to make a complaint instead.


“If you’re being stifled by these formal channels then get around them and get the message out to people, because consumers need to know if there are negative comments about a company,” he said.

“If these companies have engaged in suppressing negative information well, let’s get the case out and hope the full force of the law comes crashing down on them.”

Do you write negative reviews of businesses online? Have you ever had something like this happen to you?


  1. Frank  

    I had a problem registering with airbnb – a friend told me they had no problems, yet when I went to register it demanded proof of ID and stuff like posting them a copy of my birth certificate and passport – that felt very unfair when they asked none of that of my friend

    so I googled how to complain – saw someone mentioned Facebook – posted my complaint on there – and within hours I got a reply saying ‘we fixed it – all good’ – so that totally worked

    don’t waste time complaining to people who can do nothing about it – find out who can make the change you want – and ask them ! – easy.

    • Gavin Weston N.F.P.  

      One of the best ways to compete with companies that use questionable ethics and practice in their business, especially in recruiting casually as only an on line application can be viewed, the best way to deal with such is to go public. One had to be careful not to use words or phrases that denigrate a firm with specific wrongs but to use your own experience with them that cannot be refuted. Best practice is to keep a copy of all of the information that is used in the matter. This then can be used as evidence if contested, which would be most unlikely if you keep good records and the firm in question knows you will or do. I have found that this method can have incredible results no matter how big the firm or buisness is.

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