Dietz Offers His Side of the Angie’s List and Yelp Reviews Lawsuit
I spoke with Chris Dietz on Saturday December 15th 2012. He seemed very upbeat about the attention he has been getting from the media as well as his peers in the construction and remodeling industries regarding his lawsuit against Jane Perez due to her reviews on Angie's List and Yelp.
He had posted the comment below on line at Leah Thayer’s Daily 5 Remodel and gave me permission to post it here at the Design/Builders Blog. I offered my support to Chris for what he is doing and complemented him on the professional approach he has demonstrated online and in the media. He shared that he hoped his lawsuit would make a positive difference for other remodeling contractors as well as all business.
Chris Dietz's side of the story in his own words:
I am a member of NARI, NARI-Metro DC. Thanks to a vendor I use, one of their staff is on the recruitment committee, and suggested I join. One of the best business decisions I ever made. I love my chapter and all it does for me and my fellow contractors (trainings, product demos etc).
I will not make much in the way of comments, due to litigation still in progress. Her is a bit of my side:
The issue here is simple, the client crossed the line of opinion, and into the realm of defamation. I contacted Yelp and Angieslist, with documents (legal ones, countering the defendants postings), and they refused to remove or alter the postings. I was told I had two options, 1-poster removed their own post , or 2-a judge's order removing/altering the posts. My hand was forced in filing a lawsuit. It is a true shame, that myself, and other businesses, in our line of work and others, are forced to take defamatory type comments, and just live with them, based on what everyone says. The response usually is, hey just get more positive comments. Easily said, I usually do full renovation or larger type work. SO if Iose 1 customer, my revenue can drop dramatically and ruin my entire year.
I had nothing to do with the work that was showed in the pictures. Compare the pictures shown in the press, to my portfolio. Not even close.
We need to push for legislation to change provision 230 of the CDA-Communication Decency Act, and also hold Yelp and Angieslist accountable ( and all other ISPs) for the way they permit postings and review them. Yelp is more at fault, as they claim, algorithms are to blame for the negative posts being public, and your positives being filtered. YET, for a fee, Yelp miraculously offers to fix this(Yes, I did receive a sales pitch).....Angieslist, is far better in this area.
Yes, I can really use help in paying my legal bills, as the case is far from over. Feel free to contact me privately via my Facebook page, Dietz Development. Also, there you can see that my work portfolio, is so far higher in quality, than the pictures that have been shown to the public. I sincerely appreciate the moral support I have received, and I am very determined to work with NARI-local and national, and our industry to make changes so this cannot happen to someone else.
Chris Dietz, Dietz Development