Negative online dental reviews are making headlines again this week after an Oregon dentist filed a lawsuit against a former patient for disparaging remarks posted on DoctorOogle.com, Google and Yelp.com.
According to the Willamette Week Newspaper, Dr. Mo Saleh is suing dental patient, Spencer Bailey for $300,000 for damage to his reputation and loss of revenue.
When the dentist discovered the negative reviews, he immediately contacted Bailey and threatened legal action if the posts were not removed. Bailey states that he immediately went back to the sites and removed his remarks, which is unusual for people who post negative reviews, but the dentist moved forward with a lawsuit anyway.
Allegedly, some of the negative remarks by Bailey included telling site visitors to get a second opinion if Dr. Saleh tells them that they have cavities. The Examiner.com reports that Bailey claims that when he visited the dentist he was told that he had several cavities that needed to be taken care of, which surprised Bailey because he’d gone 32 years without a single cavity.
After receiving treatment, Bailey sought the opinion of another dentist who told him that many of the fillings Dr. Saleh performed were not necessary and that some of the dental work was substandard. That’s when Bailey became upset and took his anger to online review sites.
Meanwhile Bailey’s attorney has filed a motion to have Dr. Saleh’s lawsuit dismissed under Oregon’s anti-SLAPP law.
The Wealthy Dentist encourages dentists to not let emotion guide them when dealing with negative online reviews. Usually the negative publicity surrounding legal action taken by dentists over negative reviews further paints them in a bad light with the general public.
It’s better to calmly respond to what was said in a positive light and invite the patient back to your dental practice to discuss the situation further. Ask your best patients to post their thoughts about your dental office so the review sites have a more balanced view of your dental practice.
For more detailed dental marketing strategy for handling negative online reviews, see Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews.
How would you handle a negative online review?