Bad reviews - no matter for whom
We are happy to report on the great successes of
the firm in our newsletter, they cannot be verified by the reader anyway.
Today, in order to increase the credibility of the reports of victories, we
report on a painful defeat. But the case is certainly interesting for other
colleagues as well.
A partner of the firm, who repeatedly works with US law firms, receives a tip from overseas that our Google rating is miserable. Obviously this is consulted in the United States before a mandate is awarded. It was quickly established that the tip was correct, we had a disastrous rating: Never come back to this firm, all incompetent.
The first immediate action taken was to call friends and relatives and ask for excellent ratings. This allowed us to raise our rating from 1 star to 4.7 stars.
After that we turned to the negative rating. The complainant was not registered as a client. It could be established that a lawyer working for the firm, who is highly committed to advising on migration law outside the firm and also represents clients, was working for the dissatisfied complainant. It is not relevant here that the complaint was completely unfounded in substance; we have asked Google to remove the assessment on the simple grounds that it simply does not concern the firm. An evaluation without contact is inadmissible. The complainant had never engaged the firm and had never entered the firm's premises.
The Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main assessed the fact that the lawyer in question is on our letterhead as sufficient to justify a sufficient reference to the criticism of the entire law firm and rejected our request for deletion.
We consider the judgment to be incorrect and have appealed. Our colleague, who attended the hearing before the Regional Court, was so annoyed that he shouted to the judges: What would you say if you were assessed on the basis of performance in another chamber? He reaped icy silence. We will report on the outcome of the appeal and can live well with our 4.7 star rating.
In Germany, however, the ratings given by dissatisfied customers, clients, patients are to be taken very seriously, especially for those freelancers who have a large number of visitors. Many doctors in Germany are selected on the basis of these same patient ratings. A wrong evaluation can lead to considerable economic damage. (On the tort jurisdiction according to the ECJ Regulation in the case of actions against a rating portal, see BGH v. 1401.2020, VI ZR 496/18).