Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight July 19 2017

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/851467

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 11

WEEKLY EDITION July 19, 2017 Question of the Week: What can I do if a competitor is lying about my business? Every week the PSAI handles a dozen or more questions from portable restroom operators, government officials, and members of the public regarding some aspect of our industry. When issues come up that would benefit many PROs, we do the research and print the answers so everyone can benefit. This week's question comes from a portable restroom operator i n the western United States: "During a routine Google search, I discovered a company I've never heard of is implying that we cheat and scam our portable restroom customers. While they don't mention us by name, it's clear who they mean. We've been in busin ess a long time in this area. Anyway, whoever is behind the "company" I found online definitely doesn't have an operation in our area -- though they imply they do. I think they might be a broker. What can I do about this?" When disparaging remarks about a company, it is very unfortunate. It is even worse when the criticism is coming from some unknown quarter. Though it is pretty rare that they will call you out by name – something that would be much easier to fight – these tactics can be maddening. In mark ets where certain companies are well known, it so metimes isn't even necessary to mention a name; the implication is enough to cast a shadow on a leading business. Unfortunately, these tactics are not illegal - maddening though they are. If they actually name your company and make false claims that hurt your business, you may have some recourse through legal channels. Laws differ from state to state, but generally speaking you can successfully sue in civil court if you can prove: • The information is false • Whoever posted/printed it knew it was false • The false information has hurt your business Proving all three of these things is a very tall order and very few lawsuits of this nature actually result in damages for the plaintiff. More often – if you can affo rd the legal fees – something can be done that results in the perpetrator of the falsehood seeing it is in his or her best interest to "cease and desist." Only you can decide if pursuing legal action makes sense on a cost - benefit basis. Most of the time u nethical people will skirt the issue by not mentioning your company. They may find other "creative" ways to "build up" their own business by tearing down their competitors. As most successful entrepreneurs know, this tactic won't usually work very long. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Articles in this issue

view archives of Portable Sanitation Association International - Association Insight July 19 2017