Construction Dispute? Alternatives to Leaving a Negative Online Review.

negative-online-reviewYou have a problem with your home’s construction company or contractor. A big problem. And you can’t seem to get it resolved. Do you leave a negative online review and move on? Or are there other alternatives?

Leaving a bad online review doesn’t help anyone. You may think that it might warn others from using that company, or that it is a way to retaliate against your contractor, but in reality, it simply creates more tension and doesn’t solve anything.

What you really want to do is come to a resolution with your contractor, and, if you are due, obtain restitution for any wrongs done to you or your home.

First of all, you should know that you may subject yourself to liability if you post a negative online review that costs a company business. There have been many lawsuits created and won by contractors this way. One such suit was won right here in Falls Church due to negative write-ups that Jane Perez posted on Yelp and Angie’s list about her contractor.

Here are some steps you should try before posting a bad review:

Talk to the Contractor

Having a frank and open conversation with your contractor is the first step. Explain why you feel disappointed and back up your feelings with proof. If you find a construction error, point it out and ask that it be fixed. Many times tensions escalate simply because lines of communications are either not open or not clear. Most contractors want to do a good job and will be open to hearing your point of view.

Get a Professional Opinion

If you have noticed a construction error or suspect that something isn’t quite right, you have the right to call in an outside expert like an inspector. This person will listen to your concerns, perform a professional inspection of the suspected error, and provide you with corroborating evidence in the form of noted code violations, a detailed report and photographs. You can then present this documented evidence to your contractor and ask that the problem be fixed.

Hire a Mediator

If you are not comfortable speaking directly to your contractor, or if things have progressed past the point of communication, you can hire a professional mediator to help work things out. This person will act as a go-between between you and the contractor, presenting each side to the other and assisting in working out a suitable solution. This takes the pressure—and the uncomfortableness—out of speaking directly with each other. Often a neutral third party can relieve some of the tension and get to the root of the problem more easily.


If you have tried all conceivable ways on your own to work out a solution, it may be time to bring in an attorney who can create a legal claim against your contractor. In some cases you may be able to work out your differences and an amenable solution through mediation. But in others, you may be required to present your case in court.

Bring in an Expert Witness

Once you have the legal field involved, it is of utmost importance to have evidence to back up your claim of wrongdoing. This can be in the form of your inspector’s reports and photographic evidence, or in the words of an expert witness who can testify either in deposition or on the stand.

Consult Först Consulting Group Before Writing a Negative Online Review

Först Consulting Group offers assistance in all of these areas for both homeowners and contractors, but not for both sides on the same case. And although we are located in Virginia, we work with construction claims cases throughout the United States.

Our training and knowledge in the construction field, backed with certifications and courtroom experience make Först Consulting Group an excellent resource whether you want a mediator to help resolve a construction dispute on your own, or need to take the case to the legal level.

Rather than simply leaving a negative online review, let’s see if we can work things out to everyone’s satisfaction. Contact us today.


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