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Customer forced to pay merchant she disparaged on Facebook

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An angry customer was forced to compensate a merchant she had defamed on Facebook. Photo: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — For the first time in Yucatán, a customer who took a complaint to Facebook was found guilty of defamation.

Judge Suemy Lizama Sánchez sided with a swimsuit store who said her business was harmed because it was disparaged on social media.

The customer’s bitter complaint over a delayed order went “viral,” reports Milenio Novedades.

The delay, however, was reportedly beyond the control of the merchant, who had offered a refund before the ruinous post, which the judge agreed caused numerous cancellations from other customers. That cost the company close to 50,000 pesos.

The prosecutor does not intervene if a conflict is kept private, but once it’s online, the injured party is entitled to demand proof that the comment is warranted, said Lizama Sánchez.

In the hearing, the unnamed customer agreed to pay 2,000 pesos compensation and issue a public apology on Facebook. If the settlement had not been reached, the case would have gone to trial with the defendant facing prison time ranging anywhere from three days to two years, and a fine equivalent of up to 200 days’ minimum wage.

The merchant said the apology was the most important part of the settlement.

“You have to be careful and be responsible on social networks, especially when you share an image of someone who is accused of some situation like robbery, kidnapping, abuse, among others,” the judge warned.

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