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Defamation or Libel? Kansas

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  • Defamation or Libel? Kansas

    I have a small business and which involves giving lessons to children. I have a mother who marched into my work place and jumped down my employee's throat about having to pay for lessons even when her child doesn't attend. It is policy to pay whether a student attends or not because I still have a business open and an instructor sitting there without a student that I have to pay.

    The mother still had to pay and did so - not happily. But instead of coming to me (owner) she yelled and complained to my high school help and another employee I'm guessing because they were easier to bully.

    However, she has now told the other mother's not to pay and I now have other mother's coming to complain about her not having to pay so why should they? While it's a lie, it's been a source of great confusion and many angry mom's thinking I'm treating her better than them.

    Is there any legal action I can take due to this problem? What she is saying is not true and it's hurting my once great customer relations.

  • #2
    No, she is entitled to think that your policy stinks and tell other parents if she wants. If she is so unhappy with your policies, then I'd suggest you inform her that she and her child are happy to take lessons elsewhere, effective immediately.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      IT happens in every business. I settled a denied occupational disease case at mediaton for a client this week and that night I got an email from her wanting me to cut my fee way down. Some people just do not seem to understand that a person who owns a business--whether a law firm or a dance school--has to pay the rent, the employees, the light bill, the insurance, etc.

      Stick to your guns, without running down the lady who caused the problem. Be as classy about it as you can and that should help you salvage the customer relations. Remind them that they are buying a group or series of lessons, not single lessons.

      If the policy is in writing, post it somewhere that people are likely to see it, but not "in their face" obvious. In the future, get new customers to sign a contract that includes this provision. They could even initial it to show they read it. That should cut down on some of this silliness.

      You could offer to add a free session to the end of the series for the lady who complained. It may cost you some money but that may be cheaper than having her bad mouth you all over town.
      Bob Bollinger, Attorney
      Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
      Charlotte, NC

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