Losing business due to ex-students family

I don’t know the laws here too well but I wanted to know if there is any legal action you can take to stop people from spreading lies about you.

It’s not about me it’s about my English school. The parents were unsatisfied with us. Mostly because their child was shy and not outspoken. This became our problem (which we tried to address).

The result was that we don’t have the student anymore but now the student’s mother is spreading lies and rumors about us in one of the local schools. We have lost many potential customers and she is still trying to convince our current student’s families that we are no good.

Is there anything we can do about this? Any help or ideas would be great.

Ignore it and carry on doing a good job. Don’t be fooled into going on the defensive when you should be steaming ahead. :wink:

Sure, you can sue for defamation in Taiwan the same as most other countries. People do it here all the time: politicians, celebrities, talk show hosts, even the President and VP, publish outrageous lies about each other, file lawsuits for defamation and absurd countersuits, and eventually the court issues a totally stupid and erroneous judgment.

Even in an advanced country, litigation should always be the last resort. It’s extremely time-consuming, expensive, emotionally draining, and the results are uncertain. Here in Taiwan you can multiply that times 10. Taiwan’s judges are morons; the legal system is a joke. I would only recommend that the owner of the school file a suit in this case if he/she is interested in gaining an education regarding how that “system” works, and not in order to actually accomplish anything.

Incidentally, I believe the requirements to prove defamation in Taiwan are the same as in the US:

  1. Publication (oral or written) of
  2. a false statement of
  3. material facts
  4. which causes actual damages

Based on the above factors, a statement of opinion is not actionable; it must be a statement of facts. Therefore, to say, “I believe the teachers at X School are all a bunch of incompetent, drug-addicted pedophiles from Canada,” is probably perfectly acceptable as it’s a statement of opinion, not facts. Moreover, it must be false. As for “material” facts, that means the statement must concern a very significant matter; to say the teachers wear funny shoes may not qualify as material. Finally, causation of damages can be very hard to prove. It’s not enough to show that enrollment has declined recently; one must prove that enrollment declined as a direct result of the false statements (ie, one may have to interview prospective parents of enrolees who changed their minds due to the statements and sent their kids elsewhere as a result, and get them to state that in court or at least in sworn affidavits).

Proving all of that will be a royal pain in the ass. Bear in mind, also, that most Taiwanese lawyers are incompetent, so if you succeed in finding a decent lawyer you’ve done very well, but of course there’s no guarantee you’ll prevail. You are guaranteed that you will spend considerable money on attorney fees and will get seriously pissed off, from time to time over the year or two that it takes to prosecute the case at the attorney’s failure to communicate, failure to perform competently, failure to bill accurately or explain the charges, the outrageous antics from the other side, and the ludicrous rulings from the court.

In short, I would reccommend against litigation. They need to find some other way to work out their problems and/or to impress parents with the quality of their school.

We are still doing fine but this woman is saying we nearly made her son blind and she is on the council at the other school. Note that her son can see perfectly well :slight_smile:

We used to get more students from that area but now it’s almost impossible.

I think we will just continue and ignore it but I know it is causing my wife a lot of headaches. I hate even thinking of the legal route but I was more looking into a way to get her to keep her opinions to herself. I don’t care about compensation.

We had a mother like this. We went face to face with her, in front of other parents and asked her why she needed to say things that weren’t true about us. She denied everything. We said, “OK, we believe you.” She never said another word.

May be hard for you to do this, as she’s not in your school anymore. However, if you “blinded” her son, call and tell her you heard this through several other parents and want to know if something did happen in your school, as you would feel awful is something bad happened to her kid.

Most Taiwanese big mouths will shut right up if you confront them.

Oh BTW, I taped a whole conversation with the same woman and her hubsy, unethical for sure, but since Dad was reeking of alcohol, I needed to protect myself.

The best revenge is success. Protect yourself then let it go.

Probably a case of excessive masturbation. You might suggest that in your next meeting with the mom. :wink:

The only real thing you can do is to concentrate twice as hard on being the best school in your area. Teach (and treat) your students well, so that their parents can brag about how great your school is. All schools have to deal with useless loudmouth parents at some point, but if your reputation and business practices are beyond reproach then the damage will be limited.

This is a HUGE problem in rural Miaoli county, we’ve actually had about 20% of our students quit and then come back when they realize that 99% of what people say about is is pure shite. Of the students that leave due to slander and libel, 4 of 5 come back, and that 1 of 5 that doesn’t is usually a kid who was disruptive anyway (seriously).

Yes, there are laws that cover this. No. No lawyer will help you. My honest advice is to simply do what you do very well, and let the mini-weenies continue to be sub-endowed ;-).

Oh, and actually, depending on who they are, SOME families are so reviled in the community that their slander will actually BRING you business (people figure that if Beetlenut Baily hates you, you MUST be good, lol).