Writing complaints or negative reviews on websites

Q: There is a website called hellopeter.com on which people review the service they received from various companies, list their complaints, grievances or even praise the service. Most of the postings are complaints against companies. The companies thereafter usually respond and try to resolve their issues. Sometimes the company or individual changed their ways, or got rid of a problem employee, but the negative reviews were not changed by the complainant. 

Another example is that of Google maps reviews, which often can have a negative impact on a business when customers complain.

Both these websites are public and the complaints visible to all.

Is it permissible to complain/write a negative review, using these methods, against companies or individuals, with the hope of resolving legitimate grievances, such as non delivery of a promised service and the like? Or would this amount to backbiting?

A: It is permissible, provided your complaint is within the limits, and if there are good points of the company or individual then they should also be acknowledged and spoken about.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)