Liability for writing or posting about poor customer service experience from a service provider
(Zaid) has purchased a spare part from (M) Company, which specializes in importing spares parts from (Moon) zone; but unfortunately, that part was not in conformity with the required standard specifications; thus, it became unusable after seven days from its date of purchase from (M) Company. Zaid has contacted the officers in the company; however, he did not find the sufficient care and interest, then he posted on the social media about lack of attention he received, and the bad attitude from customer service team. Is writing about (M) Company on social media deemed a deed violating the law?
The criticism deemed as defamation if it reaches the level of slandering and mudslinging. The criminal intention in the calumny, and defamation crime available when the words directed by (Zaid) to (M) Company are heinous by themselves, regardless the motive for directing them. When the words are indicative by themselves to the calumny, and defamation meanings, then the person who said them shall be held accountable regardless the motives that pushed him to them. The law does not require in the calumny, and defamation crime a special criminal purpose, but it is sufficient with availability of the general criminal purpose that is realized when the insulter or libeler posts or spreads the matters that include calumny or defamation, and he knows that if they are true then the insulted or humiliated person shall be punished. There is no doubt that the indecent or curing words shall reach the officers in the company as they are its representatives, and their names relate to it. It shall not be affected in availability of this purpose that the insulter believes the truth of what he has thrown against the insulted person of the libeling, insulting or cursing facts.
There are two kinds of defamation or insult crimes addressed by the Qatari Legislations, the first when is happens in public under article (330) of Penal Law, and the second if it happens in an indirect way under article (329) of the same law. There is another criminal act under article (8) of Cybercrime Prevention Law No. (14) of the year 2014 which is defamation or insulting through one of information technology means.
The prudent and perfect is that people shall resort to the known legal ways to litigate rights whatsoever the easiness or criticality, through resorting to the public authorities represented in the departments, bodies, ministries, police stations, prosecution, courts etc. as they are sufficient and capable to recover grievances to their holders.
Author: MR. MOHANAD BABIKER\ Senior Legal Consultant