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How Can We Publicly Complain About a Care Manager and Still Get a Refund?

  • May 4th, 2015
Q
We hired a geriatric care manager (GCM) to give us recommendations about caring for our mother. We were very unhappy with the product and service and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) asking for a refund of the fee (the GCM is a BBB member). The GCM's response to the BBB included information that we believe violated our privacy. A personal injury lawyer told us that because the GCM was responding to our complaint, what he/she said would likely be “protected” and thus not a violation of privacy law (we are in California).  The GCM wants us to sign away our right to say anything to anyone about this before giving the refund, and says that if we don't sign, he/she might consider suing us for defamation.  
A

I can see the dilemma. You want to get your money back and protect others from someone you feel did not perform the services he/she promised. The GCM wants to maintain his/her livelihood. The threat of a suit for defamation seems a bit over the top, but I have no expertise in this field. I don’t think you are going to get everything you want – both the ability to speak publicly about your experience and a refund. You should probably make a choice based in large part on how much of a threat to others you feel this person is. If you decide to forego the refund and make your complaints public, it would make sense to get legal advice on the defamation issue. But given the fact that life is short, you might be best off accepting the refund and moving on.

For more about geriatric care managers, click here.

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Last Modified: 05/04/2015

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