Micheli Jewellery owners in Melbourne sue over ‘fake’ one-star review posted by their landlord


Jewellery store owners sue over ‘fake’ one-star Google review that branded them ‘rude’ and ‘expensive’ – but was posted by their LANDLORD

  • Prominent jewellery family sues man behind one-star Google review of business
  • Hassan Ramaihi admitted leaving the review, but he denied it was defamatory 
  • Business said review is fake made because he is aggrieved over a rent dispute

A prominent jewellery family is suing their landlord after he left a ‘fake’ one-star Google review of their business. 

Hassan Ramaihi admitted he left the unflattering review of the Micheli Jewellery shop in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, but denied it was defamatory. 

Mr Ramaihi claimed the review, in which he recommended customers take their business elsewhere, was true and a based on his experience at the shop.

But the jewellery business said the review was fake and only made because Mr Ramaihi was angry about a rent dispute with two of the business owners.

Marc Salzmann (pictured left, with his wife) is among those suing Hassan Ramaihi over a 'fake' review of their jewellery business

Marc Salzmann (pictured left, with his wife) is among those suing Hassan Ramaihi over a ‘fake’ review of their jewellery business

The review (pictured) posted by Hassan Ramaihi said he had a 'disappointing' experience at Micheli Jewellery in the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds

The review (pictured) posted by Hassan Ramaihi said he had a ‘disappointing’ experience at Micheli Jewellery in the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds

Mr Ramaihi wrote in his October 2021 review that his experience with Micheli Jewellery was ‘disappointing’.

‘The customer service provided was rude and not helpful and when finally receiving a quote for what I was after I found that it was almost twice as expensive to the jewellery store up the road,’ he wrote.

‘I would recommend you shop elsewhere where you can save yourself money and enjoy being looked after.’

County Court documents said Mr Ramaihi is the landlord of an apartment that was leased to Elvi and Darren Harris, two of the owners of the jewellery store. 

The couple, along with fellow owner and family member Marc Salzmann, said the review damaged their business and reputation.

They claim the reason behind it was a dispute over the rent the couple was paying to Mr Ramaihi for his Essendon apartment during Melbourne’s Covid-19 lockdowns. 

The rent had been halved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal from $4,777 a month to $2,390 in December 2020 due to financial hardship, The Age  reported.

Micheli Jewellery has more than 100 positive reviews online, and just four one-star assessments, including that of Mr Ramaihi. 

Micheli Jewellery (second shop from right) has more than 100 positive reviews online, and just four one-star assessments, including that of Hassan Ramaihi

Micheli Jewellery (second shop from right) has more than 100 positive reviews online, and just four one-star assessments, including that of Hassan Ramaihi

The jewellers said Mr Ramaihi was not a customer and therefore the review could not be truthful.

‘The plaintiffs track all quotes and sales via the point-of-sale system for Micheli Jewellery,’ court documents said.

‘There are no records of Hassan Ramaihi patronising Micheli Jewellery, nor of having provided a quote to him.’

Mr Harris told the Sunday Age: ‘He never got a quote from us as stated and used Google reviews as a way to get revenge and hurt us financially.

‘That’s what I believe may have occurred anyway, we will let the court decide if they agree or not.’

The owners of Micheli Jewellery are seeking damages over the review, which is still online.

Micheli Jewellery is suing over a bad review on Google it said was motivated by malice. Pictured is a woman showing rings on her finger

Micheli Jewellery is suing over a bad review on Google it said was motivated by malice. Pictured is a woman showing rings on her finger

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