Sunday, January 26, 2014

Now I have heard everything!!

     We can be sued if we get a negative review for a company's product?   I understand if one overstates or provides a false review.   Yet, to say that a product didn't work can cause you or me to be fined???



Before you click the "buy" button for your next online purchase, you may want to actually read the fine print in the customer agreement.
A handful of companies have put clauses in their customer agreement or terms of use saying that if you post online negative remarks about the company or its products, you have to pay a fine ? even if every word you write is true.
It sounds crazy but that's what happened to a Utah couple, John and Jen Palmer, who posted a report about at ClearGear's terms of use said buyers that took any action that negatively influenced the company's reputation would owe a $3,500 fine.
When the Palmers refused to pay the fine, ClearGear reported to a credit bureau that the $3,500 fine was an unpaid debt. When the Palmers disputed the debt, ClearGear insisted it was valid.
Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, took up the couple's cause and alleges the company's terms of use violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It's asking the company to pay the Palmers $75,000 in compensation.
In a prior case, Public Citizen filed a class action lawsuit against a New York dentist who forced patients to agree in advance not to say anything negative about her.
When a patient posted a negative remark about her at, the dentist sent the patient a letter threatening to sue him for breach of contract and fining him $100 for each day that he didn't remove the remarks.
To protect yourself, take the time to skim the terms of use or customer agreement when you buy products online. And never sign away your right to criticize a company.

Courtesy Al Clark Home Again newsletter

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