traverselegal - September 16, 2014 - Defamation Law
With the popularity of social meeting and online reviewing website, the opinions of consumers for products and services received are relatively easy to find and consider before moving forward with your purchase from a particular merchant. However, some of those being reviewed have not been kind to consumers for such negative reviews and comments. Some merchants have incorporated clauses into their purchase agreements, known as a non-disparagement clause, which states that they can charge customers for any negative reviews that they post for others to read. A positive review is happily accepted, but merchants have tried to charge customers for their negative comments. For example, a New York hotel initially tried to fine a $500 fee per each negative review posted by individuals of a wedding party for the poor services that they received on the special day.
The State of California feels that this is not a fair practice and has now enacted a state law that takes effect in 2015 which will prohibit companies from including such language in their documents allowing them to charge customers for the posting of a negative review. Such backlash by merchants for the posting of negative online reviews is an unfortunate possibility and is definitely something to look for in the fine print from a merchant when you are buying products and/or services from them. However, if you find yourself being charged for a negative online review, or are a merchant that has received unjust or unfair reviews by consumers, knowing how to properly deal with this type of situation is key. The highly experienced attorneys at Traverse Legal are ready to assist in such online matters.