Along with the advent of the Internet came with it changes in social interactions, access to information and the way that we shop. Before a Las Vegas consumer puts a product in their virtual checkout, many will peruse customer online reviews to gain indispensable feedback regarding the item and the seller. Online retailers depend on positive reviews to better ensure that their business is successful. One strongly worded evaluation that gets enough attention can cause a blow to any business. Some organizations use these reviews to streamline their processes, while others have been known to use them to get financial gain.
According to reports, three years after posting a negative review about the gadgets and desk toys company, KlearGear.com, a couple was allegedly threatened by the online retailer to remove the critical remarks or face a fine of $3,500. The retailer claims that the couple’s remarks constitute breach of contract given that their sales agreement indicates that consumers are forbidden from expressing negative views about the company.
The couple fought back by filing a commercial litigation lawsuit against the online company. They claim that KlearGear.com representatives filed credit bureau complaints against the couple when they were unable to have the review removed, and when they failed to pay the fine. The couple is asking for $75,000 to cover damages that allegedly resulted from a low credit score. In their lawsuit they also claim that they suffered from emotional distress and were defamed by KlearGear.com
Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of a company’s inappropriate business practices should seek legal counsel.
Source: Business Insider, “Online Retailer Faces Lawsuit After Fining Couple $3,500 For Negative Review, Then Dinging Their Credit Score,” Hayley Peterson, Dec. 18, 2013.