California Bans Retailers Fining Customers for Bad Reviews

/ 6 years ago

california government place

Remember the “Hotel from hell” that was previously charging people a $500 fee for every bad review left on their Yelp page? Apparently this billing issue was more widespread than originally thought.

The head honcho’s in California decided to move on this worrying action, and thus, they’ve passed a law which prevents online retailers charging fines for negative reviews left about their services.

Thanks to CNet, we learned about the law in full:

“Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, AB 2365 outlaws so-called “non-disparagement clauses” from contracts that require customers waive their right to express a negative opinion the service they received. Businesses violating the new law face fines of $2,500 for the first violation and $5,000 for each subsequent violation. An additional fine of $10,000 will be imposed on violations deemed willful, intentional, or reckless.”

In an even more relevant case, this law was said to be brought upon thanks to a Utah couple whom were left with a bad credit rating after being billed $3,500 for leaving a negative review about their retailer, as claimed by the bill’s sponsor – Assemblyman John A. Pérez.

In total, this law seems like a fairly logical progression for freedom of (online) speech and something that should quite possibly be widespread. Have you ever been billed for saying something negative online by a service or product provider? Let us know and we may cover it.

Image courtesy of Flickreviver

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