Am American couple has been billed $3500 USD and taken to court for posting a negative review on ripoffreport.com about not receiving delivery of products they ordered from http://www.kleargear.com .
Jen Palmer posted a critical review about Kleargear.com on RipoffReport.com after her husband never received two gifts he ordered for her, prompting Kleargear.com to notify the couple in 2012 that they had 72 hours to remove the negative review or pay $3,500 because it violated the non-disparagement clause.
The couple refused, saying the clause was not in effect when the items were purchased and the terms violated the First Amendment. They also note RipoffReport.com has a policy of not removing posted reviews.
KlearGear.com notified credit bureaus of the couple's failure to pay, which led to a poor credit rating that delayed a car loan and prevented them from securing a loan for a broken furnace, according to the couple's suit.
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.
Will this become the new normal, discouraging public comment about goods and services by putting such terms in the fine print that hardly anyone reads but everyone should?