Sunday, April 06, 2014


Always read the fine print, said Catey Hill in In an apparent bid to prevent customers from posting complaints online, more companies “are slipping non-disparagement clauses” into their contracts. And “consumers who violate these policies” could face legal action “even if the complaints are 100 percent true.” Businesses have plenty of reason to be nervous; more than 53 million reviews were posted on Yelp as of 2013, and postings increased 47 percent from 2012. And since bad reviews are bad for business, “companies are trying to prevent consumers from trash-talking.” Whether companies can actually get away with muzzling unhappy patrons is still up for debate. As a rule, “items agreed to in a contract are enforceable,” but with respect to issues like these, judges are often wary of hidden clauses, aka “the gotcha factor.”
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