Congress has passed a bill which protects the consumers right to post negative reviews. The only thing now that has to be done is for President Obama to sign it.
The bill passed by getting a unanimous consent by the Senate this Monday, it is called the Consumer Review Fairness Act. It will make it illegal for businesses to limit the customer’s right to share bad reviews, tying in with the right to free speech. The bill was conceived after a lawsuit in 2013, Palmer vs. KlearGear, about removing a negative comment or face a $3,500 fine. This was based on a clause in the Terms of Service of the company. Miss Palmer refused to pay the fine, so KlearGear took action and send it to a collection agency. This did some harm considering that it negatively impacted her Credit rating.
John Thune, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, commented by saying, “By ending gag clauses, this legislation supports consumer rights and the integrity of critical feedback about products and services sold online.”
Such a law was previously in place in the state of California, but now it will apply on a national basis when signed by the president. The bill also protects reviews that aren’t on the internet, allowing consumers to voice their opinion without fear of being punished.