Federal judge rules against online retailer's $3,500 charge for Utah couple's negativ


SLM
+3
#1  Top Rated Post
Federal judge rules against online retailer's $3,500 charge for Utah couple's negative review

By The Associated Press | The Canadian Press 12 hours ago




By The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge has ruled against an online retailer that tried to force a Utah couple to pay $3,500 over a critical online review.
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson entered a default judgment on April 30 in favour of John and Jen Palmer of Layton after KlearGear.com failed to respond to the couple's lawsuit.
Benson ruled the Palmers owe nothing to KlearGear.com, but the gadget retailer owes them a sum to be determined at a court hearing in June, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (Utah couple win against company that charged for bad online review | The Salt Lake Tribune ).
KlearGear.com officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
The couple, in their complaint filed in December, say John Palmer never received two gifts he ordered for his wife, and Jen Palmer then posted a critical review about the company's customer service on RipoffReport.com.
Michigan-based KlearGear.com told the Palmers in 2012 that they had 72 hours to remove the negative review or pay $3,500 because they violated a "non-disparagement clause" in its terms of use with customers, the lawsuit said.
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 suit.
Benson, in his order, said the retailer is liable to the Palmers for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The couple's attorney, Scott Michelman of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Public Citizen Litigation Group, has said the case is about protecting consumers' rights to free speech.
KlearGear.com sells computer-themed gifts, apparel, gadgets and private label merchandise, according to its website.
___
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Entertainment, Business - The Salt Lake Tribune


ca.news.yahoo.com/federal-jud...003412946.html (external - login to view)


A 'non disparagement clause'??? What kind of hubris is that?


I hope they get a big hurt for the damage they've done.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#2
Great article.

Now it is time for the company to cut a nice check to the couple.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

A 'non disparagement clause'??? What kind of hubris is that?

It's not hubris at all, it's an attempt to avoid bad internet reviews. And it doesn't violate the First Amendment, as the judge no doubt explained.

They have everything they need to counterclaim for libel for the credit report. That opens the door to punitive damages.

Could be fun.
 
SLM
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Great article.

Now it is time for the company to cut a nice check to the couple.

More than that. Messing with someone's credit rating! That can be a nightmare to untangle.
 
Sal
+1
#5
good for the couple, sounds like they are feisty and determined...
 
SLM
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

It's not hubris at all, it's an attempt to avoid bad internet reviews.

All those idiotic businesses out there using good customer service to avoid bad reviews. What fools!
 
Tecumsehsbones
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

All those idiotic businesses out there using good customer service to avoid bad reviews. What fools!

It's surprisingly common. If you look carefully, for example, you will find in most contracts for sales of goods that you are waiving your right to sue, and instead agreeing to arbitration. At your own expense. In California. With an arbitrator of the company's choosing.
 
SLM
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

It's surprisingly common. If you look carefully, for example, you will find in most contracts for sales of goods that you are waiving your right to sue, and instead agreeing to arbitration. At your own expense. In California. With an arbitrator of the company's choosing.

The consumer didn't sue the company over the sales contract though, they sued over the "fine" imposed that negatively affected their credit rating.

The actions of the company read like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. Not exactly your average business model.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

The consumer didn't sue the company over the sales contract though, they sued over the "fine" imposed that negatively affected their credit rating.

The actions of the company read like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. Not exactly your average business model.

It's the coming thing. Hopefully the good judge gave a sharp jerk on the leash that'll stop this one.

But there'll be others.
 
SLM
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

It's the coming thing. Hopefully the good judge gave a sharp jerk on the leash that'll stop this one.

But there'll be others.

Good grief, I hope not! Messing with someone's credit report is horrendous. It often leaves a tangled mess that can be hard to undo, doesn't matter if you're right or not.
 
shadowshiv
+1
#11
If you receive poor (or no) service, or the items are shoddy, broken, or ones that you did not order, then you should be allowed to post a negative review. Otherwise, how will other (future) customers know what kind of service/products are being provided? Kleargear sounds like a place I wouldn't want to spend my hard-earned money at.
 
damngrumpy
#12
The very reason I will not buy things on the internet unless I am sure of who I am buying from
I buy poetry books from Road Scribes of America and merchandize from Saskatchewan
Roughriders and Dell Computers nothing else
 
Praxius
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Great article.

Now it is time for the company to cut a nice check to the couple.

Agreed, and maybe they should also deliver the two gifts they never sent.... which created this whole mess in the first place.

They paid for a service, their money was taken, that service & the products was never received, they then received crappy customer service and still never received their products, then want to charge them $3,500 for actually telling the truth that they stole their money so others were aware.

Get Fk'n Bent.
 

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