The House of Representatives recently passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act in direct response to contracts that prevent or punish customers who write negative reviews.
“If consumers want to post a truthful review online, they should not fear retribution just because their review is negative,” said Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy.
According to Congress, websites like Yelp and Trip Advisory support the new legislation. However, most companies don’t have restrictive languages prohibited in their contracts.
Seattle University professor Bryan Adamson says we are all still adjusting to a brand new world of commerce.
“There are risks when you make these statements,” said Adamson.
The new legislation doesn’t protect consumers if the review is a lie. If a consumer lies in a review about a company, the consumer still may be faced with a lawsuit.
“If they say the wrong thing about the wrong person and that person wants to sue for defamation, then that becomes a question of fact for a court to decide,” said Adamson.
As long as you tell the truth, you should be fine. However, just because you are truthful, doesn’t mean the business won’t sue you.
I suggest, if you are going to write a really harsh review, document it. Take pictures and keep any necessary paperwork that you may need.
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