The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Some retailers, e-commerce web sites, and professionals like doctors and lawyers have sought to limit their customers and clients from posting bad reviews on sites like Yelp by placing a clause in their TOS which prohibits the client from posting a bad review. This new law, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, protects the consumer from recourse by a company which has placed this type of clause in their TOS.

If you have a clause in your TOS that prohibits a customer or client from writing a negative review, the courts will not enforce it. Further, the FTC can fine your company for having this clause in your TOS as an unfair trade practice.

The Act does not restrict a company’s right to take action against false or discriminatory reviews; and does not affect legal duties of confidentiality or civil actions for defamation, libel, or slander.

If you have this type of clause in your TOS I recommend you remove it immediately. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have concerning the Act, or any other portion of your TOS.

Finally, you may also wish to read my previous blog on reputation management and what to do about negative reviews posted here: http://www.lawyerjaffe.com/2013/12/reputation-management-negative-reviews/