I just watched a CNN.com news report at "Couple fined $3,500 for online review" and found it both interesting and enlightening. A couple wrote an honest, but negative, review and then 4 years later the company --Klear Gear -- "fined" them $3,500. When they didn't pay up, the company turned it over to a collection agency and dinged their credit history. When they went to buy a new car (using a loan), they couldn't get the loan.
More and more companies are doing this ... fining you when they don't like your review and then getting you to pay by saying it is a valid bill and turning it over to a collection agency. Of course, you can tell the agency it is not a valid bill during the 30 day validation period, but it is still on your credit history. One company per CNN will bill you $10,000!!
Whether this is legal or not is still up in the air. Some say it is and others say it isn't, without first going to court and getting a judgement against you. Companies say it is legal because they have words in the terms and conditions saying it is legal and you agree to it. Yet, an unfair contract is not valid, by law. In the end the courts will need to rule and this couple (see the video) are suingKlear Gear dot com.
Anyway, feel free to tell others and also add your thoughts and comments to this blog.
Tags: "klear gear", kleargear, reviews