We've reported in the past about companies suing or fining consumers over negative online reviews. We even told you how you can make reviews that won't get you in trouble; in theory, anyway.
Many companies have non-disparagement clauses built into their terms of service. These basically say if you make any negative criticism online about the company, even if it's factual, the company can charge you a fine or has grounds to sue you. Thankfully, that might be about to change.
Congress has a bipartisan bill in the works called the Consumer Review Freedom Act. If passed, it will allow the Federal Trade Commission to go after companies who use non-disparagement clauses against consumers.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jon Thune (R-SD) says that the bill won't stop companies from pursuing legitimate claims against dishonest reviews. However, he thinks legitimate negative feedback is "a gift" that companies should accept as a way to improve.
Reviews are an important way consumers can learn about the pros and cons of products and services before they buy. Find out how to spot fake online reviews that might steer you in the wrong direction.
Do you think this bill is a good step forward, or will it create other problems? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.