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How to destroy your company overnight
KlearGear.com non-disparagement clause backfires

 9:53 pm on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Before you even think about using a non-disparagement clause, read this article, that just made CNN.


Apparently, the company fined a customer $3000 for posting a negative review on ripoffreport.com

Now every netcitizen on the web is writing a negative reviews about this company. This must be really good for sales.

Non-disparagement clause; I didn't know you could sign away your first amendment rights.



 1:07 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

The vindictiveness of the public is almost unbelievable. Who in their right mind reads any on-line reviews; they are all written by people with an axe to grind.

The non-dispargement clause is obviously not a good idea because it only encourages these morons, but my sympathy is with the company.


 1:15 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why, the company did not deliver the product, because they screwed up. You can't eliminate mistakes, but when you screw up, you better be kissing the customers ass, not trying to sue them.


 8:58 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I read reviews, but only take notice if they are objective. It's easy to see which reviewers are talking nonsense or just ranting.

Suing the customer was not a good PR move. It would have been far better if they'd made up to the customer and asked the customer to update their review as appropriate, imho.


 11:32 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

The goods were not delivered and their money was refunded? So how can the person making the report call themselves a "client" when they were not?

As for "humans" not being contactible by phone... which companies provide such a call service when the order was placed via the Internet... support would be via Internet. For more than 10 years it was impossible to contact Google by phone or email despite their right to bill your credit card every month for a non-agreed amount.

First amend... there is a huge difference between what that law was intended to protect and blatant slander. In fact that is one law that should be repealed because today it is being abused.


 11:58 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Slander, libel and defamation are prosecutable offenses in the United States. Sheesh. Is there anyone on the planet who does not know this?

Punishing the first person to criticize you is a huge blunder, because that first complaint is the most likely to be sincere. (Not necessarily justified, but at least sincerely meant.) The penalty draws attention, which in turn attracts multitudes of non-sincere criticisms.


 12:23 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

If they were not a client, since they failed to deliver the goods, they don't have a contract. Therefore the non-disparagement clause is null and void.

Now that the story has hit CNN, they can turn this around by dropping the fees, straighten out the credit report and give the customer a few thousand dollars for pain and suffering, and firing the lawyer that came up with the non-disparagement clause.

People love a happy ending, and this additional exposure might drive some business their way, or come out neutral


 12:43 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

give the customer a few thousand dollars for pain and suffering

For what? Being an ***hole?

And who has a few thousand dollars for every one them who cannot mind their place?


 12:50 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there anyone on the planet who does not know this?

Dunno if it still goes on, but on the *nd day of each month demonstrators used to picket outside of Marriott hotels with banging on a drum ALL DAY. I was staying in a hotel across the road which has double-glazed windows but still had to be moved to the rear of the building to get away from what was a disturbance of the peace. In most other countries that would have been resolved by water cannon.


 1:16 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Kendo, if you read the original story, its the company that dropped the ball, didn't ship, didn't answer email, etc.

The customer review stuck to the facts of the situation, and basically said they were disappointed in the review.

We occasionally screw up (short staffed, misdirected email, etc, etc) and when we rectify, we offer free shipping or something similar to maintain a good reputation.

Sure their are customers that are psychopaths, and you can never satisfy, but I don't believe this is the case in this situation.

But if you sue your customer and destroy their credit, instead of coming clean; its going to take a little more money to resolve this issue with the customer.


 1:20 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I didn't know you could sign away your first amendment rights.

The First Amendment is a prohibition against the U.S. Government, not against individuals or businesses. It only prohibits the U.S. Government from making laws that interfere with free speech.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So contrary to what many commonly believe, they don't have a right to free speech on forums, blogs, or whevever they please. ;)


 1:23 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

But they were not a customer. So how can there be a customer experience? It did not happen. It's just like you phoning me for a date and getting my answering machine. You get no respose so then you accuse me of rape?


 1:31 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I didn't know you could sign away your first amendment rights.

Why not? Here we have work agreements for employees to sign that may define conditions and entitlements that may be different to industry awards. Those agreements are binding so why shouldn't any agreement that one signs be binding, unless they are signing them under false pretences which would be a breach of other laws?

Ah, so who wishes for agreements and contracts that cannot be witheld? And would they still think themselves clever when they realise that they have enabled the other party to do unto them in kind?


 1:35 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm no lawyer, and this is just my take......
I'd say he was a customer, because he ordered from them.
But, as I say, I'm not a lawyer.


 1:49 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wow, I thought the focus would be on customer service and reputation management, not on Tort and Constitutional Law. Where's LAWMAN when you need him :)


 1:54 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Being in the UK..I have no idea what a "non-dispargement clause" is.

We used to be in ecommerce, if a customer had a complaint, or any fault with the product, we just refunded as soon as possible. It was cheaper in the long run and better PR.
As regards to rights, I am still subject to the Official Secrets Act .. I had a job ( when a student ) as cleaner in a Goverment organisation...


 2:04 am on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

non-disparagement agreement - A contract between two parties that prohibits one party from criticizing the other. Typically used in an employment contracts or divorce settlements.


 4:55 pm on Dec 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Reminds me of DecorMyEyes, this story.


 6:33 pm on Dec 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

The vindictiveness of the public is almost unbelievable

Here is a quote from the linked article:

The Palmers say this clause was added after they purchased the items, citing their 2008 customer agreement which they found.

So the story seems to be about a company that is trying to extort $3,500 from a customer on the basis of a non-disparagement clause that did not exist at the time, and whose credit rating they have already damaged on what seem to be wholly unreasonable grounds.

my sympathy is with the company

No comment.


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