Congressional hearings are bad news for gag orders banning online reviews


Last week's Senate Commerce Committee hearings invited testimony on the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which would ban the increasingly widespread practice of inserting "non-disparagement" clauses in consumer contracts that are used on products and services from apartment buildings to cellphones to dental care. Read the rest

Bill to ban terms of service that say you're not allowed to complain

Introduced by Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the draft Consumer Review Freedom Act bans the "un-American" practice of making people agree not to complain as a condition of using websites. Read the rest

Kleargear's parent company issues hilarious press release about company's future

The shady ripoff merchants are doing so well they're going to start selling through Amazon, and their apparently imaginary bricks-and-mortar sister company Gift World is shutting down. Read the rest

Kleargear's new street address is also home to notorious ripoff site

Kleargear destroyed the credit of customers who complained about getting ripped off, then disappeared when a court ordered them to pay restitution -- now they have a new US address, shared with a scammy auction site, raising questions about what other ripoffs the company's owners are involved with. Read the rest

Kleargear must pay $306,750 for trashing a complaining customer's credit

The notorious online retailer Kleargear (previously) has been ordered to pay $306,750 in damages (including punitive damages) as well as legal costs to Jennifer and John Palmer. The Palmers wrote an online complaint when they didn't get their Kleargear order, only to have Kleargear send them a bill for $3500 for violating a "nondisparagement clause" in the company's terms of service; when they didn't pay it, Kleargear damaged their credit rating, which ended up sabotaging a house-purchase for the couple. Kleargear claims to be based in France, and refused to participate in the case against them. Read the rest

Kleargear ruins customers' credit over online criticism, refuses to honor US judgment

The latest update in the saga of Kleargear (previously) is downright bizarre. Having invoiced unhappy customers for complaining online about their crappy service and then ruined those customers' credit rating, the company now refuses to acknowledge a judgment against them from a US court because they insist that they're located in France and weren't served there. Read the rest

Public Citizen threatens legal action against Kleargear on behalf of customers

Mark posted about Kleargear, the company that ruined a dissatisfied customer's credit rating and fined her $3500 for posting a negative review when she didn't receive her goods. The company went into "social media hiding" after the story hit the net, but that didn't help the customers whose lives they'd ruined.

Now, Public Citizen has threatened legal action against Kleargear on behalf of Jen and John Palmer, demanding that the company clear the couples' credit, pay $75,000 in restitution; and agree to refrain from similar future shenanigans. Go Public Citizen! Read the rest

Kleargear goes into social media hiding

Remember KlearGear.com? It's the novelty company that charged a woman $3500 and ruined her credit record after she complained to ripoffreport.com about Kleargear's poor service. Since the news broke last week, KlearGear has protected its Tweets and canceled its Facebook page.

In addition, even though KlearGear has a "TRUSTe Certified Privacy" emblem on its home page, TRUSTe tweeted this morning that "@KlearGear is NOT @TRUSTe certified."

And over at Popehat.com, Ken White reports that KlearGear.com had been displaying a BBB Accredited Business logo and BBB Rating A+. The BBB says that KlearGear.com is "not a BBB accredited business and the BBB rating is not A+."

According to Inc.com, KlearGear's revenues for for 2012 were $47.5 million. Read the rest

Kleargear.com bills woman $3500 for posting a negative review

Matthew says: "A woman paid for items from kleargear.com but never received them, so she wrote a bad review of the site on ripoffreport.com. Three years later she received a $3500 bill from Kleargear, stating that she'd violated the 'non-disparagement clause' to which she agreed when she paid for the items."

Non-Disparagement Clause

In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.

Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.

Fined For Posting A Negative Review Online Read the rest

Keyboard boxers

The shaded keys on Kleargear's computer keyboard underwear spell out "Computer Geek." It would be better if they spelled out OMGWTFBBQ!!!1! but that's a small nit to pick, really. Link (via Gizmodo) Read the rest