It's Illegal to Ban Honest Reviews

March 07, 2017

The Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) protects people’s ability to share their honest opinions about a business’s products, services, or conduct, in any form of communication be it print, online, or by word of mouth.

Contracts that prohibit honest reviews, or threaten legal action over them, harm people who rely on reviews when making their purchase decisions. Businesses that work hard to earn positive reviews are also harmed when others try to put a stop to honest negative reviews.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed by Congress in response to reports that some businesses try to prevent people from giving honest reviews about products or services they received. Some companies put contract provisions in place, including in their online terms and conditions that allowed them to sue or penalize consumers for posting negative reviews. 

Beginning March 14, 2017, the Consumer Review Fairness Act makes it illegal for businesses to include standardized provisions that threaten or penalize people for posting honest reviews.  

BBB serving Northwest Florida reminds businesses that your responses to negative reviews can be a golden opportunity to show that you are a business of integrity and that you care about your customer.

Positive reviews from satisfied customers deliver an authentic, transparent endorsement that reinforces why new customers will consider contacting your business. While a business may be hesitant to ask for a review, satisfied customers are willing to help as long as it can be done easily and quickly.

(FTC contributed to this Tuesday Tip)