Debt Collection Company Actually Admits It Did The Wrong Thing After Bad Online Review

Does anyone currently see any pigs fluttering past the window? Or maybe there’s a new ice skating rink in hell? Because a debt collection company has actually admitted it was wrong. Specifically, the company that owned the supposed $3,500 debt a businesses levied against a customer who posted a negative review about an online shopping experience.

You might remember the aggravating tale of a man who tried to buy something on, only it never arrived. It was a gift, it never showed up, and he was ticked, so he wrote an online review saying as much.

Not only did KlearGear turn around and smack him with a $3,500 fee for violating its “non-disparagement clause” — which didn’t even exist when the man’s wife took to the Internet and criticized the company.

Regardless of that and the fact that such a thing is probably unenforceable, it reported the non-payment of that debt to credit agencies, effectively mucking up his credit pretty bad and keeping him and his wife from paying their bills and getting important loans.

Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against KlearGear back in December on behalf of the couple, and now the collection agency involved has agreed that the so-called “debt” wasn’t actually a real debt.

That lawsuit named debt collector Fidelity Information Corp., which now says it’s done an independent review of the case and reported back to credit agencies that the debt was erroneous. That means KlearGear is off the man’s credit report, finally, after 18 months.

The couple has voluntarily dismissed Fidelity from the lawsuit as a result, but KlearGear is still on the hook in the legal battle. So far the company has yet to respond to the complaint.

KlearGear update: debt collector agrees that “non-disparagement clause” debt is void [Public Citizen]

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