Petsitter Loses $1 Million Lawsuit Over Negative Yelp Review

photo: colonelchi

The six-month saga of the Texas petsitter who sued a customer for up to $1 million in damages over a negative Yelp review appears to have come to an end, with a judge agreeing to dismiss the case that made national headlines. [More]

Great Beyond

Yelp, TripAdvisor Not Happy With Google’s New Critics’ Review Search Results

TripAdvisor and Yelp, two of the biggest names in crowdsourced reviews, say that Google is using its position as the dominant online search engine to push Google-backed reviews ahead of links to review sites. [More]

Yelp Explains Why It’s Flagging “Questionable Legal Threats” In Reviews

Yelp Explains Why It’s Flagging “Questionable Legal Threats” In Reviews

A couple months ago, while writing an update to the ongoing saga of the Texas couple being sued for writing a negative Yelp review about their petsitter, we noticed that Yelp had flagged the petsitter’s page with an alert that this particular review was being challenged in court. Now the company is going a step further, flagging reviews that have led to “Questionable Legal Threats.” [More]

Misfit Photographer

Government Just Sends Letters To Providers Accused Of HIPAA Violations, Doesn’t Tell Public

The federal government is not as rich and all-powerful as we sometimes think: while the Office for Civil Rights of the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the responsibility of dealing with possible violations of patients’ privacy by medical care providers, it doesn’t have tee budget to post the warning letters that it sends after a single breach online. Is that useful information that the government should know about? Experts say that it is. [More]

photographynatalia

FCC, Congress Go At It About Pretty Much Everything Once Again

The more the FCC actually tries to create or change regulations around communications companies, the more often chairman Tom Wheeler and the other four commissioners find themselves ordered to Capitol Hill for some kind of hearing. And so today in the continuing series, “The FCC And A Congressional Committee Argue With Each Other,” we learned more about privacy, set-top boxes, and zero-rating.

[More]

jdong

Yelp Ordered To Remove Allegedly Defamatory Reviews Of Law Firm

Two years after a California lawyer won a default judgment against a former client accused of posting defamatory reviews of the law firm on Yelp, those reviews remained online. However, this week a California appeals court ruled that Yelp must finally remove these reviews.  [More]

Couple That Was Sued For $1M Over Yelp Review Asks Court To Dismiss Lawsuit

Couple That Was Sued For $1M Over Yelp Review Asks Court To Dismiss Lawsuit

For months, we’ve been following the saga of the Texas couple who were first sued by their petsitter for $6,766 over a negative Yelp review, only to have that case dropped and re-filed as a full-on defamation lawsuit seeking up to $1 million in damages. Now, the couple is asking the court to just throw the entire case out because it should be prohibited by Texas state law. [More]

Fujoshi Bijou

Some Health Providers Are Sharing Patients’ Info Online In Reaction To Bad Yelp Reviews

Now that we live in a world where it seems everything can be rated — from your restaurant experience to your root canal — privacy issues are popping up in unexpected places. Like in health care providers’ responses to negative reviews from patients on Yelp, for example.

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Ben Roffelsen Photography

Reddit, Yelp, Kickstarter, 55 Other Internet Businesses And Activists Ask FCC To Investigate Zero-Rating

That thing where an ISP — like your wireless or cable company — can exempt certain services from counting against your data cap is called zero-rating, and it exists in a weird regulatory space. There are no rules against it, but there are also no rules explicitly permitting it. The businesses that do it, of course, say it is “innovative” and “competitive.” The FCC hasn’t openly decided whether or not it agrees. So a whole huge group of consumer advocates, business advocates, and businesses have gotten together to ask the FCC officially, and publicly, make up its mind.

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Petsitter Now Suing Couple For Up To $1 Million For Negative Yelp Review

Petsitter Now Suing Couple For Up To $1 Million For Negative Yelp Review

A couple months back, we told you of the Texas couple that was being sued for a few thousand dollars by a petsitter over a negative Yelp review that allegedly violated a “non-disparagement” clause in the petsitter’s contract. That suit was quickly dropped, but a new complaint filed by the petsitting business has ramped up the allegations and the dollar amount, now seeking between $200,000 to $1 million in damages. [More]

Jennifer Moo

Congress May Finally Outlaw “Gag Clauses” That Block Customers From Writing Negative Reviews

Last December, it looked like federal lawmakers were getting serious about so-called “non-disparagement” or “gag” clauses in consumer contracts that forbid customers from saying anything negative about a purchase or transaction. The U.S. Senate quickly passed a bipartisan bill that would outlaw the practice, but the legislation has idled in the House since. However, a new, virtually identical bill may finally be evidence of movement on this issue. [More]

Trinity Framing

Wayfair Now Offers To Send You An Electrician When You Buy Light Fixtures

Taking a page from Amazon, Yelp, Google, and Facebook, online retailer Wayfair is ready to play matchmaker with customers, connecting them with professional service providers when they buy a product on the site.  [More]

Michael Daddino

Facebook, Reddit, Wells Fargo, Bank Of America CEOs Among Those Urging North Carolina To Repeal New Anti-LGBT Law

Earlier this month, in a hurried legislative process, North Carolina lawmakers passed HB2, a bill that overrides and prevents local governments from establishing anti-discrimination rules against gay and transgender people. This morning, advocacy groups delivered a letter to NC Gov. Pat McCrory signed by top executives from more than 100 companies, all calling for the state to repeal the law. [More]

Travelin' Librarian

New Microsoft Office Starbucks Extension Lets You Schedule Coffee Meetings, Buy Gift Cards

The technological powers that be understand that people often don’t want to click around in more apps or programs than they have to. In a move meant for caffeine lovers on the job, one of Microsoft’s newest add-ins for its Office programs lets Starbucks customers do things like schedule meetings at the local coffee shop and buy gift cards for the store as well from within Outlook. [More]

Petsitter Sues Couple For $6,766 Over Negative Yelp Review

Petsitter Sues Couple For $6,766 Over Negative Yelp Review

So you hired a pet sitter to take care of your companions while you were out of town, but you weren’t happy with the service you received. You’re free to go online and publicly share your thoughts about that experience, as long as what you write is truthful. But you still might be sued by that pet sitter if your contract included a clause forbidding you from posting anything negative about the company. [More]

4 Things We’ve Learned About Getting The Best Valentine’s Day Flowers For Your Money

Happyshooter

Every year, after the major flower-giving holidays, readers send us photos of what they ordered and what they actually received. It’s a dismaying scene, and what we really want is to never publish another of these features again. That’s why we’re sharing what we’ve learned about the flower business from readers and from florists in the 10 years that Consumerist has been around.

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Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews?

Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews?

Since Amazon began allowing customers to post reviews on product pages, various waves of bogus reviewers have attempted to game the system by posting fictitious or dishonest write-ups. While Amazon has recently taken legal action against people paid to write fake reviews for products, and the site has a ban on most forms of “paid” reviews, there’s a new crop of compensated reviewers who are receiving free or discounted products in exchange for then writing “honest” reviews. But some of these users are writing dozens of reviews a day, sometimes for products they couldn’t possibly have tried. [More]

Netflix “Making A Murderer” Documentary Inspires Viewers To Seek Justice… Through Yelp

Netflix “Making A Murderer” Documentary Inspires Viewers To Seek Justice… Through Yelp

Netflix recently premiered a 10-part true-crime documentary Making A Murderer, about controversial murder investigation in Wisconsin. Some viewers of the show have been so moved by what they’ve watched that they’re forming virtual picket lines on Yelp and other review sites. [More]