Just weeks after Twitter announced that it would be stepping up its efforts to hide and report harassment and abuse, Instagram says it’s also launching a new tool to give users more controls over the comments on the photos and videos they post. [More]
if you don’t have anything nice to say
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]
It’s not uncommon for TV networks and pay-TV operators to get into very public spats about contract negotiations and looming blackouts, but the folks at Dish say that NBCUniversal crossed the line this week in going public about its ongoing contract dispute with the satellite company. [More]
I don’t work in human resources, but if I did I’d be sure that all applicants had to respond to the following hypothetical: “You’re annoyed at a customer (the reason doesn’t matter) and you have the opportunity to express that annoyance to said customer by scrawling an offensive note on a receipt that he or she will almost certainly see. Do you do it?” [More]
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its latest report on the various complaints the agency has received about banks, lenders, debt collectors, and other financial services. Amid a sudden increase in the number of complaints involving credit report errors, the country’s largest credit bureaus now dominate the top of the CFPB’s list of most complained-about companies. [More]
Wedding and party rental companies often rely on positive word of mouth to find new customers, and negative feedback can do real damage to a small business. But one Florida wedding vendor is trying to preempt customers from saying bad things by including a clause in its contract that prohibits the bride and groom not just from making disparaging remarks, but from also encouraging others to make disparaging remarks. [More]
Last fall, we were the first to tell you about Conal O’Rourke, the Comcast customer in California who spent more than a year dealing with consistent over-billing — including $1,820 worth of equipment he’d never ordered nor needed — and horrendous customer service who was fired from his job at Comcast-consulting accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers after he took his complaint to the office of the Comcast controller. Shortly after publishing that story, Conal sued Comcast over the incident, and now he’s amended that lawsuit to allege invasion of privacy and to put a higher dollar amount on the damages being sought. [More]
A few months ago, a Virginia woman began taking her dog to obedience class, and when the training wasn’t what she expected, she requested a pro-rated refund and wrote a negative review of the school on Yelp. Now she’s facing a $65,000 defamation lawsuit. [More]
Sony is still reeling from the recent massive hack that has opened a seemingly endless source of news stories about funny names that celebrities use to check into hotels and which movie stars are considered greedy jerks by greedier, jerkier studio executives. But now the company is hoping to put this to an end, sending legal notices to reporters asking them to cease writing about the stolen items and to delete anything they might have in their possession. [More]
A couple visiting the English seaside town of Blackpool only paid about $57 for their one-night hotel stay, but when they slammed the place with a TripAdvisor review that called it a “rotten, stinking hovel,” the hotel hit back with a $157 fine. [More]
If you were put off by KlearGear.com’s ridiculous “Non-Disparagement” fee, which penalizes customers for sharing their bad shopping experiences with the public, another online retailer is apparently trying to go one further, by not only banning customers from saying bad things online, but by also forbidding them from even bringing up the threat of a complaint or a credit card chargeback. [More]
The saga of the harmless little negative online review that resulted in a $3,500 “Non-Disparagement Fee” continues, with a Utah court ordering the owners of KlearGear.com to pay damages of $306,750 to the couple who wrote that review. But whether the company will ever pay up is another story. [More]
The relative anonymity of online review sites makes it tempting to vent one’s anger toward a company in an over-the-top way, but does the use of a screen name prevent you from being held liable for making knowingly false claims? One hotel in Oregon says no, and is suing an unknown TripAdvisor reviewer to prove that point.
For months, we’ve been telling you about KlearGear.com, the online retailer that was trying to collect a $3,500 fee from unsatisfied former customers over a negative review because of a “Non-Disparagement Clause” inserted into the site’s Terms of Sale after the customers made the purchase. The customers have been trying to fight the ridiculous anti-consumer fee (which shouldn’t apply to them anyway, as they never agreed to it at the time of purchase), and finally sued the company after having their credit tainted by a bogus debt. Now a federal court has sided with the couple and tossed out the $3,500 fee. [More]
No one likes being made fun of or humiliated (okay, some people do, but that’s part of a much larger discussion), but you can’t throw your authority as a big, scary federal agency around to stop people from mocking you, even if they’re making some money doing so. [More]
Have you ever been compelled to make an insincere apology just because you knew it would get you out of trouble? The much-loathed Recording Industry Association of America made that sort of offer to file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset, offering to reduce her $222,000 penalty if she just went on the record to say some kind words about the RIAA’s anti-piracy platform. [More]
Last night, Electronic Arts beat up Sony in their first-round Worst Company In America fight, much in the same way your average 9-year-old makes me look silly playing Madden NFL. But one reader says that his post in a Sims forum about EA’s involvement in WCIA got him a warning slap from the company.
In 2008, after nine years of membership in Northwest’s WorldPerks frequent flier program — three of those years with Platinum Elite status — a Minnesota man was given some bad news from airline: He had been removed from the program and had lost hundreds of thousands of miles. Why? Because his numerous complaints apparently constituted “abuse” of the program.