Pay to Naysay: Fining Consumers for Bad Reviews

Before I begin today’s post, I want to add a personal note.  Skip it if it doesn’t interest you.

I woke up today feeling crappier than I have in a very long time – oh, I still get the nightly fevers and what-not, but today it was fever and nausea.  So…I just have had enough.  I know I have been telling friends I was going to go out and walk, etc, but I kept putting it off.   Since I seem to be getting worse again, it scared me.

So today I put on my new sweatpants, t-shirt, hoodie (it’s 56 degrees outside today), and old running shoes (yep, long ago I did actually run and do aerobics and all that stuff), and off I went.  I took my cane and a bottle of water, along with Moto.

I walked 10 minutes down to a park I am ashamed to say I have never been to in the 5 years I have lived here.  It’s a lot bigger than I thought – has a dog run, playground, a path by the Juniata River, and a band shell (hmm, that’s where that music comes from every summer…Hollidaysburg is not big on advertising these kinds of events, everyone “just knows”).

I walked for 25 minutes, stopping occasionally to take pics (which I will publish when I get one of those cord thingies that go from Moto to my laptop, or email them to myself maybe).  It has a lot of interesting signs, and even has a replica of part of the lock system they used around here long ago.  Beautiful park.

I didn’t walk fast.  That will come later.  I sat down on a bench for 5 minutes before I set off for the 10 minute walk back home.  I am tired but glad I did it.   I still feel crappy but not any more crappy than I did before, so that’s a good thing.  My first goal is to walk without stopping, for 30 minutes each day.

After that, we’ll see…hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

My lovely daughter sent me an Amazon e-card for Mother’s Day, so I bought a grinder for the flax seed in my fridge, and a personal smoothie maker.   Bought fruits and lots of vegetables, and protein powder and yogurt yesterday at the grocery store, so I am all set for when that stuff arrives.  I figure on substituting at least one meal with a low-cal smoothie.  Then go from there.

Oh, and I got my hair all chopped off a week ago, and there will be a new pic of me on FB and on here at some point.  I hate having my picture taken, so after taking a million selfies I will probably find one that doesn’t make me cringe.  Because….vanity and silly reasons.

***End of personal info***

I was reading email from the PC Magazine website, and ran across an article entitled “U.S. Reps Go After Businesses That Fine for Bad Reviews” (David Murphy,, 5/9/2015).  Since I often write reviews on Yelp and even sometimes on a company’s website, and sometimes they are less than stellar, this caught my attention.

It seems that some businesses are adding clauses to their agreements with consumers – and who ever reads all that fine print? – that state that, if you write a bad review, they can fine you.  So, some members of the House of Representatives are sponsoring something called “The Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015”, which makes it illegal for companies to do this.

The sponsors are Eric Swalwell, Brad Sherman (both Democrats from California), Darrell Issa (Republican from California, and Blake Farenthold (Republican from Texas).  Yay, bipartisanship!

Not only were businesses fining consumers for bad reviews, if the consumers didn’t pay it the businesses then turned it over to collections, thereby wrecking the consumer’s credit.  Grrr.

The most oft-cited examples of this are a B&B in New York state, and a company called KlearGear in Grandville, MI (or in France, apparently).


3 thoughts on “Pay to Naysay: Fining Consumers for Bad Reviews

  1. charlies5169

    What a world! The threat of “fines”for writing a bad review is almost comical, Pythonesque to say the least! Unfortunately, as you pointed out, it can have some very negative consequences.

    Corporate America is the new Mafia… Protection money, anyone?

    I’ve always maintained that we ought to be at least as concerned about the crimes of corporate America as the government.

    Hmmm.. Maybe the scope of Cactus Ed’s monkey-wrenching should be expanded.

    Liked by 1 person


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