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What is the Consumer Review Fairness Act?

If you own a company in Florida, chances are that a customer or client has written a review of your company online. The internet has provided people with a platform to comment and review on everything from their bank to their dry cleaner to their accountant. Receiving a negative review that you think is uncalled for can be extremely frustrating and disheartening.

In an effort to restrict any negative comments, some businesses have placed language in their terms of service agreements that prevent customers from making any disparaging comments about their companies, reports Digital Trends. If a customer did not comply with those terms and posted something bad, the companies would either hit them with a fine or file a suit against them.

However, that will no longer be allowed thanks to the Consumer Review Fairness Act. Under the CRFA, the right of consumers to provide negative reviews will be protected. This will be true in pretty much any forum and not just on the internet. The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives and is expected to be signed into law.

Under the CRFA, the Federal Trade Commission can dole out penalties to any business that tries to punish a customer for giving a negative review or that tries to restrict customers from giving their opinions. If a business does include provisions in its terms of service that restrict a customer’s right to give a negative review, such terms will be deemed void. Therefore, business owners may wish to review their terms of service agreements to make sure that they are in compliance. The information provided on this topic is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice.

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