November 29, 2016 - New York - The United States Congress has passed a bill that makes it illegal for companies to fine or sue customers for writing negative reviews. The bill, called the Consumer Review Fairness Act, now awaits the President’s signature to become law.
“At Trustpilot, we fully support the Consumer Review Fairness Act, which we see as an important step for protecting consumer rights. It’s crucial that consumers can freely share opinions based on their genuine experiences with all sorts of companies. We see honest customer feedback - positive and negative - as a valuable tool for businesses to learn from their customers and improve their services,” says Head of Trust & Transparency at Trustpilot, Kasper Heine.
The bill prohibits companies from stopping or restricting their customers in posting reviews about products or services, and also prohibits imposing penalties or fees on customers for posting online reviews. Until now, some companies have tried to prevent or punish customer reviews by inserting so-called ‘gag clauses’ into their contracts. Once the bill has been signed, companies who try to rely on gag clauses will be subject to the Federal Trade Commission enforcing the law, and potentially face penalties.