Consumer Review Freedom Act to Federally End the Practice of Non-Disparagement Clauses

As a follow-up to our blog post last week about California’s new bill that prevents consumers from being financially penalized by business owners for writing negative reviews, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Ca) plans to propose a bill this week that seeks to accomplish the same thing, but on a federal level.

If passed, The Consumer Review Freedom Act (CRFA) would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorney generals.

“It’s un-American that any consumer would be penalized for writing an honest review,” Swalwell said.

According to the National Journal, this bill was inspired by one Utah couple who suffered from a dramatic drop in their credit score as a result of a $3,500 fine for unintentionally violating a company’s terms-of-sale contract by posting a negative review.

This issue was brought to the limelight again recently when a New York hotel came under fire for supposedly charging $500 per negative review.

Both Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Ca) are co-sponsors of the bill.

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