KlearGear Competes for “Dumbest Retail Move Ever”
The internet is the last bastion of freedom, right? You get ripped off by a retailer and there are plenty of places online to post all the details. Not so fast. A Utah woman recently found out the hard way that blabbing about a hideous shopping experience online can be expensive – to the tune of a $3,500 fine courtesy of a little known bit of legal chicanery known as a non-disparagement clause.
Here’s what went down. Jen Palmer’s husband ordered some stuff for her from KlearGear.com back in 2008. The purchases never arrived. Palmer allegedly tried to contact the company, to no avail. Annoyed, Palmer visited RipoffReport.com and posted an account of her experience with KlearGear. Obviously, it was not complimentary. In return, the company sent her a bill for $3,500, thanks to a “non-disparagement clause” inserted in the fine print of the Terms-of-Use page on their website.
Ever read a non-disparagement clause? Most of us probably haven’t. Here’s what this particular one looked like:
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.
In a panic at possible damage to her credit, Palmer tried to remove her post from Ripoff Report, but they required a $2,000 payment for that. As public outrage propagated across cyberspace over her callous treatment, the non-disparagement clause mysteriously vanished from KlearGear.com. Don’t try to find it because it’s not there anymore. What’s the lesson here, kiddies? How about sometimes you can be legally right but morally bankrupt. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | stuartpilbrow)