Couple whose credit rating was destroyed by bad online review win £176,000 compensation

The couple in Utah were told they broke a 'non-disparagement clause'

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 26 June 2014 19:27
A man uses a laptop
A man uses a laptop

A couple whose bad review of a US shopping website saw their credit rating destroyed have won more than $300,000 (£176,000) in compensation.

Jen Palmer and her husband John tried to buy two Christmas presents for their son from gadget site Kleargear in 2009 and when they did not arrive, they posted a review on a forum called Ripoff Report.

According to Sky, Mr Palmer received an email three years later demanding the review be taken down within 72 hours of that he pay $3,500 (£2,057).

Their credit rating was destroyed when they refused to pay the fine and they were unable to buy a house, car or receive loans.

Kleargear claimed the couple had violated a “non-disparagement clause” of its terms of service but it did not appear in conditions they agreed to when placing their order.

Their lawyer, Scott Michelman, told Sky: “It's a classic public citizen case in that it's a big corporate bully trying to pressure ordinary people into silence.”

Kleargear did not attend court in Utah on Wednesday and a judge awarded damages without ruling on whether the so-called “non-disparagement clause” was legal.

Leaving the court, Mr Palmer told a local television channel: "I'm so happy that this whole thing is over. The main thing I want is this never to happen to other people."

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