Consumer Reports: Watch what you say in online reviews

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

A lot of consumers depend on online reviews before they travel, book a restaurant or a buy a product or service. Many who post online reviews no doubt believe they are helping others. But some companies fear serious damage from bad feedback.

Until recently they were able to include non-disparagement clauses in their agreements that allowed them to threaten customers with penalties over negative reviews. Now a new federal law bars companies from inserting non-disparagement clauses that threaten or penalize people for posting negative reviews.

Even so, Consumer Reports says you should still watch what you say. Your review has to be honest and accurate. Companies can still successfully sue you for defamation if you make a false statement that can damage their reputation. Another tip: don’t generalize -- Just speak about your own particular experience.

Another way to try to protect yourself: if the company reaches out to try to offer an explanation after you’ve complained, consider changing or deleting your comment if you find it was incorrect or not supported by the facts.  And let the company know you did so -- but without admitting wrongdoing.

Consumer Reports TV News® is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright © 2017 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Most Read

Top Stories

More Home Page Top Stories