TechNet Applauds House Passage of Bill that Prohibits Companies from Punishing Consumers who Post Negative Reviews Online
Washington — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today applauded the House for passing legislation that prohibits companies from punishing consumers who post negative reviews online. Introduced by Reps. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA), the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (H.R. 5111) bans the use of “non-disparagement” clauses in consumer contracts, which companies use to prevent consumers from posting critical reviews of their experiences online.
“With the passage of the Consumer Review Fairness Act, the House has struck a blow against businesses that seek to punish consumers for posting negative reviews online,” said Linda Moore, president and CEO of TechNet. “Online reviews have become an integral part of daily life. With nearly 70 percent of consumers relying on them to make a purchase, consumers should never second-guess posting a candid review for fear of retaliation. By banning the use of non-disparagement clauses, consumers can post honest reviews and hold bad businesses accountable without punishment. TechNet thanks Reps. Lance and Kennedy for their leadership in securing this legislation’s passage.”
Upon enactment, the Consumer Review Fairness Act would nullify any non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts that restrict consumers’ ability to publicly review products or businesses. The legislation also authorizes the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to take action against businesses that include such clauses in their contracts.
In May, TechNet joined with a dozen other organizations and companies in writing to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade in support of this legislation. The letter can be viewed here.
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level. TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, advanced energy, biotechnology, venture capital, and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston, and Austin.