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WBK Industry News - Federal Regulatory Developments

FTC Approves Final Consent Orders for Five Companies for Alleged Consumer Review Fairness Act Violations

The FTC released final consent orders affecting five companies that allegedly violated the Consumer Review Fairness Act by preventing consumers from writing or posting negative reviews online, and/or threatening legal action and financial penalties for doing so.  The companies include an HVAC service, a flooring company, a recreational horseback riding operation and two property rental firms.

Pursuant to the orders, and in addition to compliance and reporting requirements, the companies are now barred from using non-disparagement provisions in form contracts for goods and services, and must notify consumers that such provisions are non-enforceable.  Additionally, one of rental companies must dismiss with prejudice one count from a private lawsuit in which it alleged a renter violated a contractual non-disparagement provision.

The FTC’s final orders may be viewed here:

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/182-3077/waldron-hvac-llc

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/182-3085/national-floors-direct-inc

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/182-3098/lvtr-llc

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/182-3088/shore-please-vacations-llc-matter

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/182-3084/staffordshire-property-management-llc-matter