Congress takes on businesses that fine customers for bad reviews

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The fight over whether companies can stop customers from posting bad reviews is going national. Today, Reps. Eric Swalwell and Brad Sherman (both D-CA) introduced the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which bans businesses from adding “non-disparagement” clauses to contracts that consumers have to sign. That means that they wouldn’t be able to reserve the right to fine or otherwise penalize people who posted negative reviews on Yelp or any other site, a phenomenon that started getting more attention earlier this year. “As a country that prides itself on free speech as a tenet of our constitution, I felt this sneaky tactic of limiting it as purely wrong,” said Sherman in a statement.

The bill, which has been referred to the House Committee on…

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