The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 – New consumer protection legislation passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
While it seems everyone is running around Capitol Hill screaming “The Sky is Falling!” our elected officials have been working hard to get some things done before the new President takes over. It was hardly the big political headline of December, but the House and the Senate recently passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act to protect the right of the consumer to make honest reviews of businesses, even if that feedback is negative.
New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance, Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee, spearheaded this legislation. His press release for the signing of the Consumer Review Fairness Act discussed the
high value of reviews and the importance of protecting consumers while still allowing companies to remove false and
“This law is about protecting consumers posting honest feedback online. Online reviews and ratings are critical in
the 21st Century and consumers should be able to post, comment and tweet their honest and accurate feedback
without fear of retribution. Too many companies are burying non-disparagement clauses in fine print and going
after consumers when they post negative feedback online. This will now end.”
The press release also reinforces that crowd sourced reviews of local businesses and services are a powerful
informational tool and that it is important to maintain the integrity of reviews to protect consumers.
Why do we need a Consumer Review Fairness Act?
Businesses are overwhelmingly aware of the importance of five-star customer reviews and their influence over
consumer purchasing decisions. Some of the more ruthless companies have gone so far as to include gag orders or
non-disparagement clauses in the terms and conditions on their websites.
A typical clause explains that you are not allowed to make negative comments about a business on social media or review sites or risk fines or lawsuits. You read T&C statements on the contracts and websites of companies you visit, work with, and buy from before leaving a review or making a comment online, right? Of course not!
Customers have been leaving reviews, unaware that they could be penalized for writing a bad review or writing
negative posts on social media. In the “fine print” you may find that your contractor had you sign that you would
never make a written or verbal disparaging remark about their business or face a fine. A bad review on the sloppy work of your carpet cleaner could land you a lawsuit. The Consumer Review Fairness Act was written to protect consumers from penalties for sharing their honest opinions.
What is the Consumer Review Fairness Act?
Introduced in April, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 was passed in the House in September and passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on November 28. Signed by US House Speaker Paul Ryan and Congressman Leonard Lance, it is now in the office of the President of the United States.
How does the Consumer Review Fairness Act affect your business?
It’s not called the “Protect Business From Bad Reviews Act” so you might be worried that protecting the consumer
might in some way hurt your business. However, there is no need to worry about restrictions on businesses. Unless you are one of those shifty businesses who like to sue customers for bad reviews, the Consumer Review Fairness Act won’t directly affect how you do business. What it does do is even the playing field, so all business will have to earn their five-star rating the right way – with great products and customer service.
The Consumer Review Fairness Act voids non-disparagement clauses in contracts and terms and conditions statements. That means business will no longer be able to penalize customers for negative reviews. If they do, they will have to deal with the Federal Trade Commission.
Review sites such as Yelp are already onboard. Fewer lawsuits is good business for them, especially when they are
usually stuck in the middle of a fight between a business and a customer. They’ve gone so far as to issue Consumer
Alerts boldly above the fold of business listings which are known to sue customers for reviews.
Build and Manage a Genuine Five-Star Reputation
Gathering feedback and posting positive reviews online has many benefits for all businesses. Online reputation management actively establishes your credibility as a reliable business and gives your company a competitive edge over others in your industry and in your local area. It helps you position your business as the first and best choice when customers are researching online before making a decision where to spend their money.
Author: Zach Anderson
Use reputation management services like Repwarn.com to save precious time, gather more five-star reviews, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your reputation marketing is automated and handled at every level. Your customers are being asked for their feedback, you are notified of dissatisfied customers before they get to review sites, and the best reviews are being promoted on the review sites and social networks that matter most to your business in an almost hands-free automated process.
Ask for a 30-day FREE trial from Repwarn.com
Contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.orgRelated
One of our members created a funny video that explains the simple commission system for the ZukulAdNetwork.com
He basically says that this is such a simple Revshare Program that even a child understands it. It is a funny video and won the First Prize in our Video Contest in March.
Enjoy the VIDEO!Related
There’s a popular thing in entrepreneurship these days called “validating your idea.” That is, doing a bit of market research ahead of time to see if anyone will actually want your product before you make it.
It’s a simple strategy that can potentially save millions of dollars worth of time and effort. Clearly though, this isn’t something that everyone does. Because if they did, this list of products that flopped spectacularly would be much much shorter.
Seriously. Just take a look, and get ready to cringe.
1.) The Apple Newton.
This handheld personal computing device debuted in 1993 with a price tag of $700. The Newton’s bulkiness, price, and software shortcomings made it an easy target in the media. By 1998 the Newton gracefully faded away.
2.) Sony Betamax.
Sony thought they would change the world with their Betamax video recorder. Instead its become a running joke that still hasn’t gotten old. Sony was first to market with their video recorder, but VHS was not far behind. The company refused to license their Betamax technology, and forced customers to choose between them or VHS.
3.) Cosmopolitan Magazine Yogurt.
It only took the media empire that is Cosmopolitan Magazine 18 months to realize that they should stick to magazines instead of yogurt. Good call.
4.) Microsoft Bob.
As personal computers were finding their way into Americans’ homes in the mid 1990’s, Microsoft decided to try something different. They wanted to create a totally new interactive experience for personal PC users. That project was Bob. Sadly it was killed in development after only a year. The average PC simply did not have enough power to handle the Bob program.
5.) Coors Spring Water.
Though Coors is arguably a good beer, the company’s customers were not interested in buying water from them. Coors’ Rocky Mountain Spring Water project fell flat on its face.
6.) The Zune.
Designed by Microsoft to be an iPod killer, hopes were high for the Zune. However it just wasn’t enough. At least now you can find them for crazy cheap on eBay.
7.) Maxwell House Ready To Drink Coffee.
Coffee that’s ready to go when I am? Yes please! Oh wait, I have to microwave it? I also can’t microwave it in its container? Then why would I ever buy this? Exactly.
8.) Colgate Foods.
This is probably the weirdest one of the list. Since when does a toothpaste company try to also sell you food. What made them think this would be a good idea?
9.) Life Savers Soda.
Despite the relative popularity of the Life Savers candy, their soda incarnation did not fare very well. Just stick to what you’re good at, ok Life Savers?
10.) Smith & Wessen Bicycles.
Smith & Wessen is best known for making firearms. A little known fact though, is that the company also produces bicycles for law enforcement. Back in the early 2000’s the company decided to try marketing their bikes to the public, but no one really seemed to care.
(Via: Daily Finance)
No wonder everyone always looks at me weird when I’m using my Apple Newton, while listening to music on my Zune and drinking Life Savers Soda. Share these amazing product flops with your friends on Facebook by clicking below.
One Product that is just launching will succeed, as EVERYONE who wants to promote their business needs to direct TRAFFIC to their business or their Website. “TRAFFIC AUTHORITY” is here to stay!Related