Site Will Fine You for Even Threatening a Bad Review sued over 'unenforceable' terms of sale

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 28, 2014 8:51 AM CDT | Updated Aug 31, 2014 12:02 PM CDT
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(Newser) – You think fining people $500 for a crummy hotel review is bad? will take $250 from your pocket if you even threaten to leave a less-than-stellar review. Customers "agree not to file any complaint, chargeback, claim, dispute, or make ... any public statement regarding the order," or threaten to do so, within a 90-day period after their order, or they'll be fined the $250 "plus any additional fees [and] damages," according to the site's terms of sale, spotted by Consumerist. That's right: Tell the website you'll post about a late order on Facebook—even if you don't actually do it—and you're out hundreds of dollars.

One Wisconsin customer, however, is fighting the fine. Cindy Cox was fined after informing the retailer she'd be requesting a chargeback when an iPhone case she ordered didn't seem to have shipped after the retailer said it had. When she refused to pay the fine, the retailer sent it to a collections agency and allegedly informed her, "This will put a negative mark on your credit for seven years and will also result in calls to your home and/or work." The site allegedly added, per Ars Technica, "You are playing games with the wrong people." Cox wasn't deterred. She filed a suit, which notes the "terms are unenforceable, both because they are unconscionable as a matter of law and because [the plaintiff] never agreed to them." Consumerist adds that, as far as it can tell, at no point during the purchase process are the site's terms even mentioned. (Click to read about a customer who was fined $3,500 three years after complaining online about an order that never arrived.)

An order for an iPhone case went awry for a woman in Wisconsin.
An order for an iPhone case went awry for a woman in Wisconsin.   (Shutterstock)
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