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Woman Facing $3,500 Fine For Posting Online Review 519

sabri writes "Jen Palmer tried to order something from kleargear.com, some sort of cheap ThinkGeek clone. The merchandise never arrived and she wrote a review on ripoffreport.com. Now, kleargear.com is reporting her to credit agencies and sending collectors to fetch $3,500 as part of a clause which did not exist at the alleged time of purchase. 'By email, a person who did not identify him or herself defended the $3500 charge referring again to Kleargear.com's terms of sale. As for Jen being threatened — remove the post or face a fine — the company said that was not blackmail but rather a, "diligent effort to help them avoid [the fine]."' The terms and conditions shouldn't even apply, since the sales transaction was never completed."
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Woman Facing $3,500 Fine For Posting Online Review

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  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:21PM (#45437063) Homepage Journal

    I was going to comment that Dice hasn't done anything to ruin thinkgeek yet, but they don't actually own that one.

  • by imp ( 7585 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:21PM (#45437075) Homepage

    First, it's not clear a contract was established. And even if it was, unilateral changes generally are unenforceable. And even if it were there when the attempted purchase was attempted, this is an unconscionable contract clause, against public policy (1st amendment, etc) and should be thrown out.

    This person's best bet is to dispute the credit reports, counter sue for whatever they can think of to recover legal fees.

    If it were me, I'd just send them a letter telling them to go F themselves and I'll see you in court. Bring it. My lawyer, however, would likely wish that I not do that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:24PM (#45437101)
    They already are. They're removing all comments from their facebook page.
  • Give them a call! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:27PM (#45437151)

    You can also reach us by phone or snail mail at:

      You should give them a call, let them know what you think.
    2885 Sanford Ave SW Suite #19886
    Grandville, MI 49418
    Se Habla Español
    Phone (866) 598-4296

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:30PM (#45437191)

    You needed one of these: http://norris.org.au/cattack/

    I built it over the summer, it was heaps of fun and worked really well. Though...it took me so long that by the time it was finished the garden had grown up! Always next season!

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:37PM (#45437283)
    The only people who get rich by going to court are the lawyers.
  • by kermyt ( 99494 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:38PM (#45437301) Homepage
    And now they have disallowed all commants on their FB page.
  • CFPB (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nick ( 109 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:40PM (#45437315) Journal
    She needs to go to http://cfpb.gov/ [cfpb.gov] right away and report this. It'll come off her credit reports ~30 days or so later. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was setup for exactly this kind of thing.
  • by wwalker ( 159341 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @04:55PM (#45437581) Journal

    While I have absolutely no sympathy for all the hate that the keangear asshats will get from this, I just wish that ripoffreport.com would get their share of it. Did you know that if you pay them money, they will happily turn all the negative reports about your business into positive? They call it "Corporate Advocacy Program", but the real name of it should be "blackmail and extortion". Absolutely anyone can post anything about any business, be it true or a complete lie, and the business owner has absolutely no way for defending themselves. Except if you pay ripoffreport.com a few hundred bucks and then all negative reports go away. And they even claim that they will help place the newly positive reviews "at the top of search engines", whatever the hell that means. See, they do it to benefit the consumer and to assure the complete satisfaction, and not at all to blackmail small businesses and extort money from them:
    http://www.ripoffreport.com/CorporateAdvocacyProgram/Change-Report-From-Negative-To-Positive.aspx [ripoffreport.com]

  • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @05:06PM (#45437751)
    True, and to earn the hatred of all cat owners.
    Besides, a hose, supersoaker, or the like works well.
    On the other hand, if you don't want to sit around waiting to soak the local felines, just go buy some of the scent based repellents. There are a number of them for sale in pet stores, and a bunch of old fashioned recipes you can make yourself.
    Killing or maiming someones pet is just going to get you in so much shit the cat poop would seem to be gold nuggets in comparison.
    (I know one person that ended up moving over the harassment he got when he shot a neighbors cat. Also, every potted plant and his entire lawn died. It's assumed that one or more persons put herbicide on all of them.)
    Same thing with dogs. Actually, any family pet.
  • (866) 598-4296 (Score:5, Informative)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @05:09PM (#45437783)
    Their phone number is (866) 598-4296. They will pay for the call for you to call them and tell them what you think.
  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @05:21PM (#45437967)

    Doesn't matter, you can still go to jail for cruelty to an animal for shooting one with a BB gun - in some areas it's a felony. It's not all that much different than if you shot their kid with a BB. "Bah, it's only a small welt" isn't going to convince the judge...

    Besides... YOU'LL PUT YOUR EYE OUT!

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @05:31PM (#45438113)

    I ordered hundreds of dollars of equipment from dx.com/dealextreme.com over the years.

    The absolute worst things that's happened to me is that something was out of stock, and they credited me for my order.

    Say what you want about ordering things on the slow boat from China, but DX, overall, has pretty good customer service -- especially for a company that'll send you a $2.97 butane torch (filled with butane!) from Asia, shipping included.

    http://dx.com/p/jet-1300-c-butane-lighter-1320 [dx.com]

    My cigars thank them.

  • by ageoffri ( 723674 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @06:12PM (#45438643)
    Pretty much everything you stated is wrong. You can sue all three of the consumer credit reporting agencies in small claims court assuming you followed the processes outlined in the federal laws for consumer protection.


    Check out creditboards.com and the ficoforums.myfico.com and you will find multiple success stories of people suing one or more of the CRA's.

    I can also say that from personal experience that merely making the threat to the CRA that you will be suing them in small claims court with proper citations will cause the CRA to fix their errors.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2013 @07:24PM (#45439325)

    And now their FB page has been deleted.

  • Re:Hint taken. (Score:4, Informative)

    by systemeng ( 998953 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @07:35PM (#45439419)
    The Federal Law also allows state attorneys general to file suit on behalf of tax papyers in credit reporting cases. A local lawn care service accidentally submitted an already paid bill of mine to a collections agency. The Alabama Attorney General's Office was not amused and forced them to write a letter explaining themselves to me and then suggested that I sue the company which by then had seen the error in their ways.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @07:39PM (#45439453) Journal

    What's so great about ThinkGeek anyway? When it comes down to it, they're basically just a seller of novelty gadgets and boys toys with a geek-oriented marketing angle.

    You really don't know?

    I've ranted about them previously, but to tl;dr that, the problem is that in (rather successfully) using this angle to sell their gimmicks, they presented and promoted a relentlessly consumerist view of what it is to be a geek... both by exploting the need to identify and belong (show how much of a proud geek and/or fan of this geek-popular TV show you are by owning this gizmo!) and by flattery (owning this stuff shows that you're clever!).

    They seem to have been one of the first places I know of to cater to geeks. They don't just have look it's shinny things, but things, even if they are toys, that are interesting in their own right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16, 2013 @09:16AM (#45442305)

    Not a binding agreement. This would fail on the grounds that this is a Deceptive Trade Practice as defined in the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Such a clause constitutes an automatic violation of that law as it's a form an attempt to get you to waive your rights under the same. I don't think they want to get the AG after them on this. He's got the authority to go after you if you've done business in Texas, even if you're in another State- as does all AG's on this sort of thing.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll