Couple sue over firm's negative-review charge of $3500 - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Couple sue over firm's negative-review charge of $3500

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah couple are suing an online retailer over a $3,500 charge the company assessed after one of them wrote a negative review concerning its customer service.

John and Jennifer Palmer of Layton filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City against KlearGear.com based in Grandville, Mich.

According to the complaint, the couple's problems began when John Palmer's order of less than $20 for a desk toy and a key chain for his wife in December 2008 never arrived.

The couple says the order was canceled after they were unsuccessful in attempts to reach KlearGear, and Jennifer Palmer then posted a negative review about the company on RipoffReport.com.

The suit says KlearGear informed the Palmers in 2012 they had 72 hours to remove the negative review or pay $3,500 because the couple violated a "non-disparagement clause" in its terms of use with customers.

The couple says Ripoff.com has a policy of not removing posted reviews, and KlearGear hurt their credit rating by reporting their failure to pay the $3,500 to credit bureaus.

Their attorney, Scott Michelman of Public Citizen, says the case is about protecting consumers' rights to free speech.

The company didn't immediately respond to an email request for comment Sunday.

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