Sunday, November 17, 2013

Company Called KlearGear Plays Hardball, Fines Couple $3,500 For Criticizing Them

Judging from Jen Palmer's experience, I might think twice about doing my on-line shopping through an outfit called
A web page from  You'd
better like the Geek Shirt, or it'll
cost ya $3,500.

Her husband some years ago ordered some trinkets from the on-line seller of gadgets, stuff and gifts and never got the items.

Jen Palmer posted a complaint about KlearGear at the online site

KlearGear responded by trying to fine her $3,500 because she violated the company's fine print says you can't disparage its products, according to reporter Matt Gephardt of television station KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here's what KlearGear's odious clause stated:

"In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts, it's reputation, products, services, management or employees."

The clause also pretty much says KlearGear gets to decide whether or not something is libelous.

This supposed fine from KlearGear has real life consequences for the Palmers because the company sent their fine information to the credit bureaus, and now they can't get loans.

There's a lot of ripoffs going on here, in my view.

First, as Gephardt reported on KUTV, this terrible KlearGear clause violates the First Amendment. Gephardt quoted First Amendment attorney Jeff Hunt, who said, "I think this is outrageoius that a company like this would force a consumer to relinquish theire first amendment rights to speak about their product as a condition of sale.....I've never seen anything like it."

Secondly, if you want to complain about a product, don't go to  They initially tried to comply with KlearGear's order to get rid of the negative review on, but ripoffreport told the Palmers it would cost then $2,000 to get rid of the review.

Maybe we should post news about how rips off people on

Thirdly, why are the credit reporting agencies wrecking the Palmers credit by considering this outrageous, illegitmate bill as an honest to goodness unpaid bill? It would be one thing if the Palmers weren't paying for purchases they made, but a wrecked credit rating for something like this? Outrageous.

Fourth, the Palmers would probably have an excellent case in court, as lawyer Hunt notes, but they can't afford to hire an attorney, according to KUTV. Of course now, with all this publicity, maybe an attorney might take on the case pro bono, to win him or herself some good publicity and business.

According to, KlearGear has removed, at least for now, the "no complaining" clause from its website, probably because of the negative publicity about the Palmer's fine.

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, the KlearGear web site was apologizing to customers saying stuff was being shipped a day or two late because business was unexpectedly brisk.  Really?

In any event, I'm not going to KlearGear to do any of my online holiday shopping this year. There's plenty of other, honest, fair businesses out there who will gladly sell me some high quality products.

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