Couple facing $3,500 worth of fines, credit hit after posting negative review

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SALT LAKE CITY  (CNN) – A Utah couple says they have damaged their credit score and are facing thousands of dollars worth of fines for doing something many consumers do every single day.

According to KUTV, John Palmer says he purchased Christmas gifts for his wife off KlearGear.com in 2008.

When the items never arrived, the purchase was canceled and PayPal returned the couple’s money.

After repeatedly calling the company to find out about the problem, Jen Palmer posted a review of the company on ripoffreport.com.

She wrote, “There is absolutely no way to get in touch with a physical human being. No extensions work.”

More than three years later, the couple received an email from KlearGear.com, stating that they would be fined $3,500 if the negative review was not taken down.

The Palmers say they were shocked.

Legal experts say the email cited a clause in the terms of use contract that states, “Your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com.”

The couple claims the clause was added after they purchased the items.

Even though the Palmers tried to take down the review, ripoffreport.com would not allow it unless the company went into arbitration.

The company ended up reporting the couple’s unpaid fine to a collection agency.

Now, the couple says they are being denied for loans since their credit score took a hit.

Analysts say that more companies are adding this clause to the fine print as protection.

So, when you are out shopping this holiday season, check the fine print before you buy anything online.

If you do write a negative review, make sure it is accurate because you can be sued for libel even if they do not have the clause.