Consumer Confidential: Right to Gripe Is Denied by Some Firms

Increasingly threatened by the prospect of bad reviews on Yelp and similar websites, some companies have a message for customers: Shut up — or else. You might not know it, but you could be giving up your right to criticize a business publicly if it has a so-called non-disparagement clause in its terms of service. Clicking “accept” or signing your name on the bottom line means you could be hit with thousands of dollars in penalties if...

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