Tiny, fine print has a bad name and in most cases it should. When a company or brand communicates something important, pertaining to policy, it should be transparent and upfront.
Instead, many companies hide important details in very small print knowing that 98% of people won’t ever read it. This is no better than whispering, “your pants are on fire” to a deaf person. It’s just not cool.
Here’s the story. Three years ago, a Utah couple had a bad experience with an online retailer called Kleargear.com. After the transaction, they posted a negative review on a consumer-venting site called ripoffreport.com. They cited that the purchased item was never shipped and after numerous attempts, could not even get a customer service person to help them.
Fast forward, the couple tried to get financing on something and could not due to a bad credit score. The bad credit score was because Kleargear.com had fined them $3,500 because they would not remove the negative post on the venting site.
This is wrong.
Apparently, Kleargear.com and other companies have started including a clause in their terms that states, if you accept your transaction, than you give up your right to ever bitch, or say anything bad about the brand, or you too will feel the sting of a fine.
The couple is marching on with a fight, trying to get the courts involved, and trying to stop this nonsense.
I wish them well.
Strong branding stems from healthy, happy relationships with customers and the companies you do business with.
Non-responsive customer service, fine print filled with unreasonable policies, and even crazier fines, is not the way to build a brand.
My hope is companies will focus on providing an excellent buying experience for their customers, listen to their customers, offer awesome products and services, and not provide nightmares like this one.