As shoppers we have an obligation to retail merchants. That obligation is to tell them how well or not well they are doing in earning our business. Imagine if you had a bad experience with a company, posted feedback about that experienced and then found out you owed the company over $3500.00!

That is the current situation for a San Antonio couple. Several years ago the Palmers of San Antonio ordered some merchandise from a company on line. The company did not deliver the items within 30 days and the transaction was cancelled by the internet pay service Pay Pal. This prompted Mr. Palmer to write a rather negative review of the company on line.

Most of us would think he was justified and the company would be glad to know that they had failed a customer and would be willing to make it right. Obviously this company is not as concerned with customer service as some others might be. At least it would appear that way since the company ordered Mr. Palmer to remove his negative remove or be subject to a substantial fine.

How can they do that?

I am guessing you don't read the terms and conditions when you do business with an online company. Neither do I. For Mr. Palmer it would have paid substantially if he would have read the terms because in those terms was a statement saying.

"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, its reputation, products, services, management or employees."

Basically this term states that no matter how much we suck, you can't tell anybody.

The people at the online shopping site were serious, they fined the Palmer's $3500.00. As you might imagine the Palmer's have declined to pay it. As you might have figured out, the company has now placed this "unpaid debt" on the Palmer's credit bureau.

What happens next? Well the lawyers are involved and this might soon become not so much a case of an unsatisfied customer but a case based on constitutional law.  Many legal scholars would say that no company has the right to take away any persons guarantee of free speech especially if the claims and statements made are based on fact.

I have purposely not linked to the company that is involved in this story's website. If you want to know who they are you can figure it by reading the quote I referenced earlier in the piece. Personally I am sickened by this kind of business practice. I do hope the Palmers prevail in getting the alleged fine removed from their credit bureau and I hope this company decides to change its policy so that it might remain in business.