A business is suing a former client after they left a negative review on Yelp. The review was left despite having a non-disparagement clause in the
The issue stems from a negative review that a client, Michelle Duchouquette, left for Prestigious Pets, a local pet sitting business in Dallas, Texas. But Prestigious Pets includes a non-disparagement clause in their agreement that they make clients sign, meaning that clients were prevented from leaving a negative review on a review site, even if it was true.
Michelle Duchouquette left a negative review on Yelp, an extremely well written and factual one, detailing exactly where she had problems with the service provided. But with the non-disparagement clause, it meant this was prohibited.
They were sent a cease and desist, and when they refused to remove the review, found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit for “more than $6700.”
Here is the review in question, which was left in October 2015.
As you can see, the Yelp review was very detailed and matter of fact. Despite this, Prestigious Pets is suing due to their non-disparagement clause.
Anti-disparagement clauses have been getting a lot of heat in recent years. California recently banned the practice, and some businesses have even taken it a step further, such as in the case where a hotel hosting a bride and groom informed the couple they would be fined $500 for every negative review one of the couple’s guests left.
And as is the case with many businesses that sue or threaten to sue due to clauses that say they cannot leave negative feedback on any review site, many others are jumping on the bandwagon to voice their displeasure with a mountain of negative one-star reviews.
Yelp has no flagged the business with an “active cleanup alert”, letting those who view the page that reviews may be removed.
There is also a flag on the top of the page after the popover.
It also makes one wonder whether the negative publicity over the lawsuit will hurt Prestigious Pets even more than the negative review in the first place.
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