Most individuals freely give their honest opinions about services and products. A smart business will welcome the feedback as an opportunity to improve customer service. However, not all companies welcome negative feedback. For example, the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY warned wedding parties that they would be charged $500 for each negative review. Instead of deterring guests, this warning had the opposite effect resulting in a poor rating of 1.5 stars for the Guest House on Yelp.

In another story, a Utah couple was fined $3,500 for writing a bad review which violated the retailer’s terms-of-sale contract. This story is the inspiration for the California Yelp Bill, which makes non-disparagement clauses illegal. The law goes into effect January 1, 2015.