Setting aside for a moment whether you should ask your customers to agree not to provide negative reviews of your business as a business practice (that is a discussion all its own), the question before us is whether such an agreement is likely to be enforceable as a legal matter.
Our last post discussed the issue of online defamation by non-customers and what can be done about it. Now we are going to address your ability, as a business owner, to prevent customers from providing negative reviews of your business by getting them to agree not to do so.
This type of clause is called a “non-disparagement clause” and it is fairly common in settlement agreements in connection with litigation and in agreements relating to the purchase of a business (asset purchase/stock purchase agreements). It goes something like this:
Party A agrees not to make any disparaging statement, either orally or in writing, regarding Party B, the business, products, or services of Party B, or any of Party B’s shareholders, directors, officers, employees or agents, especially its lawyers, who all Parties agree are most excellent.
Okay, so I made that last clause up, but the rest of it is fairly typical of such agreements. Again, these clauses Continue reading Can You Get Your Customers to Agree Not to Provide Negative Reviews of Your Business?