Geek and office supply e-commerce platform KlearGear.com is under an unrelenting social media attack and the company deserves every single bit of bad publicity sent its way. That’s because the company has wrongfully and probably illegally been caught placing false debts on its customers accounts.
The problem surfaced after Jen Palmer of Salt Lake City left a negative review for the company on RipOffReport.com. KlearGear was unable to deliver the gift she had purchased for her husband and therefore cancelled the item with no notice by way of a PayPal refund. Unhappy with her situation Jen took to the negative reviews website to voice her displeasure with the e-commerce website.
Years after the $20 desk ornament review was posted Jen noticed a $3,500 hit to her credit report at all three major credit reporting agencies.
KlearGear.com apparently cited an obscure terms of service rule that states they can fine customers for talking bad about the company. Palmer allegedly violated the obviously flawed TOS when she rightfully said KlearGear.com has “horrible customers service.”
Scott Michelman, staff attorney with Public Citizen, and the new representative for the Palmer’s tells ABCNews.com, “No one would have expected this from doing perfectly normal, everyday and perfectly legal things.”
That negative review was placed five years ago and the idiots at KlearGear.com have continued to report negatively against the couple.
The Palmers offered to take down the negative review but the website doesn’t allow for take downs, only updates. However, KlearGear.com never responded to that suggestion and so the negative credit item has remained on the couple’s credit report.
When the Palmers disputed the debt the three major credit reporting agencies were told by the horrible customers service team at KlearGear that the debt was owed. The company then attempted to charge an additional $50 for a “debt dispute” claim.
Michelman is now demanding, on the couple’s behalf, that KlearGear.com pay $75,000 in compensation under rules established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
“There’s no excuse for what KlearGear did,” Michelman said. “We want to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of with regard to their credit.”
It looks like this stupid action by a selfish and horribly run company could spell the end for KlearGear.com as angry customers take to Twitter in an attempt to drown the firm in negative publicity. In fact the comments have arrived so swiftly that KlearGear.com has went silent on all of its social media platforms, even cancelling its Twitter account that was one located at @KlearGear.
Here is just a small taste of what is being said about the KlearGear.com and its horrible, awful, no good, customer service. Sorry I had to go on an SEO tangent there to make sure the right words were hit the next time someone searches for the company to look up its reputation.
— GerladTheMagnificent (@l1nuxl1nux) November 27, 2013
New From KlearGear: Free Speech, Only $3,500 Plus Shipping And Handling | Popehat http://t.co/AvtRuE8Sfh
— Morgan Sheridan (@morgansher) November 27, 2013
Geek company KlearGear charges customer for posting bad review, and learns about this newfangled social media stuff http://t.co/U712HVKD00
— Terre Korzen (@TerreKorzen) November 27, 2013
Social media users are also not afraid to dare the company to touch their credit report:
We have also learned that the KlearGear.com staff eats poor defenseless kittens:
Kitten eating aside, it looks as if a bitter standoff between KlearGear.com and a single $20 purchase is going to cost the company a lot more than $75,000 in legal fines. In the meantime, the company lists a 5-star rating record on its website from eTailerRatings. However, upon a good amount of investigation we could find no such listing for the company. In fact its track record on review sites pretty much matched the “horrible customer service” review sent out by Jen Palmer. The rating banner (shown below) is not even clickable for verification purposes.
In all fairness to KlearGear, that 5-star rating could have been out of 100 stars or perhaps a 5-star merchant is a company that makes a really high profit margin off really crappy ThinkGeek ripoff products. Here is the crazy TOS which by the way violates state Tort laws in Michigan (the state of the company’s operations):
Non-Disparagement Clause 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 KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.
But wait it gets “better.” It turns out that the current TOS wasn’t on the site when John Palmer’s present was ordered and the negative review was posted in 2008. I leave you with a simple suggestion from yet another angry Twitter user:
— Mike’s Corner (@MikesOpine) November 25, 2013
If you simply can’t live without KlearGear.com products we suggest checking out ThinkGeek.com, they have awesome customer service and they will only charge you $3,500 when your addiction to their products grows to unhealthy proportions.
Author: James Kosur
James Kosur has worked in the new media space for the last 10 years, helping many publications build their audiences to millions of monthly readers. He currently serves as the Director of Business Development at Business2Community.com and the CEO of Aven Enterprises LLC.