As if you don’t have enough things to worry about when planning your wedding…
According to a consumer report by ABC, some wedding vendors are now including clauses in their contracts that prevent could prevent you from giving negative reviews online.
The report featured an interview with a bride who had recently signed a contract with a wedding photographer. When the bride became disillusioned with their lack of response and poor communication, she decided to take advantage of a cancellation period within their contract.
“I just kind of was uncomfortable with their lack of responses and their kind of run around,” Karina told ABC.
She proceeded to post a review of her experience with the wedding photographer online, but soon got a response from them stating she could face legal action for “breach of contract.”
“I was livid. I was so upset that A: I couldn’t review a vendor B: That you would email me, almost threateningly, so I felt, I think I felt bullied,” she said.
Sound bad? It’s not only brides that have to be worried…these clauses are apparently popping up with doctors, contractors, and other day-to-day professionals who know how much a bad online review on sites like Yelp can effect their business.
“I really am floored by the prospect that this is happening,” said attorney Noah Davis, who was interviewed by ABC.
So how do you protect yourself? Experts say to lookout for clauses such as confidentiality, non-review and non-disparagement in your contract BEFORE you sign. If you see a similar clause, ask the vendor why it’s there. If you are happy with their answer and still want to hire them, you should attempt to negotiate the fine print.
“Don’t sign those agreements if they don’t allow you to take those clauses out of the contract,” said Davis.
Use this as a heads up, brides! You should ALWAYS read the fine print of your contract. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to ask friends/family that might know a lawyer (or are one), or look up a specific clause you might be confused about. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to contracts. And if a vendor doesn’t want to negotiate, you WILL find another one!