Wednesday, February 19 2014, 11:39 PM MST
Credit Restored for Consumer Fined for Negative Online Review
(KUTV) "Horrible customer service practices." Those are the words Jen Palmer posted to ripoffreport.com about the online retailer, Kleargear.com. She was angry after a 2008 Christmas presents ordered for her from the website went undelivered and attempts to communicate with the company were futile.
"I have the right to tell somebody else these guys ripped me off," she said.
That negative review resulted in Jen's husband being sent a bill for $3,500. Kleargear.com says Jen violated the terms of sale, which specifically prohibits, "taking any action that negatively impacts Kleargear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees."
"This is fraud," Jen said. "They're blackmailing us for telling the truth."
That bill was sent to a collection agency and her husband's credit took a huge hit.
When Get Gephardt first reported Jen's story last November she told us she wants the ding off her husband's credit report. Now more than three months later, Jen's want has become a reality.
After our original story aired, Washington, D.C. based Public Citizen, a litigation group, sued Kleargear.com on behalf of Jen and her husband. Also named in the suit is the debt collector, Fidelity Information Corporation.
According to Public Citizen, the collection agency has done an independent review of the case and reported to the credit agencies that the debt was erroneous.
The Kleargear.com debt is now off Jen's husband's credit report 18 months after it was placed there.
Public Citizen says this doesn't end the case against Kleargear.com. They say they still want Kleargear.com to answer for the year and a half during which the Palmers had applications for credit delayed or denied, had to delay trying to sell their home and buy a new one, and were without heat in their home for three cold weeks in October because they couldn't get credit to buy a new furnace when their old one broke.
Court records show that Kleargear.com has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
Calls Wednesday to Fidelity Information Corporation from Get Gephardt were not immediately returned.
By Matt Gephardt
Original Story Produced by Stephanie Clemens
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)