Review Arbitration Agreement

A review arbitration agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions for resolving disputes between companies and consumers regarding online reviews. It is becoming increasingly common for businesses to use these documents to protect their reputation and defend against negative reviews.

The purpose of a review arbitration agreement is to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation. Instead of going to court, both parties agree to settle any disputes through binding arbitration. This means that the decision of an impartial arbitrator will be final and cannot be appealed.

One of the benefits of review arbitration agreements is that they often require consumers to follow a specific process before leaving a negative review. Typically, this process involves giving the business an opportunity to resolve the issue before posting a negative review online. This can help prevent unnecessary negative reviews and allow businesses to address potential issues before they escalate.

Another benefit of review arbitration agreements is that they can help businesses protect their reputation. Negative reviews can have a significant impact on a company`s bottom line, and review arbitration agreements can help prevent false or malicious reviews from being posted online. If a review is found to be false or defamatory, the arbitrator may order it to be removed.

However, it is important to note that review arbitration agreements have been controversial. Critics argue that they restrict consumers` ability to share their experiences and opinions online and can be used to suppress legitimate negative reviews.

Additionally, some courts have found review arbitration agreements to be unenforceable. For example, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Yelp could not be forced to remove negative reviews based on a review arbitration agreement.

In conclusion, review arbitration agreements can be an effective tool for resolving disputes between companies and consumers regarding online reviews. However, they should be used carefully to ensure that they don`t infringe on consumers` rights to share their opinions online. As with any legal document, it is important to consult with an attorney before implementing a review arbitration agreement.