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Help with Yelp: Posting Personal Information in Response to a Negative Review Can Land You in Hot Water

There’s a right and a wrong way for businesses to respond to negative customer reviews on Yelp. When responding to negative reviews on the site, you should never divulge any personal information about the customer leaving the review, such as their credit history, income sources, or any other personal information. A California mortgage company that revealed sensitive information about clients leaving negative reviews was sued for violating the Fair Crediting Reporting Act and had to pay a penalty. If you do find yourself on the receiving end of a negative review, apologize for the customer’s experience and offer your contact information to discuss the issue and try to make it right.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Federal Credit Reporting Act puts the onus on credit agencies to keep personal customer data away from third party eyes, barring a legal obligation to do so.
  • One company, which broke FTC protocol, was ordered to create a comprehensive data security program.
  • Moreover, this company must collect third party assessments of this implemented program every two years for a decade.

“To resolve the litigation, the broker and his company agreed to pay a $120,000 penalty to settle the alleged FCRA violation. In addition, the broker and company are prohibited from misrepresenting their privacy and data security practices, misusing credit reports, and improperly disclosing nonpublic personal information to third parties.”

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