Sharing a negative review could cost you dearly.
Consumers in Canada face hefty fines of up to $115,000 for their digital reviews.
Véronique Parent, a lawyer and analyst at Option Consommateur, is concerned about the lack of protection for those who express their opinions online. She also wrote a 77-page report documenting the marked increase in defamation lawsuits brought by companies against consumers.
“Consumers are increasingly being prosecuted for criticizing a company,” the lawyer says. “Often, these amounts are sometimes very high. In Quebec, the amount reached $25,000.”
How far can we go in criticism?
The report highlights a gray area: how far consumers can go with criticism without crossing the line into defamation.
“The current absence of guidelines exposes consumers to legal action, hence the need, in our opinion, to regulate this phenomenon,” explains Ms Barnett.
Alberta is the only Canadian province that currently regulates these digital practices.
“It recognizes that consumers have the right to criticize the company and limits situations in which a consumer can be sued,” she adds.
Watch the full interview above to learn more.
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