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Update: ESCO Says Non-Disparagement Clause Was Previously Removed (Online Language An Oversight)

December 22,2014



Update 11:40 a.m. 12/22: New Wave Energy tells RetailEnergyX that it struck the non-disparagement language from its paper contracts some time ago, and was unaware that the language was still included in its online terms of service. 

Upon learning of the language remaining online via our story, New Wave Energy has immediately removed the non-disparagement language from its online contracts and terms of service.

Earlier:

A retail supplier has been included in TechDirt's "Hall of Shame" for non-disparagement clauses which seek to penalize customers for leaving negative reviews about companies online.

TechDirt notes that New York ESCO New Wave Energy is among several companies which use a boilerplate non-disparagement clause.

The non-disparagement clause, which is stated to be an, "effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content," grants the company the right to levy a $3,500 penalty on the customer for, "taking any action that negatively impacts the Supplier, its reputation, products, services, management or employees," with the company granted "sole discretion" to determine if the non-disparagement clause has been violated.

If the customer does not pay the penalty after 30 days, such unpaid invoice, "will be forwarded to Supplier's third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid."

See the full New Wave Energy non-disparagement clause here, as used in a residential electric contract for the National Grid service area. Contracts for business service appear to use the same boilerplate language

Notably, the New Wave Energy non-disparagement clause not only appears in the residential terms and conditions, but a similar provision also appears in its terms of use for use of its website.

H/T to Public Citizen's Consumer Law & Policy Blog for highlighting TechDirt's story



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Update: ESCO Says Non-Disparagement Clause Was Previously Removed (Online Language An Oversight)


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