If you’ve ever heard me speak to a group of brides and grooms about contracts, one thing that I always bring up? Yelp reviews. Ya see – sometimes vendors like to put a provision into their contracts which states something along the lines of: “Bride(s)/Groom(s) agree that they will not post any negative comments or reviews about the vendor on any social media site, including but not limited to yelp, twitter, and facebook.” Enter the Yelp Bill…
Until recently, I would say that a provision like this, under case law, would more than likely not be enforceable. However, in 2014, California Governor, Jerry Brown, upped the ante on this issue and now a provision like this is not just likely not enforceable, but it is outright unenforceable, at least in California.
No time to read this now? Pin it for later: HERE.
Civil Code section 1670.8 states that contracts that provide for the sale or lease of consumer goods of services (that’s you, wedding vendors!) “may not include a provision waiving the consumer’s right to make any statement regarding or concerning the goods or services [on Yelp or other social media platforms]…” Civ. Code 1670.8.
In fact, the Legislature was so serious about this that they created civil penalties just for vendors as follows: $2,500 for the first violation and $5,000 for the second. Even more severe, if the violation is “willful, intentional, or reckless” the penalty is $10,000. That’s a lot of cheddar, friends.
Now, brides and grooms, does this mean I think you should run for the hills if you see this in a contract from a potential vendor? No. I think it should give brides and grooms pause, though. And, you should definitely discuss this provision with the vendor.
And, if you are a wedding professional – take this provision out immediately if you have it in your template.
Note: This post discusses California law only. Laws vary by state.
Smart couples. Brilliant weddings. Meaningful lives.