Do You Need To Replace Your Customer Testimonials?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer | No Comments

Just because you received a great customer testimonial doesn’t mean you should be using it forever to promote your business.

Sometimes a testimonial becomes stale because circumstances have changed.

For example, the claims the customer made in the testimonial are no longer true.

Or the product/service you sold the customer is no longer effective because of new technology or some other intervening factor.

Now if a testimonial becomes stale, it could become a fraudulent or deceptive marketing practice to continue using it.

So, what’s the solution?

Review your customer testimonials at least once a year to see if they’re still fresh or have gotten stale.

If there is something wrong, the first thing to decide is whether the testimonial can be salvaged by updating it.

Of course, if this is the case, contact the customer and ask them to modify the testimonial so that it’s accurate today.

Naturally, if you can’t salvage the testimonial, you’ll want to get rid of it. If feasible, request that the customer provide a new testimonial and explain why it’s necessary to replace the old one.

Customer testimonials is just one of many issues analyzed by Internet Business Lawyer Mike Young when he performs a website legal compliance review to help protect clients from civil lawsuits and government investigations.

Is Your Website Refund Policy Deceptive?

By | Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

When you sell goods or services online, it’s important to have a website refund policy. And it needs to be accurate to avoid claims you’re engaging in false or deceptive marketing practices.

Because you don’t want the government coming after you, lawsuits from unhappy customers, or negative Google/Yelp reviews of your business.

What if you have a “no refunds” policy? Assuming it’s legal (some states have a “buyer’s remorse” mandatory refund period for certain purchases), then that should be clearly disclosed too so that prospective customers don’t find out after buying that it’s too late to get their money back.

Now if you do have a website refund policy, make sure that there are no hidden “gotchas.”

For example, if you charge a restocking fee for returned merchandise, that should be disclosed.

And if the customer is responsible for return shipping costs, be sure to make that clear too.

Of course, an experienced website lawyer can prepare a refund policy that’s designed to limit your liability exposure. And while you’re at it, have him review or prepare your other website legal documents (e.g., privacy policy, terms of use, etc.).

Is Your Website’s Privacy Policy Dangerous?

By | Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

If you haven’t updated your website’s privacy policy recently, it could be dangerous to your business. Because you could end up getting investigated by the government or even sued by website visitors or customers.

There are two common ways this risk arises.

First, privacy laws and regulations change often. If you haven’t updated your site’s policy in the past couple of years, there’s a good chance it’s obsolete because there are gaping holes in it that don’t reflect new privacy requirements.

Second, you’ve changed the way you’ve done business online in some way but haven’t updated your privacy policy to reflect those changes. In other words, you say one thing in your privacy policy but the way you do business online is different. This can be considered deceptive or even fraudulent despite your intent.

Now if you don’t know whether your privacy policy is creating legal risks for your business, chances are it’s time to speak with a website lawyer.

Has Google FLoC’d Your Website Privacy Policy?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

Google is testing a new tracking method for interest-based advertising in its Chrome Browser. It’s known as Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).

If you own a website, it’s important that your site’s privacy policy accurately reflect how visitors are tracked and the type of data being collected…even if you’re not the one doing the collecting.

So, it’s a good idea to update your privacy policy to acknowledge visitors to your site using the Google Chrome Browser may be tracked using FLoC.

You may also want to let visitors know how they can disable FLoC tracking in their Chrome Browser. Most won’t but it’s a visitor-friendly feature that will be appreciated by those who are concerned about their personal privacy enough to read through your site’s privacy poicy.

And if you haven’t updated your privacy policy in a few years, chances are you’ll want an experienced Internet Business Lawyer to make other changes to your privacy policy to address important new laws and regulations.

Social Media Deplatforming

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer | No Comments

At the time this article is being written, the Florida state legislature is considering a bill that would fine large social media platforms up to $250,000 per day for deplatforming political candidates.

Why is this proposed law being considered?

In the past couple of years, there’s been trend of suspending or terminating the social media accounts of politicians whose views are different from those of the platform owners and their employees. Perhaps the most notorious was the case of former U.S. President Donald Trump involving his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

To be clear, there’s no First Amendment speech protection that applies to social media platforms. Those free speech rights are targeted against government censorship, not social media companies.

And it remains to be seen whether social media platforms will be able to successfully sue to strike down any federal or state government restrictions imposed on their ability to discipline political candidates.

If the Florida bill becomes law and is upheld by the courts, it sends a strong signal that one cannot censor social media to favor some political candidates at the expense of others.

It’s important to note that the proposed legislation is written is such a way that it targets only the very largest social media sites. However, that’s the camel’s nose under the tent on this issue. One can easily see it being applied in the future to small social media sites and even blogs that permit comments.

If you own a social media platform, the safest path right now is to: (1) have a set of rules for users; and (2) apply those rules uniformly to users. Don’t play favorites.

And if the rules protecting political candidates become too draconian, you may want to consider banning candidates from having accounts rather than spend a small fortune for regulatory compliance.