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I've recently had string of poor customer support experiences with a major corporation whom I rely on for the majority of my personal communication.

I'd like to post these interactions in a public (online) forum to elicit feedback in order to decide my next course of action.

Is there some reason that I shouldn't do this - either legally, or because the company could choose to withhold service in retaliation? Not that I think I'm "worth it" for them - I just want to avoid even the most remote possibility.

Edit:

  • I plan on posting summaries of email/chat exchanges, with some direct quotes.
  • This doesn't concern anything nasty or otherwise innapropriate on the part of service representatives, just the lack acceptable resolution of a problem with my service. It doesn't involve money, either. Basically, customer service is telling me that a "feature" is limited such that it is basically useless, in a way that no reasonable person would expect based on public claims.
  • I live in the US.
  • I could not find any non-disparagement clause in the terms of service.
  • Would you be doing this as a private citizen or in a role as an employee of some company? – mikeazo Aug 3 '17 at 18:38
  • @mikeazo As a private citizen. – Evan Aug 3 '17 at 18:40
  • This is my just taking a stab in the dark. But is it Comcast? – Digital fire Aug 3 '17 at 18:47
  • What exactly do you mean by "post interactions"? Does this involve voice recording; are you verbatim reporting a dialog, or paraphrasing? (wiretap law). Can you prove that any nasty thing said by the service person was said by him? (defamation). Are you in the US? (First Amendment). And did you check for a no-disparagement clause in your service contract? – user6726 Aug 3 '17 at 19:01
  • @user6726 updated – Evan Aug 3 '17 at 19:15
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It may be illegal for you to record a phone conversation or Skype-like session (i.e. voice recording), unless you get permission of all parties (that depends on where you and they are located). There are "reasonable expectation of privacy" considerations that are very unlikely to apply to a phone call, but could apply to a Skype session (owing to quirks in the law). That does not seem to be a concern here.

If you publicly and falsely claim that a person did something bad (e.g. the service person), then that could be defamation and you could be sued. If the person did do a bad thing, that is a defense against defamation (accurately quoting a person is not defamatory).

There is a murky area involving anti-disparagement clauses, which are or have been found in software licenses, basically requiring you to not publicly criticize the company, as a condition for using their software. If there is no such clause, there is no first step for them suing you (for breach of contract). If you are in California, there can't be such a clause. Such clauses have been upheld at least once (Freelife International v. American Educational Music).

There cannot be laws in the US that prohibit criticism, because of the First Amendment. A corollary of this is that (in the absence of an anti-disparagement clause), criticism cannot be a tort.

Therefore, there seems to be no risk, other than annoying the company. If the company withholds service, they are in breach of contract. They could, however, be less than cooperative in future customer service incidents (customer service sometimes goes above and beyond the lowest bar of service demanded by law). There is probably a clause that allows them to terminate the agreement under certain circumstances, including "harassing" personnel. Posting a factual criticism doesn't objectively constitute harassing personnel, but you almost certainly also have an arbitration clause whereby you have to resolve disputes out of court. If they terminate your agreement for harassment, the question of whether they breached the agreement is determined by, well, you'd have to read what the arbitration agreement says.

  • Most customer services in the United States start the call off with a notification that the call is being recorded for "Quality Assurance" which is basically stating that they between you and them there is an implied consent to recording (If they called you, you are free to hang up without being recorded. If you call them, you are free to hang up without being recorded too. They won't talk to you unless you agree to the recording). At this point, there is an understanding that recording of the conversation is happening, so if you recorded it too... well, they agreed to it. – hszmv May 28 at 17:12

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