OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — An Omaha home building company, Celebrity Homes, sent customers involved in contracts with the company an email that its provision prohibiting negative online reviews would not be enforced.
"According to the (Nebraska) Attorney General’s Office, we used a provision in your contract that unlawfully restricted you from sharing honest and truthful information and opinions about your experiences with us," the September letter notes.
Attorney General Doug Peterson's office alleged the "non-disparagement" provision violated the state's Consumer Review Fairness Act and Consumer Protection Act.
Celebrity Homes said in a statement they simply weren't aware of the law. "Once notified by the Attorney General's Office, we made appropriate adjustments to our agreements," it said.
Jim Hegarty, president of the Better Business Bureau, said "in some cases, businesses just don't understand that it's not something they are allowed to do."
Celebrity Homes has an 'F' rating from the Better Business Bureau. "They are not responding to complaints that the B.B.B. is forwarding to them...for a response," Hegarty said.
The company reiterated in the letter that all customers can share their "honest and truthful information and opinions."
According to the Attorney General's Office, Celebrity Homes agreed to pay $15,000 over the provision.