Consumer buys HDTV from online retailer, has unsatisfactory experience, returns HDTV and posts unfavorable review online. Retailer contacts consumer, offers compensatory hard drive (retail value $100-150), asks consumer to change bad review to five-star review.
Questions: (1) Assuming the consumer changes the review and doesn't disclose that he received a hard drive for doing so, have the consumer and the retailer violated the FTCs endorsement guidelines? (2) What should the retailer have said to the consumer about changing the review, following best practices? (3) Assume that the consumer promised to change the review in return for the hard drive, but then decides that the service was so bad that he wants to leave the review in place. What does contract law have to say about this agreement, given the public policy reflected in the Guidelines?