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Author Topic: Internet Shaming... is it illegal?
Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted June 03, 2010 21:04      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is threatening to do a blog post about a company who won't pay their bill against any USA laws? Is it a sleazy thing to do?

This is what I did after I'd sent the company six emails, phoned, left a message, and they still did not reply or pay. It's been about a month and a half since the bill was delivered. It was a lot of money ($2000 is a LOT of money for us anyway), that they were not paying.

I told them that I would be posting an article on our website. That we get quite a bit of traffic (last month 471,895 Visits (240,534 from the US) with 754,051 page views) so I expected an article featuring them not paying their bill would be seen and shared by a lot of people, and show up nicely in Google search results of their company.

(btw, it worked. They paid within 5 minutes of me sending that email. [Big Grin] )

Posts: 8111 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 14 posted June 03, 2010 21:43      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Applause]

Completely legal so long as you only asked for what you were legally entitled to.

Publishing the article would have been completely legal as well, so long as everything in it was true and you didn't commit libel.

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Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2010 22:24      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

Sometimes big businesses think they can get away with treating their agreements with micro-businesses as optional, if you don't stand up for yourself, you're screwed.

btw - if you think a month and a half is a long time to wait for payment you've been very lucky so far. I've had a multi billion dollar corporation tell me I'd have to wait until next financial year for payment, because there was no money left in this years budget. Another former client thought if they just ignored me long enough I'd go away without being paid at all.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
macmcseboy

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Icon 14 posted June 04, 2010 00:48      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good show Snaggy!

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Live long and prosper.

Posts: 1139 | From: Victoria BC... | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2010 02:29      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ahem, Good on yah, Snaggy. Now the flip side.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/us/01slapp.html?pagewanted=1


____ It appears that some businesses have an agreement with towing companies to check their lots, rather than have a worker call for a tow. Seems very cosy to me.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
zorgon
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Icon 14 posted June 04, 2010 15:22      Profile for zorgon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also super-blogger Heather (Dooce) Armstrong had trouble with her brand new washing machine and posted a string of rants on twitter. She has something like a million followers, so things snowballed. The whole story is here, and it's absolutely friggin' hilarious.
Posts: 385 | From: Beautiful Uptown Goleta | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged
Sludgedragon
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2010 21:26      Profile for Sludgedragon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The whole story is here
That is astoundingly neat.
Posts: 10 | From: Oregon USA | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2010 21:50      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ack...that was TL;DR...but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to think that particular washing machine is HORRIBLE! The damn thing has fuzzy logic, which if you dabbled in AI in college...sounds really cool. Except when you want your clothes to be clean in a timely fashion, and it decides to take its dear sweet time figuring out the optimal time to toss clothes, and to spin and 'de-spin' them. (It ever so gently tosses them for an eternity so you don't have to pry them out.) As such, instead of the good old days of a dial that you turn that *guarantees* the time taken...you get an 'estimated time remaining' screen. How hard is it to determine how long a wash will take? Apparently...it must be like O(n^2) or worse!

Snaggy: While it's not something I'm terribly keen on...you'd be totally right to do it.

What I thought was less ethical was someone I knew who disabled key parts of a client's website, effectively taking them hostage. That seemed scummy...but it also didn't help that the person in question was a bit scummy...unlike you. [Big Grin]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fs

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2010 01:45      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it's absolutely ethical. You contacted them repeatedly, tried to resolve the situation. Maybe they thought you would go away, or it wasn't a priority. Whatever. You told them what you would do. It seems to me that questionable ethics would be on the side of remaining silent and letting them continue to jerk you around. If they don't pay, other small businesses thinking of working with them should have access to that information, especially since small businesses don't have the resources to waste on working for free because soome bigger company doesn't feel like they have to pay in a timely fashion, or maybe at all.

Good for you, not just taking it.

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2010 02:46      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Okay, I have never sold goods or services to others, so I would be at a disadvantage there.

____ When ever the Mrs and myself buy big ticket items ($500.+) we do a short term loan with the store. 90/180days same as cash. That way if the item fails before we are required to pay for it, we have more leverage. We also had a washing machine fiasco, however the threat of us not paying for a machine that did not work forced them to bring out a replacement.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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