Bad Experience w/ Trading Vendor

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Bad Experience, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. I have recently had a nightmare of an experience from a vendor on the internet (which, for now, will remain nameless) selling a trading method for a big chunk of money (>$5000).

    We are in a heated email battle right now about whether I am entilted to a refund (based on their guarantee) which they say I'm not, but I say I am. Emails have gone as far as they will and it's time for me to take it to the next step. I am filing a complaint w/ the CFTC and SEC ... among other organizations.

    Anyway, I want to expose what has happened to me. To at least let others know, those who might be interested or potentially thinking of buying this course themselves, what happened to me.

    Luckily 98% of all correspondence was done through emails and instant messaging. If posted, it would be a long 'story' of emails, but a very eye opening experience about how this vendor treated its customer. It would be a great lesson for others. It would also let people see how this company has treated me and their incredible sting of accusations against me because "it's all my doing."

    Here's my question ... I have told them if not refunded, I would post my experience , along with all the emails to the internet. I would post to elitetrader, newsgroups, etc. I will post the entire experience, but I would NOT post any information regarding specific trading rules which I signed a non-disclaimer for. I'm not here to do ANYTHING illegal. But, again, the unfolding of events will be very eye opening without telling the details of their trading method.

    Is there any legal reason I can not or should not do this? They are threating me with "we will file a complaint against you
    for undue distress, harassment and coercion", "blackmail", and "we can hold you liable for libel, should you chose
    to carry out your threats. " These quotes are in regards to both posting publically and filing complaints with a list of organziations. Basically, they are trying to take away any rights I have as a consumer.

    On here, I would simply be posting my experience ... a review of sorts for others to see. Now, this is done all the time ...a big part of elitetrader's webpage is a review section for software/brokers/etc.

    I see it as I told them that they better make a good business decision on whether they want a customer who feels he has be wronged to tell others. They see it as a "threat". There are 1000s of websites out there for people to rate businness/purchases (cars, books, electronics, just about any purchase). This wouldn't be any different. AOL doesn't sue someone because they post how bad AOL service is.

    I'm really looking for someone with legal experience if anyone has expeience in this type of matter. Can they hold me liable for telling of my bad expereince.... they would call my claims "lies", but they are not. Is there anything wrong with posting in LOTS of places on the internet to make sure anyone thinking about buying from this vendor and does any kind of search through a search engine, will at least see my expereience which they can then make their own conclusions from?

    I feel I've been wronged (majorly) ... I've told them I'd make my expereince known publicly ... they can that a threat ... I call it a consumer given right.

    Any well informed opinions on what I should do regarding posting publically (and/or filing complaints)?
     
  2. No legal experience or opinion, but I would love to here the story! Make sure if you post, you don't add your own commentary - that way, you are just presenting documentation and people can draw their own conclusions.
     
  3. I'm not an attorney, but I don't see why there would be any
    problem as long as you can prove your claims. Since when is
    telling the truth wrong?
     
  4. Whether you are telling the truth or not will not prevent them from filing suit. You may prevail but spend 1000s doing so.

    Please take a look at this link:

    http://www.libn.com/Column_details.cfm?ID=1249

    It's the story of how some aquarists stated accurate complaints about a online pet store and the owner sued them in Federal court. Some of the defendants paid 1000s to settle rather than fight. The pet store was clearly in the wrong and the defendants had documentation to prove it but still they paid lawyers and finally gave up and settled.

    These are known as SLAPP ( Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.)

    The case continues. One defendant, a lawyer, sued and won a $50000 award against the pet store but the petstore filed bankruptcy.

    Be careful when you think the truth will protect you. Ultimately, it will but you may spend a years earnings or more to get there.

    DS
     
  5. I'm not a lawyer, but as long as you are stating the truth and do not violating any non-disclosure agreement between you and the company, I fail to see how that could be undue distress, harassment, coercion, blackmail, or libel. You are not saying you are going to lie to tarnish their name. You are just saying that if they do not correct the problem, you are just going to make it public. That's free speech.
     
  6. gms

    gms

    They're threatening you because you're threatening them. When a customer turns to threats, it's not unusual for a businessperson to consider that as final and step up their threat in order to intimidate you and call your bluff. But you have to ask yourself, how brilliant is it to give them due cause for a legal action against you by posting anything publicly? That's like shooting yourself in the foot because it feels so good for your finger to pull the trigger. You have to exercise patience and self control to win this game, just like in trading. Know when you're being led around the arena and only fight those battles you can win.

    They can't retaliate you for filing legitimate complaints. They can harass you, but not legally.

    So how do you go about that? Just do what you're legally entitled to do, which is to file complaints with the proper agencies, which would include the consumer protection agency for the vendor's area, SEC, and agencies governing internet/mail order fraud. In so doing, present just the facts, no opinions or allegations, step by step leading the reader through the chronological development of your case so it's all cut and dried and clear to anyone reading it. The agency will then draw its own conclusions as to the merit of your complaint. Give dates and names and quote from your email. If you can give them the evidenced quote of the vendor threatening to sue you if you complained to the respective agency, then by all means add that in. Keep copies of all correspondence you send and of course, copies of all the emails *with headers* from the vendor (when and if its decided that any agency wants to see the emails). At the end of your complaint, specifically state what you want out of this ( a full refund). And stay away from asking for any "pain and suffering" or "recovery of market losses" or anything at all that smacks of trying to make some money off of this (I'm not saying you are, these are just tips).

    After the issue is resolved, then you can post the outcome. Even then, stay clear of venting, posting your suspicions and/or allegations, etc. or you could find yourself legally harassed by due procedure.

    The above is not to be constituted as legal advice, no matter how sensible it may appear.
     
  7. You could just PM all of us...
     
  8. I don't see why posting the name is a problem as long as you don't post any inflamatory material with it. It could help prevent someone else who is looking for something new from pissing away their money. I am looking myself and would appreciate knowing who to avoid.
     
  9. DHOHHI

    DHOHHI

    First, I'm also not an attorney. But if you feel you have a legitimate case and are due a refund based on what was promised by the vendor, then consider filing a complaint with the State Attorney General in the state they're headquartered. Maybe 10 years ago I did so against some company who sold some software that didn't perform as specified. In my case I received a full refund .. also there were lots of other complaints against this company so that perhaps also helped. But name calling and "threats" sent back and forth via email will not solve anything. Don't get emotional; stick to the facts.
     
  10. TGregg

    TGregg

    If you paid by credit card, and have not paid that bill yet, you've got a pretty good position. But, if these guys are the expert crooks that I think they are, you either had to pay a different way, or you've already paid the money to the CC company.

    Be advised that you are almost certainly not the first one to get ripped off by this particular group. They have a plan on what to do with you, and it has many endings that are favorable to them. Forget being public, I'm sure they have a lawyer (or 6) on retainer just to file nuisance suits.

    I was reading the editorial section of my local paper this morning, and I ran across an article that started "I often wonder why people have such a dislike for lawyers." What a moron that writer is.
     
    #10     Jun 12, 2003