Over the last 4 months I have had a legal threat. But to be honest I have not taken this threat seriously because the person on the other end will not identify themselves, tell me which post they think is defamatory, or tell me who their lawyer is. Instead their focus has been on getting my full name, phone number, and my physical address.
They choose to go through an email account that my webmaster had set up and I am not exactly sure how they determined what it was. I currently use Gmail for this site. Normally most people contact me through the contact form, and the email gets sent to the Gmail account. I can only assume that they did this so that I could not identify them. Because I think they had contacted me before and as some hosts know I don’t keep email exchanges private.
But really who exactly would be comfortable giving any detail to someone who tries to remain anonymous. In this day and age when there are a lot of people out there phising for your personal information I am not even inclined to give my first name. Yes I know my name is on almost every post I make, almost every comment which I treat like a personal letter to every response. But like many people I do value my privacy.
Is Hostgator.com threatening me?
While I have several disagreements with the way Hostgator.com is ran, the last thing I would ever say is Brent is shy. Wrong or right he will call people out on their own blogs. Which I have to admit I actually do respect that.
Is Endurance International Group threatening me?
While they are aware of me and they have read my site, I have been a grain of sand in their concerns. Mind you an irritable grain of sand.
Siteground, Ixwebhosting.com, and other big name sites?
A lot of the big names have had not problems with my site. Siteground has corrected issues that one reviewer had, and attempted to deal with another complaint. IXwebhosting has done their own pr work, and many other websites have yet to accuse me of defamation. Any big host is liable to have their own legal team that would contact me on their behalf. I seriously doubt they would play games.
So who is threatening me?
Honestly the only reason I kept responding with them is curiosity. Seriously I suffer ADD, yet nothing holds my attention span like a good mystery. The people I suspect of this are on a very short list. I am not comfortable posting without some facts to back up my suspicions. But what I will say is it has to be someone that knows my contact form tells me what the ip is of whoever is contacting me. Not like they couldn’t use a proxy. But I have had no problem posting emails from hosting companies. Some of which are not happy about that. I do it because I don’t want to engage in what appears to be back room deals. But it has to have been someone that had been in contact with me. I also suspect it may have to do with one of the posts I have as there are a few that have a growth in comments when this individual writes me.
Frankly if you read all my posts you would know the 5 hosts that I think are at the top. Never mind how many so called hosting review sites out there are not happy with me pulling the curtain back.
Many of the hosts that appear on here were on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 list
Most of the hosts on the lists have had varied reactions. Some pretend the issue is not even there. Some have been in total shock not realizing the advertising was really the top 25 (not that I really buy that), others while publicly denying it are privately telling me its part of the game to stay in business and pointing me to other review sites that may very well be worse. To others that out right deny any wrong doing is going on. Those are the ones that think I am anti-business, anti-affiliate programs, and as a troll for KVChosting put it I am a loser last week.
But what most of my opponents don’t realize is how much of negative reviews I have blocked. A simple “*x host* sucks” doesn’t cut it for me. Yet there has not been one positive review for any host as long as the post is related to that host that I have not allowed. I have also approved every single insult against me. Even the ones where I am called a faggot. For those people I offered to pay for their counseling so they can come to terms with their sexuality. After all history is loaded with closet cases that scream witch, when they were the ones wearing the ruby slippers the whole time. Most of the counter arguments against what I do on this site are insults. BTW I dare anyone to try and say nasty things about my mother, you may not like the reaction.
Why would I approve all of the positives and the insults? For one comments are good for seo. A lot of the positive reviews leave me asking for a domain, and when they provide a domain I find often people just signed up and/or have no traffic. If they have little traffic I invite people back for more. As for those that provide insults, exactly how does it help a host when their troll uses an argument like I am a loser and no host would bother with me as their counter argument? Never mind if they really wanted to insult me over the last 2 years I have given out a blue print for my actual defects (hello I suffer serious ADD).
Who is drop gang41 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The first time around my web master thought he would have some fun with drop gang41. After all drop gang41 was making a so called legal threat and yet was not going to identify who they were and what there problem was. But the whole email was like a cut and paste of multiple arguments. After which he handed the email over to me.
April 24, 2012,
This email is completely confidential and not meant for distribution or posting to any other party or website. It should be viewed only by the intended recipient and otherwise destroyed or deleted.
Yeah for some reason a person that chooses to bypass my contact form where I say I will post their email, while choosing to go anonymous thinks I am not going to post this email.
Please note we have contacted several of the companies that you have been posting about on your site. We have also engaged a law firm to handle all legal aspects of our concern.
Certain information posted on your site is done so in a manner which is considered defamatory and / or illegal based on a number of statutes. Based on these varied statutes is has become clear to us that your site is violating rules on multiple accounts. We have no interest in the removal of content related to other companies, however some specific content is of concern to us as it is causing defamation of company and negative impact done intentionally and posted by the owner or affiliated individual of the owner of the site. As you may or may not know : review sites provide a forum for unbiased arms length reviewers to post their opinions and or comments. When these postings and comments come from the site owner themselves, this creates a clear intent and liability against which you would need to defend yourself.
We believe that if we now proceed with multiple claims representing the interest of various companies about whom you have posted on your site, the cost and time associated would be less than the cost of lost business that your site is causing for the companies being defamed. Based on this we are prepared to pursue all legal avenues required, and encourage all the other company owners to pursue the same.
This email is an initial attempt to speak directly to you via telephone and discuss the matter to see if an amicable resolution can be made in order the negative outcome for your business and personal financial situation if you were to lose your site and be forced to shut it down. Furthermore claims and suits typically contain clauses for damages, which, if awarded, can also cause further liability beyond your immediate capability to pay.
We are happy to identify particulars on our phone call. We are providing a window until 5 PM EST Friday April 27th 2012 whithin which to have a discussoin to come to a resolution After this period, our firm will commence legal actions. Please provide us a time and phone number where and when you can be reached to discuss
Really they contacted several of the companies I did posts on, however they are only concerned about my post on their company. So umm why bother contacting the other companies? Yet “We believe that if we now proceed with multiple claims representing the interest of various companies about whom you have posted on your site, the cost and time associated would be less than the cost of lost business that your site is causing for the companies being defamed.”. So they are with other companies? And they are threatening to take away the $128 made last month? How will I be able to afford my take out? Oh dear is me.
Do they think this is a review site?“As you may or may not know : review sites provide a forum for unbiased arms length reviewers to post their opinions and or comments. “. Really? Never mind this is not a review site, but a site that exposes other review sites and the hosts that use them. But I personally have found, many have picked out the highest paying hosting companies to present in a so called top 10 list. I have yet to see a host that did not have an affiliate program that appeared on a so called top 10 list. It would be unbiased if the sites that did not pay or did not pay as much as Hostgator.com were on these lists. Never mind some companies like one of those mentioned own their own so called top 10 sites, where amazingly guess which host is number 1? Yet I think they think I am running a review site “When these postings and comments come from the site owner themselves, this creates a clear intent and liability against which you would need to defend yourself. ”. Its pretty clear when the comments come from me, I am the ugly guy who goes by Benjamin. You know the ugliest man on the internet (yes I reserve the right to that title). They are mostly in reply to other peoples comments. Unless I took further action like say emailing someone and I post what I sent. But its pretty clear when I post a comment.
I went back and forth via email trying to get information on who this person was and who they were with. Naturally they avoided any hint of who they were. This went on till April 27, 2012 when I gave them a disposable phone number from a cell phone I keep in my car. I gave them explicit directions that they were to arrange a time to call. After all I kept the phone off; because it was an emergency phone.
Then there was nothing until…….
May 24, 2012
I was out of town for a while , and our legal letters were on the desk for our review. We were just about to send them.
I see your email now below. I will be calling you today. I will try you shortly.
They decided they wanted to call, without giving me advance notice. They just decided after a month out of the blue soon after they emailed me. Like they were the only thing I had going in my life. Never mind I canceled that phone two weeks after they went silent, as I was uncomfortable with some stranger having any phone number I had. At which point I made it clear that while they were trying to avoid me documenting this I had the ability to record my conversations. For some reason they had no problem with that yet they had a problem with communicating by email. By this point I was demanding their attorney contact information. Where I am told I will get this on May 28/29 2012. I make it clear any further attempts to get my contact information will lead to a phishing complaint to Google (referring to the gmail account they were using to contact me with).
Then there was nothing until…….
Today rolls around (8/20/2012)
Our law firm has the letter prepared. we require a physical mailing address. If we have to subpoena your host for this it will cost more, and all these will be charged back in the suit.
You can provide a phone number to call today as well to expedite this.
At which point I remind them their attorney can contact me via email, and as I warned them I reported their email to Google for phishing.
Normally I would post this whole exchange but a lot of it amounts to a lot of back and forth with nothing to gain in insight. But if any of my posts were so bad to demand legal action I certainly would not draw it out over 4 months.