Harassing Customers As A Business Model

One site has figured out a way to turn antagonizing customers into a profitable business model.

After the proprietor stopped caring about his clients, he found that the negative feedback left about his company on other sites started to increase his search rankings. So he dialed it up, deliberately provoking complaining customers with allegedly counterfeit products, poor service, incendiary emails, and harassing phone calls. That only increased the rage on customer feedback sites, his Google rankings, and his sales to consumers who didn’t do any research about the site before making a purchase.

Here’s a taste of some of his savvy business tactics:

“Listen, bitch,” he fumed, according to Ms. Rodriguez. “I know your address. I’m one bridge over” — a reference, it turned out, to the company’s office in Brooklyn. Then, she said, he threatened to find her and commit an act of sexual violence too graphic to describe in a newspaper.

I’m not naming the site or the product because I don’t want to feed his perverse little beast, but his belief in “all press is good press” may have come to its logical conclusion: After the New York Times profiled and investigated him, a number of authorities have taken a sudden interest in bringing him to justice.

A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web [NYT] (Thanks to Craig!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.