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Discussion Starter #1
Books Butterfly is threatening website owners and authors with legal action if they don't remove negative reviews about their service.

Long Story short (or not so short):

I own a small promo site and a few years back I decided to have a small review section on my site, featuring various promo services on the web - just to help the author community a bit in figuring out which site produces the best results, has good customer support etc. I never fully finished this project and out of a planned hundred sites to review, I put up like a dozen and then kinda forgot about it. Books Butterfly was one of those.

During those two years, Books Butterfly received about 10 negative reviews, all criticising their poor communication and results, with some going so far as calling them a scam.

A few days ago, their representative contacted me and demanded I remove the negative reviews and share the private e-mails of the reviewers so that they could contact them. If I refused they threatened with legal action, saying they will 100% sue me for defamation and libel, and for damages dealt. (To note, they asked nicely in the first e-mail, but once I said no to sharing private e-mails of my users, they lost it and started the threat chain)

They wrote a good dozen e-mails in an hour, harping on about how great their service is and how unfair the reviews were and how it's illegal for me to support such defamation. They kept threatening to sue me and quoting numbers like 350,000 fines and so on.

To paraphrase, they wrote things like: "we'll 100% sue you for defamation and libel if you don't remove the reviews or take down the whole page about Books Butterfly" and "we'll sue you for triple damages and the mental damages and anguish caused by them having to worry over the livelihood of their employees because of the damages I had done to their business".

I eventually removed the whole review section because I had pretty much forgotten my review section even existed and I had better things to do than argue with this nut case. But even after I had removed it, they still kept hounding me with e-mails. I had to block their e-mail completely.

Now, today, I received an e-mail from one of the people who had written their review. They asked me to remove it because they were being threatened with legal action by Books Butterfly.

I literally cannot believe this [crap].

I have never heard of a company so insecure in the service they offer that they feel the need to straight up harass people over their negative opinions about the service. One would think that if these reviews keep popping up year after year that something is wrong with their service, but no. Apparently that concept is foreign to them, instead of fixing their service - whether it's communication issues or negligence - they spend their time trying to silence critics and threaten people.

And let me say it again - I already removed my whole review section days ago. The page literally doesn't exist anymore. But apparently that's not enough either.

A company that keeps harping on about how they've serviced thousands of people with almost no complaints, how they help authors for free even, and then they pull this [crap] and harass people over their negative opinions, and act like a handful of negative reviews on a small site that maybe got 5 visitors a month to the review site is damaging the livelihood of their employees and causing mental stress and anguish...

I can't comment on whether or not their service gets good results or not, but their representative has got to be one of the biggest [Uranus]s I've ever had the displeasure of running into in my whole life. And that's saying a lot because I've met some straight up nasty people. But none of them have harassed me in quite this manner.

Acting like I'm part of some grand conspiracy against their site. Like holy [crap], how big is that persons ego? Thinking people care enough about their site to collectively take part in some defamation campaign. Jesus. It's like they cannot accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, their service isn't quite as grand as they make it out to be and some people are p*ssed off for losing their hard earned money for no results or communication.

If your service is good, the word of mouth will be good and nobody would bother to write bad reviews nor take them seriously.

Whomever owns Books Butterly, let me just say that your representative is probably the sole reason why your promo site has such a horrible reputation. I suggest you fire them. And if that person is also the owner of the site, well, let me just suggest you leave the daily workings of the site to your team and go do something else that doesn't require human interactions, because you really suck at it.

---

I wholly expect BB representative to show up this thread in about 5 minutes writing a 20 page essay about how bad of a person I am and how they're the poor victims just trying to defend themselves. They will probably ask the mods to remove this post as well because it's no doubt further defamation and libel and we all need to pay 350k if we want to continue breathing in this world.

But whatever, I've said what I felt needed saying. I've posted similar things on other sites, so if BB wants to go to war with the entire free internet, they are welcome to try.

---

To respect the rules of this forum I have removed snippets of the e-mails that I was sent.

I also decided not to post any of the actual reviews that BB was so worried over, because I'd rather not have them sue this site too, lol. But let me just say, out of the reviews in question that were posted on my site, only 2 were questionable, calling BB a scam but not specifying anything further. Those were also the only reviews I agreed to initially remove because they didn't add any value. Several others went into great detail on how they received no responses from BB about their promo's, how the promo's produced no results or how BB didn't even double check in one case if the book was at the designated price and ran an almost $200 "on sale" ad on a full price book. Those I thought were totally fair reviews of people voicing their experiences.

If mods want to see those reviews, the plugin I used for my site still has them stored, though they are not publicly available.



edited, PM if you have questions -- Ann
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Acheknia said:
I'd remove them (as you have done) but then email back something to the effect of...
I am a reasonable person so all you needed to do was ask.
As you have bombarded me with unreasonable threats & have caused me so much stress, I may consider suing you.
Please refrain from harrassing & stalking me, even after I've done as you ordered.
Your threatening terminology is worse than the slight you perceived from what I believe were genuine reviews.

If I thought about it more, I'd possibly change or add to some of that but off the top of my head, it would be something of that ilk :)
Oh you can believe I gave them a piece of my mind.

Though to be fair, their initial request was decent, not going to lie. It started off nice enough. But after I explained that I cannot reveal the e-mail addresses of other people as that would be a breach of privacy, and that I would only remove a few of the "scam" reviews (because they were very short with no details - just "it's a scam"), they lost their [crap] demanding I remove basically all reviews, even those that went in full detail and didn't contain any defamation or libel that I could see. And then started to threaten with legal action. Sent me like 5 e-mails in 10 minutes.

After I removed the whole review section, I told them I had done so and asked them to stop harassing me or I would sue them for harassment instead. To which they responded with the messages you can see above.

After that I just blocked their e-mail. It had become clear they could not read, nor comprehend basic law or have any notion of tact.

Imagine contacting any website and demanding they reveal the e-mails of their users. And acting as if it's a valid request and I'm the guilty party for protecting the privacy of my visitors. God damn, lol.


edited, PM if you have questions -- Ann
 
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I would tell them to shove it.
Reviews, good and bad, fall under free speech.
Out of curiosity, I just did a Google search on "Amazon sucks"
Go ahead. Try it.
You'll get a first page of folks bashing Amazon.
Try other top brands.
I'd tell that Books Butterfly to shove it.

Hey, shove it.


edited, PM if you have questions -- Ann
 

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Discussion Starter #4
okey dokey said:
I would tell them to shove it.
Reviews, good and bad, fall under free speech.
Out of curiosity, I just did a Google search on "Amazon sucks"
Go ahead. Try it.
You'll get a first page of folks bashing Amazon.
Try other top brands.
I'd tell that Books Butterfly to shove it.
Can you see Trump threatening to sue folks who give him bad reviews?
Hey, shove it.
Yup. You can go on any site that allows reviews about anything and you'll see hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, probably millions of reviews straight up bashing companies, brands, products to an insane degree. A lot of it more than likely defamation, libel, straight up lying by fake accounts etc. And nobody gives two [crap]s. Reviews like that stay up for years. It's just not reasonable to expect any review site to check the complete validity of every single review and play judge in determining whether or not it defamation or not. That's insanity.

And I actually mentioned this to them as well. Here's what they had to say about that:

removed -- please do not share private correspondence from off the boards -- Ann

They actually think people are actively trying to destroy them. My god the ego. And the Naivete.

If someone wanted to destroy an online site/service, they would not settle for a handful of negative reviews over a 2 year period, lmao. They'd pay for someone to hack and bring down the site, and pay someone to write 10,000 negative reviews and post them on every social media site on the web. And that would just be for starters.


edited quoted post, PM if you have questions -- Ann
 
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Yeah, if someone tossed your book a one star review, threaten to sue them because the review might cost you a sale or two.
See if the review is taken down jiffy quick.
Like I said, tell 'em to shove it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
okey dokey said:
Yeah, if someone tossed your book a one star review, threaten to sue them because the review might cost you a sale or two.
See if the review is taken down jiffy quick.
Like I said, tell 'em to shove it.
Yup. I was actually ready to forget this entire incident until this morning when I got that message from one of my old customers who had written one of those negative reviews and is now getting harassed. I kinda lost it right there. If it was just me, I'd have ignored the matter as it wouldn't have been worth my energy to deal with. But harassing my customers? To the point of forcing them to contact me to forward their harassment further? Hell no I'm not letting that go.

Flexing your "company muscle" and threatening and scaring authors with legal action they most likely have no means to fight, is taking it too far.

Patty Jansen said:
A good business is not so much characterised by doing what it says on the box, but by how they treat customers when inevitably something effs up.
Bingo. Good customer service goes a very long way. And if you do decide to be more callous - which in itself is totally your choice - you should be ready to accept any downfall. I've had some very difficult clients towards whom I haven't been the nicest (like one client who kept forgetting to set their promo dates properly for like 10 times out of 15 promo sessions, and every time I lost money and time), but I also fully expected them to give me bad rep, write bad reviews or whatever. And I'm okay with that. You can't please everyone, some negative responses are always going to happen. You don't gain anything from trying to make them go away. That energy is better spent elsewhere.
 

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Apparently, the owner of BooksButterfly has very recently been in touch with KBoards -- or, rather, with the previous ownership who referred him to present ownership. I know he's had issues before with what we've allowed to be posted here. He does still have an account here.

Please note: we are reviewing this thread -- it may be we will ask that the screen shots of private correspondence be removed. I have already removed an epithet that was not caught in our filter and instances of personal attack or negative characterization that went beyond what we allow here -- towards anyone.

Please keep our Forum Decorum in mind as you discuss your thoughts on this -- or any other -- topic. We require civility and will not tolerate name calling or other negative ad hominem characterizations.
 
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Just check out their homepage that looks like it was created in 1995 and that tells you everything.
 
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I would never in a million years work with a promoter who threatens legal action over less than favorable review. Smells of another legal case where several authors were sued over expressing opinions and support for another author in a dispute with a promoter.

Thank you for sharing your experience. One single person being treated like that makes an impact on me. Marking this thread for future reference. 👍🏻

 

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FWIW, I've used James's service a few times in the past. He was always professional, friendly, and reliable.

A lot of irritated folks rant and embellish, and thus I take what they say with a grain of salt. I accept everything James says at face value.

ETA: James is the OP.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ann in Arlington said:
Please note: we are reviewing this thread -- it may be we will ask that the screen shots of private correspondence be removed. I have already removed an epithet that was not caught in our filter and instances of personal attack or negative characterization that went beyond what we allow that here -- towards anyone.

Please keep our Forum Decorum in mind as you discuss your thoughts on this -- or any other -- topic. We require civility and will not tolerate name calling or other negative ad hominem characterizations.
It's all cool. Feel free to remove the screenshots or edit out any bad words and such at your leisure. I'm not very good at toning down my voice to suit family friendly discussions. Kinda lost it over the situation which I considered absurd.
 

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ArchangelEST said:
It's all cool. Feel free to remove the screenshots or edit out any bad words and such at your leisure. I'm not very good at toning down my voice to suit family friendly discussions. Kinda lost it over the situation which I considered absurd.
Thanks for understanding . . . . I'm waiting for the other mods to have a chance to offer an opinion on the screenshots -- but we're all 3 in different time zones at this moment so it may be the end of the day before we can all have a chance to chime in. In general, though, we do not allow re-posting of private conversations from OFF Kboards. Correspondence between you and someone else posted without the someone else's permission is problematic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ann in Arlington said:
Thanks for understanding . . . . I'm waiting for the other mods to have a chance to offer an opinion on the screenshots -- but we're all 3 in different time zones at this moment so it may be the end of the day before we can all have a chance to chime in. In general, though, we do not allow re-posting of private conversations from OFF Kboards. Correspondence between you and someone else posted without the someone else's permission is problematic.
Fair enough. Let me just save you the head-ache and remove the screenshots for now and just replace them with general overview of what was said. If you later decide you want to see the real deal or any of the reviews that started this whole incident, I can always post them.
 

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ArchangelEST said:
Fair enough. Let me just save you the head-ache and remove the screenshots for now and just replace them with general overview of what was said. If you later decide you want to see the real deal or any of the reviews that started this whole incident, I can always post them.
Thank you!
 
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Anarchist said:
FWIW, I've used James's service a few times in the past. He was always professional, friendly, and reliable.

A lot of irritated folks rant and embellish, and thus I take what they say with a grain of salt. I accept everything James says at face value.
Who is James?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
C Winters said:
Who is James?
That's me, the name I use for my books. Some people here know me by that name because we've worked together or are friends on FB. I don't use this forum to advertise my site (at least not in a while) so it makes sense you wouldn't know. :)
 

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ArchangelEST said:
That's me, the name I use for my books. Some people here know me by that name because we've worked together or are friends on FB. I don't use this forum to advertise my site (at least not in a while) so it makes sense you wouldn't know. :)
I'm glad this was clarified, as it sounded from Anarchist's post that James referred to BooksButterfly.
 

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They've been on my avoid list for a while now. While I appreciate any promoter / marketing service who is happy to come onto this forum and talk to us / clarify things / answer questions, in the past they've taken that to the unsavory level of outright arguing.  There's plenty of places for me to spend my marketing dollars that are drama free. 
 
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