Auto Forum Moderator Sued For Highlighting Problems With Aftermarket Maker

from the can't-take-the-criticism,-so-we'll-sue dept

It really amazes me when we see companies go out of their way to sue critics or those who post negative reviews of their products or practices. If those companies put the same amount of effort into actually treating their customers right and taking the criticism as feedback, they'd probably be doing a lot better. Instead, companies that treat customers badly usually discover that suing critics only helps turn more people off to the company. Reader Crash70rs points us to a post on the HotRodders.com forum, where one of the moderators at the site is being sued for defamation by an aftermarket manufacturer named Streetbeasts.

The moderator had written a wiki article about the company, highlighting the fact that the company was connected to another company that had been found guilty of wire fraud and defrauding customers. Streetbeasts seems upset about a bunch of things that were said about the company -- though, some of them clearly seem to be opinion-based, and others hardly seem defamatory. The moderator notes that this is basically a SLAPP lawsuit designed to silence him rather than to win a defamation case, and he's decided to fight it (good for him). Maybe, one day, companies will realize that dealing with your problems is better than suing those who point them out.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jake, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 9:08pm

    Maybe, one day, companies will realize that dealing with your problems is better than suing those who point them out.

    But which one do you think requires more effort?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 9:11pm

    "Maybe, one day, companies will realize that dealing with your problems is better than suing those who point them out"

    it seems to me that Streetbeasts is doing just that, sad fact is it thinks the problem is moderator.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 9:24pm

    Streetbeasts, meet anti-SLAPP laws.

    Anti-SLAPP laws, meet Streetbeasts.

    You two play nice now, 'kay?

     

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  4.  
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    Crash, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 4:30am

    There going to have a run for there money, the forum community is comming to together and pitching in with donations and auction to raise funds for legal fees. Its great to see people band together for a common (good) cause.

     

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  5.  
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    some old guy, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 4:34am

    Re:

    Its great to see people band together for a common (good) cause.

    Yes, I love watching a good lynch mob at work. :)

     

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  6.  
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    gene, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 4:45am

    suing is expensive

    Directv did me wrong so I sued. But with most companies, the average person doesn't have near enough money to sue them. What happens is the company runs you into bankrupsy and you end up signing a settlement saying you will never sue them again. Because of money, court is not a level playing field.

     

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  7.  
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    gene, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 4:45am

    suing is expensive

    Directv did me wrong so I sued. But with most companies, the average person doesn't have near enough money to sue them. What happens is the company runs you into bankrupsy and you end up signing a settlement saying you will never sue them again. Because of money, court is not a level playing field.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:15am

    Thank you Streetbeasts

    Now I know to avoid your products at all costs.

     

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  9.  
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    Roger, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:51am

    They just don't get it

    This company and others in the same mind set just don't get that they are in a different world. The goal posts have moved. With social media, the company's response can be far more newsworthy than the instigator's original offense, as in this case.

    So the upset company gets a double whammy -- bad publicity for its product (the original complaint) and bad publicity for a crappy response. And its viral.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    Just sue no matter what. Personal responsibility is out the window. Everything is everyone else's fault. Sue them.

     

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  11.  
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    Tony, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Streetbeast low quality

    The StreetBeasts lawsuit is against Jon the web master / owner of Hotrodders.com.

    All Jon has done is gathered the public information on Streetbeasts and placed it in one place for easy viewing. This information is documented with court documents and newspaper articles.

    So far there have been many contributions of money towards this legal fight against the SLAPP lawsuit against free speech brought by Streetbeast.

     

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  12.  
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    IT'S ME, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 6:45am

    Let them sue, maybe they will get sued themselves.

    Let them sue, I support the moderator 100%. Maybe some of the defrauded and lied to owners will sue Street Beast for the lies and B.S. they got when they purchase... What goes around, definitely comes around.

     

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  13.  
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    Dewey, Bilkem & Howe, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    Set your autodialers to: 1-888-888-6645 TOLL FREE. See how much we can run up their phone bill, and maybe drive 'em out of business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Kevin S. Brady, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 10:13am

    Won't make it past summary judgment.

    If what the moderator had written is truthful, then Streetbeasts doesn't have a case. Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Threatened by SB, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    Street Beasts

    I'm a wiki contributor to Jon's forum and will be financial contributor ($$ are few with the lousy market) and have been personally threatened though my comments are very mild. SB is trying to force Jon to release the wiki contributors names but he has resisted. I don't like the product and what it's trying to represent. Their supposed rep - well he leaves a lot to be desired in his responses. As far as quality issues, others have to speak from experiences as mine are only visual and hearsay

     

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  16.  
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    Tom Milligan, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 8:29am

    StreetBeast

    Wonder how many of the 15 comments above are from unhappy StreetBeast owners? Most of the bad comments I've seen are from purchasers nine years ago. Anything from recent unhappy purchasers?

     

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  17.  
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    william moncalieri, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    my experience with streetbeast

    I purchased a 41 willys the car is now finished for sometime, but the experience will never be over. in my opinion, these people should be selling chesnuts on a corner somewere.everytime I called for info they never returned calls
    I EVEN WENT TO FACTORY in miami and the workers in shop had nothing good to say about managment. My left fender stuck out 1.5 in. more than right side. gell coat on hood bubbled up like huge pimples. They told me to send pictures. they did not offer new one. I spent my money and time to repair. I would not deal with them for any reason again, when there are other good companys out there, who know there product,and can anwser questions.beware.and im less than 9 years ago TOM

     

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  18.  
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    Jim Wharton, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 2:17am

    Law suit

    I'm glad you're fighting this attempt to gag free speech. I have a similar complaint against a vendor, they took my money, almost $3000, and won't return it. How did you get the 'wiki' thing? Is that a way to post on the web? Tell me how. Good Luck!

     

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  19.  
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    awtoys.net, Jan 30th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    awtoys

    thanks for this information !! very interesting !!!


    www.awtoys.net

     

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  20.  
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    Bruce Houghton, Feb 25th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re: StreetBeast

    I have a 67 year old broken heart. December 5,2007, I order the 34 Ford Coup($5,000.00 down) and waited. Many phone calls with many excuses for answers, I finally get the letter. Feburary 24, 2008, Bob Southern, StreetBeasts.
    "Due to the current economy, we are down sizing our 50,000 square foot factory. If you don't pay the remaining $10,475.87 within 90 days from the date of this letter..."
    WELL, you can guess the rest. Bye bye $5,000.00.
    Sad, sad day.
    Bruce Houghton
    Markham Ontario,
    Canada

     

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  21.  
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    neil saulnier, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: StreetBeast

    Hi.I also just got the same letter about paying the balance for my car. Deposit paid in July /August 08 recieved letter March 13,2009. Pay balance $12,445.00 within 90 days or loose it. Neil Saulnier Nova Scotia Canada

     

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  22.  
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    chrisrich (profile), Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:11pm

    OMG! I cannot believe people are like that. I think these people have waayyy too much time on their hands! heh, I just hope they don't come after me where I work selling used cars kansas city

     

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  23.  
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    Unhappy owner, Jul 9th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Streetbeast SUCK!

    We purchased a Streetbeast kit 4 years ago. The car is what we wanted, but the problems associated with the company we will keep in our memory forever. I could write a book about how poorly managed this company is. We received wrong brake line 3 times. I talked with Jr. Mr. Southern's son who is totally clueless. I wished I had searched out this company's history. The car is solid, but it took us longer than a weekend to put it together. Try 4 years!! The gaps were very bad. Nothing fit "like a glove" as their salesman said. NO tech support like their website and salesman claim! They never called you back. If you had to send a part back due to them sending the wrong part, you paid the shipping and handling to and from their shop!! I had to threaten a lawsuit to get our bill of sale. Then I was asked a few weeks after that to be allowed to photograph the car when it was finished and be used as advertisement!! I don't think so. ADVISE TO EVERYONE - RUN HARD AND RUN FAST AWAY FROM STREETBEAST!!!!!!! They need to be out of business. We love our finished product, but not the tremendous hassle we went through.

     

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  24.  
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    Ben Harrington, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    You Are Right

    George Levin the owner of the former Classic Motor Carriages that screwed its customers out of more than 15 million. Is 100% owner of this operation. At this moment Streetbeasts is the least of his worries. If you run his name in Google you will find a lot of eye opening articles.

    His nephew Steven is in charge of the day to day operations of the company.

    Allof the tooling and equipment came from CMC unless it was purchased new since the demise of CMC. The Cobra and Street Rods are basically the same as the CMC cars that have been around since the late 80's. Any intrested party can find one for less than half their current price if the search the web ebay craigslist etc. In many cases they have motors and other parts that are not included in the kit. If building is not for you you can find one of their cars for under 1/2 of what it would cost to build one without labor.

     

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  25.  
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    Tinangel, Jul 13th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    George Levin has screwed many out of jobs, places to live and money...he sued a 95 year old woman because she joined the Homeowners Association and took him to court because they felt they should not have to pay Levin for water and sewer when there was a well and each person had a sewer. She wanted to sue her for over one million dollars, and she was not the only one. Just goes to show you what kind of person he really is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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