Baybrook Remodelers, Still In The Midst Of Suing People For Negative Reviews, Deploys A Disastrous SEO Hitman

from the hand-me-that-optimized-shovel,-will-ya? dept

Baybrook Remodelers, whose litigious efforts to silence a critic we covered last month, has apparently hired an SEO guy (or rather, Todd Ramos – SEO Guy) to help clean up its internet presence. Part of this cleanup effort involves asking sites that covered this story (Techdirt and Boing Boing) to delete the posts in question because one technical detail is allegedly wrong.

On the original post, someone representing Baybrook left a comment claiming that it had nothing to do with Kristen Arisian’s mother being forced to move out of her house after being denied a Certificate of Occupation (CO) by the city of Milford, CT.

Kristen Arisian has concocted a crazy story that accuses Baybrook Remodelers, Inc. of throwing her mother out of her home. Kristen is spreading this false story and other negative reviews throughout the internet. Baybrook completed all of the work at her mother’s house in July 2007. Baybrook was paid in full, and her mother was very happy with the outcome of the several contracts she signed with Baybrook Remodelers. Kristen’s mother had her house lifted prior to Baybrook even being contacted for work. Presently, the City of Milford is refusing to issue a Certificate of Occupancy because the Arisians have never produced a certificate of elevation. A certificate of elevation is generated by the original engineer who completed the plans for the lifting of the house. The City of Milford will issue a CO once the certificate of elevation is issued. Baybrook Remodelers, Inc. is not an engineering firm, and had nothing to do with the lifting of the house. It is also my understanding that the City of Milford has not requested that Mrs. Arisian leave her home.

Todd Ramos contacted me via Twitter to press this point — that the yanking of Arisian’s CO kicked this whole thing off, not the other way around. But Kristen’s comment in response notes that, contrary to Baybrook’s claims, it may have had something to do with her mother being denied a CO. [embedded below]

If you look at the July letter from Kuchta, the permit number referenced is the permit pulled by Baybrook Remodelers. It was on this basis that she was thrown out.

Ramos sent me the following screenshot of the letter from the city stating this point. Of course, that sentence continues, pointing out another permit problem — one that seems to be related to Baybrook’s original work on the house. (Note: this is my own screenshot, because as soon as it became apparent I wouldn’t delete the post, Todd Ramos deleted his DM conversation with me. I still had the conversation “active” on my phone, so I’ve posted the screenshots below. I’ve also transcribed it because my phone makes screenshots for ants.)

Even if we take Baybrook at its word that it had nothing to do with the CO being pulled, there’s still the troublesome issue that what directly preceded this effort was an attempt to get the city to get Eileen Arisian to remove her less-than-complimentary signs, again using zoning ordinances. (Full story here.)

But a correction simply wasn’t enough for Todd Ramos, who continued to claim that the entire post was false simply because of this single element, one that seems to be contradicted by the chain of events. As he put it, I was taking the word of a “crazy woman” rather than a trustworthy remodeling company currently engaged in lawsuits against two people who had posted negative reviews. He also threatened to post negative stories about “tech dirt” in response and claimed I wrote the original post out of “revenge and hate.”

Meanwhile, here’s what’s been going on in Kristen’s world, where she’s still entangled in a lawsuit with Baybrook over negative reviews.

First off, she’s going to be deposed pre-trial (trial date is currently set for March 5th, but Baybrook has been dragging this out since March of 2011, so even that may change). Certainly the deposition is expected, but the court has ordered it to be done at Baybrook’s offices.

Kristen also noticed something else rather unusual. One day after posting its comment at Techdirt, three new glowing reviews of the company appeared at Yelp — all posted on the same day, January 15th.

The bottom line, however, seems to be that Baybrook’s web rep thinks the entire post should be deleted because it claims Arisian was motivated by the loss of her occupancy certificate. Ramos went on to make several statements about what he would do in response if the post didn’t come down, as well as claim that he could convince Baybrook to drop the lawsuit against Kristen if the post was removed. Here are a few of the highlights (full conversation embedded below).

What is owner suppose to do I will have him end lawsuit if you guys can make these false statements go away

Well I will have to start having my team blog if it’s not removed and it will be about tech dirt not getting facts before slandering people

Kind of crazy but it a OK like I said I have 600 bloggers and 20000 blog as ranging in pr 4 to 7 I can get things out as well

She hired yelp reviews and probably you guys and boing boing

Even if I was inclined to give Baybrook the benefit of a doubt on this one, there’s too much out there that suggests the company isn’t completely on the level. For one, its claim about the CO is misdirection. The story begins with its efforts (via baseless legal threats and zoning ordinances) to get the negative signs taken down. The city’s decision to yank Arisian’s CO may or may not have been urged on by Baybrook, but that’s hardly the crux of the issue. Baybrook (through Ramos) claims the whole thing is motivated by the loss of the CO, but as the letter clearly states, the city was first notified about the signs (due to “several complaints”) and decided to dig around for more violations after finding the signs to be a problem. (As the blog post detailing this points out, the alleged violations are from 2003/2004 and, according to Connecticut law, these violations have a 6-year statute of limitations. Milford found a way around this, however.)

Furthermore, Ramos’ tactics are equally questionable. His claims of slander have no basis in reality, and his tactics suggest he hasn’t had much practice approaching non-review websites with takedown requests. When it became apparent I wouldn’t yank the entire post, Ramos shifted from friendly to threatening, claiming he would organize his army of bloggers to write negative things about Techdirt. Even worse, he tried to promise me things he couldn’t possibly deliver, like dropping a lawsuit. He didn’t help his case by continually referring to Kristen’s mother as a “crazy woman” and failed to bring any evidence contradicting what I had posted, other than the same letter than Kristen had posted on her own website. If this was as damning as he made it out to be, there would be little reason for Baybrook’s lawsuit target to post it on her own site. Furthermore, despite his continual reference to Boing Boing, our friends at Boing Boing tell us they haven’t actually heard from anyone asking to have their post (that links to ours) taken down.

As it stands now, Baybrook may not have directly forced the city’s hand on this issue, but that’s only according to Baybrook’s own statements. The chain of events seems to suggest otherwise. The company definitely appears to have been instrumental in motivating the city of Milford to dig deeper into zoning ordinances after its initial attempts to have the critical signs removed failed. (See the original post for the original, completely ridiculous legal threat.) But we can be more certain about one thing: putting Ramos in charge of cleaning up the company’s reputation may not be working out quite as well as Baybrook Remodelers may have envisioned.

[Addedum: Todd Ramos sent over a letter (embedded below) from the city apparently issued after the completion of Baybrook’s remodeling work (although there’s no name on it other than Eileen Arisian’s) that states the work is complete and a Certificate of Building Compliance has been issued. It also states that no Certificate of Zoning Compliance will be issued until an As-Built survey and height certification is completed. This would indicate the city had an issue with Arisian’s house in 2008. This doesn’t, however, explain why it failed to be an issue until after the signs critical of Baybrook were hung by Arisian. It also doesn’t back up Ramos’ claims that work was completed to Arisian’s satisfaction.]

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Comments on “Baybrook Remodelers, Still In The Midst Of Suing People For Negative Reviews, Deploys A Disastrous SEO Hitman”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Never gets old...

Seeing ‘big shots’ like this threaten sites without actually doing any research to see just how well the ‘friendly offers’ of theirs will go over.

You’d think they at least would have run across ‘Streisand Effect’ if they had someone contacting TD, but looks like they get to learn about it the hard way.

Wonder if Popehat would be interested in covering this, assuming he’s not already, watching them try and go after a site packed to the gills with lawyers would sure to be comedy gold.

S. T. Stone says:

Boy, I hope Todd Ramos tries to rip on Techdirt.

Todd Ramos could certainly use a boost to his SEO business, and writing potentially misleading and hateful articles about a tech blog sounds like just the boost Todd Ramos needs.

Todd Ramos doesn’t need to take anyone’s shit; he has enough of his own to dish out!

But really, Todd Ramos, don’t give up your day job – keep going and get fired from it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Hey ootb...

I don’t understand why he is so hated. Sure his comments are always crazy conspiracy anti google bullshit. But I don’t see that as a reason to sit there and run a down vote campaign against him.

I mean really who cares he doesnt sway anyone, yet you guys return the same vitriol to him that he shows to you. I would pity him if i were you.

AC (profile) says:


I am going to spare myself the 8 second headache with this numpty and post as AC.

His site simply regurgitates a range of nonsense. That stuff is not SEO unless you work in sweat shop in Bangalore.

Interestingly, one of his suggestions is to outsource said work in the first place.

Nothing about that guys modality takes anything relevant or merit based into account.

Just another well spoken noob clogging up the web with bullshit.

“Kind of crazy but it a OK like I said I have 600 bloggers and 20000 blog as ranging in pr 4 to 7 I can get things out as well”

That is what we call spam as well. Gaming the system is not making your clients site relevant for instance.

Its amazing the degree with which this guy just stepped on his own dick.

Here is to hoping he doubles down on the stupid. Its already pretty funny stuff.


Anonymous Coward says:

Sense or Censor

Common Sense is to quickly fix a problem and move on to other endeavors. / Instead, Baybrook’s strategy – strike back at scrutiny and make it worse.

Censor speech that could cause a major problem (falsely yelling fire in a crowed theater – original wording used in Holmes’s opinion). / Instead, Baybrook’s strategy – Overtly seeking to Censor review, making it a major problem.

I see a theme here…wait until Baybrook sues Ramos…

sorrykb (profile) says:

SEO guy declares war on the Internet, 'cause that'll work

Maybe his strategy is based on “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” ??? Because that’s the only explanation I can think of. (Well, OK, that, and hubris.)

As for the suggestion that this could be a fun project for Anonymous (…no one’s personal army…), I think this guy doesn’t need anyone else’s help to go down in flames. He’s doing a bang-up job all on his own.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: SEO guy declares war on the Internet, 'cause that'll work

I still think it would be humorous if he were to draw the attention somehow of 4chan. Which gives me an idea for a short film… I think I’ll call it… 600! An epic tale of a fearless leader… no dipshit… and his band of brave… no foolish attempts to defend themselves from an onslaught from of overwhelming force… on the Internet!

madasahatter (profile) says:

Streisand Effect

Baybrook and Ramos do not understand the Streisand Effect. I do not live in CT and the issue is a local one regardless of who is correct. But by suing then trying to have posts and comments deleted is just making the problem worse for them. Many people will see the Tim’s post and most will not be from CT (or even the US).

Also, complaining about a relatively minor error is stupid. The correct procedure is to supply the clarifying information and ask that an updated post clarify the original post.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Todd Ramos isn’t very smart is he?
Todd Ramos didn’t bother to put the time into looking at the site he wanted to scare into doing his bidding.
Todd Ramos, if he had been good at his job, would have noticed the sheer number of people who hate junk SEO “wizards” and know how the system works better than he does.
Todd Ramos should have figured out, once it is on the internet just because he hits delete doesn’t make it cease to exist.
Todd Ramos should find a new line of work, because pissing off the people on TechDirt is stupid, going after BoingBoing is colossally stupid.
Todd Ramos can claim he can manage anything, but really should consider that he is over-matched here.
Todd Ramos pisses off people who make the series of tubes work, and thinks he’ll be fine.
Todd Ramos, isn’t that the guy I heard that story involving goats about?
Todd Ramos who is working for BayBrook might finally get enough people annoyed with the antics to have a much closer look taken at this story and amplify the negative thoughts of his client and himself.
Todd Ramos is working hard to end his career and ruin his clients.

Well done Todd Ramos, the internet salutes you destroying your business and taking down your clients at the same time.

Oh and because I learned it on BoingBoing…
Todd Ramos, christ what an asshole.

G Thompson (profile) says:

He also threatened to post negative stories about “tech dirt” in response and claimed I wrote the original post out of “revenge and hate.”

This guy isn’t related to that other SEO Extortionist called Crystal Cox is he??? [ scroll down to Chapter 2 ]

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually looking at his website where he states he is a SuperHero.. (I’m not joking -2nd paragraph) states that SEO is really “simple” as long as you “play by the rules” (same about page as above) it seems that he is also highly narcissistic as well.. ie: Either batshit crazy or getting there.

Though I have to always ask this… What in all blazes does an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) person know about Public Relations and more importantly Risk & Reputation management.

Though supposedly this guy used to have a huge hockey page.. maybe a few too many beers or hits in the head with a puck might explain it all

Just Sayin' says:

ignoring the obvious

Nice post, but it ignores the more obvious question:

What if the builder is right? What if the client is wrong?

On a site where everyone goes on and on about “due process”, it seems almost comical to see the story given in an entirely one sided manner. Techdirt (and many others) seem to be more than willing to link to and support the consumer even though (1) there is more than enough on both sides to suggest that the truth isn’t as stated, and (2) THERE HAS BEEN NO DUE PROCESS.

You guys bitch and moan for due process left and right (cue the “blah blah hates due process” troll in 3 2 1 ), yet you are more than willing to deny the builder that very right.

The best thing for Techdirt to do is unlink the story and be done with it, and accept that you perhaps went off without knowing the whole story (as usual).

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

We would like to thank Todd and Pentech Consulting for all they did on our website. With Pentech consulting we now have increased traffic and increased sales, and are on the first page of Google. They provide exceptional customer service.
Baybrook Remodelers, Inc.

I wonder how this badly thought out new plan will work for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I somehow missed this story the first time around.

baybrook is the worst i worked for them and was always told make me money,get it done fast by the time they know about any problems i’ll already have my money if you want to take the time to do it perfect start your own company ! thats why i am rich and you wont be !!!!

JD says:

Re: Re: Todd Ramos SEO Goat Fornicator for Baybrook Remodelers deletes his Twitter

Kristen, I think Todd Ramos, Goat Fornicator, is learning a tough lesson from this, and whilst I don’t wish economic ruin upon him, he’s brought this professional failure upon himself, and even IF his goat was walking around in clogs that he’d cobbled together, I don’t think it would justify SuperHero-cobbler status.

I don’t know that the is something one can live down and recover from professionally, such that you continue in the same field – or even if you should be able to!?

Clownius says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Todd Ramos SEO Goat Fornicator for Baybrook Remodelers deletes his Twitter

I see what your doing here.

Linking the words Todd Ramos SEO and Goat fornicator 😀

Thats a mean thing add all the links between Todd Ramos SEO and Got Fornication.

Someone may begin to think Todd Ramos has something to do with Goat fornication.

Its especially sad when this sort of thing may turn up in searchj suggestions. Todd Ramos SEO Goat fornicator.

David says:

Page Rank and Extortion

Seems that threatening to unleash his army of blogs could be construed as a extortionist threat.

Also, his domain has a page rank of 3 vs techdirt with a page rank of 7. So by getting his insanity posted here, this story and comments will overpower his ranking. So let the back-linking begin.

Also, looking at Woorank, his site needs a little work to get a score as high as Techdirts. You would think an SEO guy would have checked that out, and at least installed some of the WordPress plugins that help with that. If he can’t get some of this straight with his own blog, think of what he won’t do for yours!

Concerned in DC says:

The Baybrook clan

I believe these guys are related to some Baybrooks in the DC metro area, and they seem to be almost a mafioso-style clan. There’s Tom Baybrook, a recently retired top executive from SAIC, and one of his sons, Thomas Jr, spent time in jail for assaulting a girlfriend. They have massive amounts of money and so they got the son off the hook, but the guy has since been accused of date raping one woman, and there was another woman who told a story of him being physically brutal, threatening not to let her leave his house, and then harassing her with texts and e-mails for a year and a half. I knew Thomas Jr. before I found out about all this and I remember him talking about how you could hire people to clean up your internet trail and scrub things from online that you didn’t want out there. And he talked about how his family all stuck together and helped each other. And then when some nasty things he did raised some red flags for me, he actually tried to threaten and intimidate me out of saying anything. So, yeah, these are not good people.

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